Postgraduate research funding

We are delighted to invite applications for postgraduate research funding. We cannot guarantee funding, but we are happy to offer advice, support, and feedback on funding applications and research proposals.

Funding the world's brightest PhDs


Information about fees for our research programmes can be found on the PhD fees page.

Funding competitions

Funding competitions are now closed for 2022 entry. 

External funding sources

Postgraduate Doctoral Loans

Government loans are available for postgraduate students studying doctoral level courses. Loans are non-means tested i.e. your incoming will not effect the amount that you receive and are available to students studying either part-time or full-time.

More information including eligibility criteria

Funding research study through a student loan is a big commitment and we would strongly recommend talking about this option with your proposed supervisor.

Alternative sources of funding

There are many external funding bodies, such as charities and trusts, who offer support for postgraduate study. Funding may be limited and eligibility criteria will vary. Find out more about additional funding for postgraduate study.

Applying for funding

Your first step should be to get in touch with the member of staff you are hoping to work with. The funding application process is very competitive and, in addition to holding a first class BA degree, your proposal will need to be very carefully crafted.

We would, therefore, suggest this contact is made around six weeks before submitting an application. This will allow your proposed supervisor to discuss your research proposal with you and offer advice on your application.

We would then strongly encourage you to submit your draft application - taking into account your discussions with your supervisor and their feedback - to the us by our internal deadline, so that we can provide final overarching feedback ahead of the final funding deadline. 

Closed competitions

The following funding competitions are closed for 2022 entry. Information for 2023 entry will be available in November 2022.

AHRC White Rose College of Arts and Humanities Scholarships

Deadline: 17:00 GMT, Wednesday 26 January 2022

The White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities (WRoCAH) is a Doctoral Training Partnership of the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York. It is responsible for the distribution of AHRC-funded doctoral studentships for these universities and for the coordination of a doctoral training programme.

WRoCAH has around 45 AHRC studentships that will be awarded through open competitions.

Award Details: WRoCAH studentships cover UK/home tuition fees and an annual stipend. More information on the award details and eligibility criteria are available through the WRoCAH website

Guidance notes: applicant guidance notes are available here. You should read the guidance notes carefully before beginning your application, paying particular attention to the Grade Descriptors (from p22) as well as the step-by-step guide to the questions in the form (from p8). 

Applying: You should apply to WRoCAH funding through the WRoCAH website

You will be able to save and return to your application and can make amendments up until the deadline.

You must indicate when the final version of your application has been submitted and this must be done before the deadline for your application to be considered. 

Please note that you can only apply for one studentship at one of the above universities.

China Scholarship Council awards

Deadline: 17:00 GMT, Wednesday 26 January 2022

This scheme provides academically excellent Chinese students with the opportunity to study for a PhD at the University of Sheffield. The scholarships are supported jointly by the China Scholarship Council and the University of Sheffield.

Award Details: The China Scholarship will cover University tuition fees, a grant for living costs and one return flight from China to the UK.

Eligibility: This award is open to Chinese nationals who are ordinarily resident in mainland China. You will need to demonstrate that your research fits with one of Sheffield's identified research priorities. 

Read the full eligibility criteria and apply

Sheffield and Slavery in the Atlantic World, c. 1620 - 1880

Deadline for expressions of interest: 5pm Wednesday 9 March 2022

This is a Collaborative Doctoral Award project scholarship funded by the AHRC White Rose College of Arts and Humanities (WRoCAH).

Project summary

This project investigates the links between Sheffield and the trade and enslavement of African people in the Atlantic world. The student will be working with Sheffield City Archives and Local Studies Library to improve the accessibility of their holdings and public engagement with relevant collections and sources. Full project description.

Award Details: WRoCAH CDA studentships cover UK/home tuition fees and an annual stipend (£15,609 in 2021-22). International students are eligible to apply for this Studentship and the difference between the UK/home and International fee will be met by the University of Sheffield for a successful international applicant. More information on the award details and eligibility criteria are available through the WRoCAH website

Applying: Expression of interest, including CV and covering letter, should be submitted to WRoCAH funding through the WRoCAH website

Please note that you do not need to apply for a PhD course place at Sheffield ahead of expressing interest in this project. Short-listed applicants will be advised to submit a course application prior to interview.

For more information about this project contact:

Dr Rosie Knight (
Dr Andrew Heath (

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