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FINDING FUNDING FOR POSTGRADUATE STUDY

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					                  FINDING FUNDING FOR
                  POSTGRADUATE STUDY
INTRODUCTION                                                  should be provided by the institution
If you are a UK student, grants for                           you are applying to
postgraduate study do exist and they can                  •   Specialised funding schemes may
cover fees and living expenses, but they are                  apply to some vocational courses -
not available for every course. It is usually                 professional associations sometimes
easier to get the offer of a place than it is to              produce guidance on funding courses:
get the money to fund it. This is particularly                CCD can advise you on locating
true in the arts and social sciences.                         relevant sources of information.
                                                          •   Grant-Making Trusts and Charities -
You can collect a copy of Prospects                           CCD has relevant resources.
Postgraduate Funding Guide, a take-away                   •   Funding      through     employment:
booklet from the CCD, which outlines various                  including Research and Graduate
funding options. For general information on                   Teaching Assistantships which are
applying for funding, information can be                      advertised in the educational press
found in the postgraduate study section on                    and specialist journals (The CCD can
Prospects Web at www.prospects.ac.uk                          advise you on relevant sources of
                                                              information. Employers rarely fund
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS                                        an individual’s personal study unless
                                                              they employ you.)
This leaflet is aimed at UK students but                  •   Part-time work either within the
International students should check the                       University or outside it
‘International Students’ section on Prospects             •   Loans from family members, banks or
Web and check out files at the Centre for                     through Career Development Loans -
Career Development (CCD).           The British               see www.lifelonglearning.co.uk/cdl.
Council     provides    information   on    the
affordability of study in the UK on their              FUNDING YOUR STUDY FROM
website       www.educationuk.org/.          In        CHARITABLE TRUSTS
addition check out the UKCOSA website at
www.ukcosa.org.uk           and   International        What are Trusts and Charities?
Education      Financial    Aid   website    at        These are organisations that administer
www.iefa.org/.                                         sums of money set aside by individuals or
                                                       corporations to help specific groups or
MAIN SOURCES OF FUNDING                                individuals. Those that offer money for
                                                       educational purposes may be able to help
As a UK student there are various sources of           with costs such as maintenance, fees, books,
funding you can apply for.      In the first           equipment, travel, childcare, field trips etc.
instance you should establish how students             however resources are limited and help, if
normally fund the course you wish to apply             any, is generally small scale.
for. These might include:
    • Research Councils or the Arts and                Who do they help?
       Humanities     Research     Board    -          The charity's aims are likely to be very
       separate arrangements may exist for             specific, e.g. they may help according to age,
       Scottish   and     Northern    Ireland          sex, nationality, religion, subject area and so
       residents                                       on. For example: a female student applying
    • Scholarships and bursaries offered by            for a speech therapy course may apply to the
       individual universities - information           Hilda Martindale Trust whose aim is to assist
                                                       young British women intending to “fit

                                                   1
themselves for a profession or career likely                www.ncl.ac.uk/postgraduate/fundin
to be of use to the community for which                     g/
special training is required”.

There is no point applying unless you are                − Educational Grants Advisory Service –
sure that you do fit the requirements. Your                 helps those looking for funding for post
application will not be considered until you                16 education.
have a confirmed place so start early.                      www.egas-online.org

There are a few words of warning. It is
difficult  to   get   funding   for   second             − Community         of   Science    Funding
undergraduate degree courses. The majority                  Opportunities - an up-to-date database of
of trusts are not willing to consider                       announcements for grants, fellowships,
applications from students undertaking                      awards and more from around the world,
second degrees, even if they did not                        comprising than 22,000 records worth
complete their first degree, unless the                     over $33 billion.
second qualification is in a specific subject               http://fundingopps.cos.com/
area such as medicine, dentistry or
veterinary science.
                                                         − Jobs.ac.uk is an academic recruitment
It is extremely difficult to secure funding for
                                                            website     advertising   awards    and
general humanities postgraduate courses or
                                                            studentships plus teaching and research
courses with no direct vocational link.
                                                            assistantships
                                                            www.jobs.ac.uk
It is particularly difficult to secure funding for
overseas students in the UK. As a rule trusts
expect overseas students to have identified
sufficient funding before embarking on their             − Guardian Unlimited advertises awards
course of study.                                            and studentships plus teaching       and
                                                            research assistantships.
Trusts can seldom help with an immediate                    http://jobs.guardian.co.uk
financial crisis. Allow plenty of time to raise
the funds and certainly a minimum of six
months before the start of your course.                  − Support4learning offers links to funding
                                                            and welfare benefits available within the
Where do I find them?                                       UK.
There is no one source of information and so                www.support4learning.org.uk
you will need to look at a range of the
resources e.g.
                                                         − Times Higher Educational Supplement
•   RESOURCES                                               advertises awards and studentships plus
                                                            teaching and research assistantships.
− Educational Grants Directory                              www.thesjobs.co.uk
− Grants Register
− Directory of Grant Making Trusts (CD
   ROM)                                                  − Charity Commission for England and
Other books are listed on CCD website under                 Wales - covers all charities, searchable
Careers Resources                                           www.charity-
                                                            commission.gov.uk/registeredchariti
•   WEB SITES                                               es/first.asp


