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.

Scholarship or bursary name Who it's for
University of Essex Doctoral Scholarships in Social Sciences Postgraduate research students in our Faculty of Social Sciences
School of Biological Sciences PhD studentships PhD students in our School of Biological Sciences
University of Essex Mathematical Sciences Doctoral Scholarships Details for 2017-18 will be announced shortly
University of Essex Psychology Doctoral Scholarships PhD students in our Department of Psychology
Silberrad Scholarships Home/EU postgraduate research students who are Essex graduates
Commonwealth Scholarship - Developing Countries (external site) International students from eligible countries
China Scholarship Council Award Postgraduate research students from China
Essex Business School PhD studentships PhD students in our Essex Business School
Department of Psychology PhD studentships PhD students in our Department of Psychology
Doctoral training centre studentships
CHASE (AHRC) studentships Postgraduate research students in the arts and humanities
Eastern Arc studentships Postgraduate research students in digital humanities, quantitative social sciences and synthetic biology
EnvEast (NERC) studentships Postgraduate research students in environmental science
IGGI (EPSRC) studentships Postgraduate research students in intelligent digital games
SeNSS studentships Postgraduate research students in the social sciences

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 pgadmit@essex.ac.uk 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 discount.

  • Research councils

  • Graduate loans

    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)

  • Sponsorship

    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 studies.

    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.

  • Hardship loans

    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.