Research degree scholarships and funding
Scholarships and bursaries
We offer a wide range of funding opportunities for research students. Our main
awards are listed below and you can search
our Scholarship Finder to see what else you might be eligible for.
Use our Scholarship
Finder to help you work out what you might be eligible for. Further funding
opportunities for Research Masters student can be found on our
Masters funding pages.
Other sources of funding
Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding
Our University currently subscribes to the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding. This
independent guide to financing postgraduate study
can be an invaluable tool to anyone considering study beyond undergraduate level. The Guide is free to use
for our current and prospective students.
If you’re a prospective student, you’ll need our PIN to be able to access the resource. Please email
firstname.lastname@example.org to receive this.
Essex alumni loyalty discount
If you're an Essex graduate or studied abroad here and your PhD is your first postgraduate
course with us, you could be eligible for our alumni loyalty
Research council funding is primarily available via doctoral training centres.
However, it's worth checking the research council for your subject to see if they are offering
any other studentships or funding:
You might be able to apply for a graduate loan, either from your
own or another high street bank. Make sure you compare the various
packages on offer to find out which is best for you. A first step is
to look online for sites which do this for you and then make an
appointment to talk to the local branch of the banks which interest
you. Don't be put off if you already have an existing overdraft.
Many banks will now take on the responsibility of this is you are
taking out a graduate loan.
US student loans
If you're a US student you could be eligible to take out a
US direct loan.
Charitable trusts and grants
Information about charities and trusts that offer awards and
sponsorship to students and their application procedures can be
found in the Educational Grants Directory and The Grants Register.
Copies of these are available in our Albert Sloman Library,
as well as in most public libraries.
You can also try a grants search at
Turn2us. Use the keyword "higher education" and then narrow your
search by filling in other information about yourself.
Many charities and trusts are only able to award a small number
of grants each year, so competition can be fierce. To be in with the
best chance of receiving an award it is a good idea to:
- research charities and trusts carefully as they may have
eligibility requirements (eg based on your area of
residence, family background and subject area)
- apply as soon as possible (many give deadlines for applications)
Some companies offer to sponsor students and this is becoming an
increasingly common source of funding in certain subject areas,
primarily the sciences. Some firms will also consider
finance-related disciplines such as accountancy and business
Financial assistance offered by a company will usually be
accompanied by work experience which you might be asked to undertake
during your holidays or after graduation.
More information about sponsorship can be found in
Sponsorship for Students
published by Hobsons.
We and the Students' Union both offer hardship loans if you are experiencing financial difficulty.
What our students say
In this video Jacek, a student from our Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, talks about the financial
support he was given after submitting a PhD proposal. The scholarship he was awarded helped him secure
a doctoral degree in psychoanalytic studies.