Postgraduate research: financial support

Securing financial support for postgraduate study can be challenging but the reputation of Russell Group universities places students in a strong position.  Students finance their studies in a variety of ways, sometimes combining support from different sources to build their own funding package. The principal funding options are:

• Scholarships/awards from external organisations, including the UK Research Councils and industry
• Scholarships funded by individual universities
• Bank loans and career development loans
• Private funding
Around 31% of full-time doctoral students are funded by the Research Councils, 23% by their university, 26% by other sources (such as industry, charities, and learned societies); and 20% are self-funded.  Some 60% of part-time students are self-funded.

Please note that Research Councils do not fund individual students directly.  Funding is made to individual universities who are responsible for the recruitment of doctoral students and the award of any Research Council funding.

Vitae offers comprehensive information about sources of funding for PhDs and links to a wide range of charitable funders. Information about career and professional development loans can be found at

Further information is also available from individual Russell Group universities, who will be able to advise you on the options most likely to be available to you, given your chosen study path.

The Research Council websites also have information on financial support:
Direct Gov