− Hot     Courses Student Money Guide
    http://www.scholarship-                              − Charities Direct – similar to the above
    search.org.uk/                                          www.charitiesdirect.com -
    Postgraduate/funding/gradfund/

                                                         How do I apply?
− Gradfund - database for post graduate
                                                         The Trust may have its own application form,
    students
                                                         if not then you should apply using a CV.
                                                     2
Here are some suggestions of the kind of                criteria such as residency, age or nationality.
information you should include:                         They will also have aims and objectives, so
                                                        align yourself and your own goals with them
   •    for what purpose is the help required           for     a   better    chance    of    success.
        e.g. tuition fees, living expenses,             Understanding the origins of the trust and
        travel                                          who the trustees are may also help to focus
    • how much money is needed                          your application.       Every scholarship is
    • personal details including name,                  different, so approach each one differently.
        address, date of birth, nationality,            The more you know about the organisation,
        religion (if any) and marital status            the better your chance of success
    • family details
    • your own income and expenditure                   Trusts may not help with fees for private
        summaries and forecasts                         institutions.   Study abroad is rarely
    • name of current and/or previous                   considered unless you are applying to a body
        school, college or university                   dedicated to funding study in a particular
    • details of any grants or sponsorships             country.
        obtained or applied for
    • academic and employment history                   Your application must be realistic. Ask for an
    • required references                               amount which the trust or charity is able to
In all cases send a covering letter - this is           give. Most trust grants are under £300 and
one of the most important parts of the                  local charities often give much less.
application and should be carefully prepared
for each application. Try not to use a                  If you need to raise a large amount of money
standard application and use clear and                  then you could put together a package which
simple statements to explain your difficulties          you can present to a series of trusts and
and demonstrate that you are doing                      each may agree to help with a certain
everything possible to help yourself raise the          proportion of the total need on the condition
necessary funds e.g. by working, tapping                that the others help too.
friends and family for support, living cheaply
and cutting expenditure etc.                            There is no guarantee that you will be able to
                                                        raise money this way but if you are sure that
Also submit a good academic reference - the             you fit into the trust's aims and have
trust or charity will want to know that you             presented your case well then you may be
are progressing satisfactorily on your course.          successful.

You will need to detail your finances                   Other tips
accurately, and show how you intend to raise
the rest of the money. Many trusts have a               Some charities have a deadline, others will
maximum grant which may not cover all                   award on an ongoing basis. Look at the
your expenses. If you are under 25 your                 closing dates and plan your applications
parents’ financial situation is usually taken           accordingly.
into consideration. Referees are often asked
to guarantee that the applicant’s family                Some charities will only offer money to those
cannot support them. You will need to show              not in receipt of money from other sources
that you have exhausted all other sources of            so read the small print.
funding and also that your difficulties are
unforeseen e.g. illness, redundancy, family             Don’t apply to charities if you do not match
difficulties - charities can be reluctant to help       their criteria. You are wasting your time.
people who start a course knowing that they
have not enough money to complete it.                   Whilst some charities specifically request a
                                                        stamped addressed envelope for application
Careers Advisers can give you feedback on               details, it is probably a good idea to send
your letter of application. You can do this in          one anyway. An A5 envelope is the best
a Quick Query session with an Adviser.                  choice.
Will they give me any money?
Remember that there are a lot of people                 Finally remember to keep copies of all
competing for limited resources. Usually you            correspondence with the different trusts. It
must have exhausted other possible sources              sounds obvious, but each trust wants to
of funding. Each trust has its own eligibility          know the status of your other applications.
                                                    3
It can be a very tedious process but wads of
stamps, CVs and well thought out covering
letters are essential.

Good luck!

                                Sue Briault
                            Careers Adviser
                       Updated August 2005




Contact us at:
Centre for Career Development (CCD)
Portland Building
Level D West
University Park
Nottingham
NG7 2RD
Tel: 0115 951 3680
Fax: 0115 951 3679
Email:
ccd-enquiries@nottingham.ac.uk

Check www.nottingham.ac.uk/careers        for
details of services at Sutton Bonington




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