Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) Policy


If your University scholarship includes a Research Training Support Grant (RTSG), this will be stated in your award letter. This is a contribution towards costs incurred for your training and may include, for example, consumables, equipment and travel. You can use your RTSG allocation towards expenses which are in direct support of your research and development, as agreed by your supervisor and department. You should discuss with your supervisor what amount of RTSG is available to you and what will be required for essential research costs, and how to spend the grant most effectively, maximising opportunities for skills and career development. 

Examples of eligible RTSG expenses include: 

  • Training courses, conferences or summer schools in the UK or overseas, including fees, travel and accommodation;  
  • Expenses directly supporting the research project including the purchase of consumables, materials and small equipment, survey costs, fieldwork expenses, archive visits etc where this cannot be supported elsewhere e.g. via existing departmental resources or tuition fee enhancements;
  • Journal articles and books where these are not provided as standard or available via University subscription, inter-library loan or open access;  
  • Learned society membership;
  • Poster printing costs;
  • In exceptional circumstances, a laptop or other IT equipment, where this can be clearly justified as essential for successful completion of the PhD based on the nature of the research being undertaken. Any equipment purchased in excess of £200 will remain the property of the University following completion (or withdrawal).

Examples of ineligible RTSG expenses include:  

  • The purchase of capital equipment (e.g. IT resources in normal circumstances) or use of facilities which the University would normally be expected to provide;  
  • Equipment provided as standard or generally available through the department e.g. stationery;  
  • Books and journals where these would normally be provided via University subscription or available via inter-library loan or open access;  
  • Any expenditure you would normally be expected to cover whilst studying, including housing, subsistence, childcare, visa related costs etc;
  • Any fees due to the University e.g. Submission Pending, extension or resubmission fees;
  • Proofreading services; 
  • Costs relating to core training for your research which would normally be provided by the University or supervisory team, and any mandatory training that all PGR students are required to attend (for example ethics courses).

Your department will have an account code which you can use to charge orders or claim expenses from your RTSG. Funding must be spent during the period of your scholarship award; you cannot access it before your start date or after the end of your tuition-fee paying period/thesis submission (whichever is sooner). 

Expenditure must be in line with the University’s Financial Regulations; notably the Travel and Business Expenses Regulations (SIA2). Requests for funding will be considered by your department/faculty, and must be approved by your supervisor. If your supervisor refuses they must provide a clear justification. If you feel the cost is eligible and in line with this policy you can appeal to your HoD, departmental PGR Director or their delegate. 

RTSG is nominally assigned per year of study. If you do not spend your allowance in full during the academic year, you may be able to carry over any unspent funds into the next academic year for the duration of your scholarship award.  However, this is dependent on the source of the funding - you should contact the team administering your RTSG with any questions about this. It is not possible to spend from a future year’s allocation in advance.

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