Proficio funding for Essex research students can be used on a mixture of internal courses and external courses and conferences and therefore tailored to your individual research training requirements. This will allow you to develop and hone the unique skillset required for your research project.

You can check which funding scheme you are on depending on your start date (when you first registered on your research degree course) in order to see the rules applying to your funding account.

Students starting after October 2016

As a new postgraduate research student, you will receive all of your funding at the start of your course.

You will need to complete the Training Needs Analysis (TNA) on Moodle in order to unblock your Proficio funding account. The enrolment key is ‘PGRstudent’. Please confirm to once you have completed the TNA and we will then unlock your Proficio account so that you can use your funding. We do recommend that students use the feedback from the TNA in discussions with their supervisor.

For all new students, Proficio funds are allocated as follows. Part-time students will receive the same pro-rata.

PhD, PhD by Programme and Doctorates

PhD, PhD by Programme and Doctorates are allocated £2,500. Your funds are based in two accounts:

  • £2000 will be in your Proficio account
  • £500 will be kept separately and will be dedicated to conference attendance

You can use up to £200 from your Proficio account for conference attendance. Thus, in total, you can spend up to £700 in conferences.

Masters by Dissertation

Masters by Dissertation programmes are allocated £1,000. You can use £500 from your Proficio account for conference attendance.

Masters of Philosophy (MPhil)

Masters of Philosophy (MPhil) programmes are allocated £1,500.

Integrated PhD

Funding for Integrated PhD programmes is the same as for PhD students. Your funds will be released at the beginning of the 2nd year, but you can make a request to use them during the summer term of your 1st year, once the taught element of your degree is completed.

Spending in your first year

In your first year, you will need to seek your supervisor’s approval if you want to spend more than £1,000. Your supervisor should email to confirm this. We do recommend that you regularly discuss your training needs with your supervisor.

Doctoral students starting in 2015-16

You have an additional £500 in a new separate account that can be used solely for conference attendance. Additionally, you can now spend up to £200 of the remaining funds in your Proficio account on conference attendance.

Doctoral students starting before 2015

You can now spend up to £700 of the remaining funds in your Proficio account on conference attendance.

Visiting PhD Students

Students registered with ‘Visiting PhD’ status should email to discuss what level of funding is available to them, and they types of courses they are permitted to access.

Funding opportunities

Interdisciplinary conference fund

Ever got excited about doing research that stretches across disciplines? Ever wondered how your research would be viewed from the perspective of someone working in a completely different research area? Ever wished you could network with researchers in other fields? Ever aspired to publishing your research? Ever wanted there to be a greater sense of a postgraduate research community encompassing the University as a whole?

If your answer is yes to at least one of these questions, here is some good news! We are delighted to invite you to apply for our PGR Interdisciplinary Conference Fund.

To enhance research collaboration and networking at postgraduate level, we’ve launched an award fund of £5,000 for the best proposal for an interdisciplinary research conference organised by postgraduate researchers.

To enable bold thinking across disciplines, the key condition of the grant is to have PGR researchers from at least two different faculties and at least three different departments on the organising board/committee.

How to apply

Start by reading our PGR Interdisciplinary conference guide (.pdf), which will help you to write a good research proposal, and explains some of the constraints of the project.

Liaise with colleges from across different departments to build your team of organisers. Remember you need people from at least 2 faculties and 3 departments.

Work together to complete the application form (.pdf), consulting with your supervisor during the process.


Send your completed proposal to by 5pm on Tuesday 21 January 2020.

The Selection Committee will evaluate proposals and announce the winner for this year on 30 January 2019. Every proposal will receive feedback from the Selection Committee.

If you’re the winning conference, you will need to develop and host your conference, ensuring all funds have been spent by 31 July 2020.

If you have any questions, please email 

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