There are two main routes to getting PhD funding. Both of these normally pay fees and a maintenance stipend. However, some students may only be eligible for partial fees, or a fees-only award. Check the eligibility criteria of each scheme carefully.
1. Competition funding
This is where you apply for funding for your own PhD project, in competition with other PhD offer-holders. You need to demonstrate that your project is better (based on the competition criteria) than theirs.
- You will usually need to have an offer letter before you can apply for competition funding. See how to apply to find out how to get an offer letter.
- Competition funding schemes often have fixed deadlines throughout the year. The University competition scheme, which includes WRDTP, WRoCAH, and University scholarships, has a deadline in January each year.
- Competition scholarships are based largely on the quality of your research proposal. Your supervisor may be able to help you work on improving your proposal before you apply.
2. Project funding
This is where you apply to work on a specific project which already has funding attached. You need to demonstrate that you are better qualified to complete the project than other applicants.
- Funded projects can be announced at any time of the year. We will give details here when these are available.
- You can sign up for alerts at jobs.ac.uk.
- You will not usually be asked to write a complete research proposal, but you may be asked to write a short personal statement, or provide a description of how you would approach the project.
Faculty of Social Sciences scholarships
The University of Sheffield's Faculty of Social Sciences has funding for a range of PhD scholarships for 2020-21 entry. These include ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) and faculty scholarships.
Commonwealth PhD Scholarships are funded by the UK Department for International Development. These offer financial support for students based in some Commonwealth nations to pursue PhD research in the UK.
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