Students Staff

Research degree scholarships and funding

Research degree scholarships and funding


You could be eligible to receive a postgraduate loan towards course fees and living costs.

Alumni loyalty discount

If you're an Essex graduate, you could be eligible for our alumni loyalty discount.

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 Valid year of entry Who it's for
School of Life Sciences PhD studentships 2020-21 PhD students in our School of Life Sciences
British Council Newton Fund 2020-21 Funding for individual partner country students to undertake full PhD studies in the UK, or vice versa.
Computer Science and Electronic Engineering PhD Studentships 2020-21 PhD students in CSEE
Postgraduate Research EU Scholarship 2021-22 Students from the EU who are classified as international fee paying students in academic year 2021-22
Faculty of Science and Health Studentships 2020-21 PhD students in our Faculty of Science and Health
Sports scholarships and bursaries 2020-21 Students with outstanding sporting ability
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
SeNSS studentships Postgraduate research students in the social sciences
Soc-B studentships Postgraduate research students in biological, medical and social sciences

PGR Awards are being reviewed and approved for academic year 2021-22. Please check back from October 2020 for further updates.

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.

    You can access the resource using the following PIN: 2529.

  • 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.

  • International student funding sources

    There are country-specific funding opportunities, please see our country pages for more information.

    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.

  • Financial Support for students in difficulty

    We and the Students' Union offer financial support if you are experiencing difficulty with your finances in the form of a bursaries, grants or loans depending on your situation. Have a look on our Financial Support page for more information.