Receiving financial support to pursue your doctoral studies makes PhD life a lot easier to navigate. Financial support can make academic opportunities truly come alive by allowing you to focus your energy on your research and professional development. That said, applying for and securing funding can be tricky.
LSE offers several funding opportunities that you can apply to. Read on for some useful tips on financial support.
Research your options
There are several funding routes that you may have access to depending upon your profile. LSE funding for doctoral programmes can be of different types: LSE PhD Studentships, ESRC funding, AHRC funding, and department-specific funding. The eligibility criteria and application requirements across the funding opportunities are likely to differ, and hence, it is highly recommended to read carefully through the information on the webpages before making your application. Apart from these options, there could be other external funding opportunities that span loan-based schemes to organisations offering doctoral study scholarships and funding opportunities for students from specific nations. There may be additional opportunities for students who are studying specific subject areas. If you need more information, you can contact the financial support office or even your department programme managers for guidance on the available options.
After researching the available funding opportunities, shortlist at least three options that you’ll apply to. Research these options extensively. Consider factors like: What does the scholarship cover? How long is the award tenable? Will it provide a stipend? How is the award renewed? Are there any additional obligations to be fulfilled if your application is successful? All these factors can help you rank your options in order of preference.
Know the application process
Most financial awards are made on the basis of exceptional academic merit and research potential. These attributes may be assessed differently across departments and even across the awards you’re applying to. Some departments may require you to interview with them while some awards may require additional documents and application materials. Therefore, it is important to stay up to date with the latest information on what is required of you as an applicant for a funding opportunity. Information for this can usually be found on the webpages of the funding body. However, you also have the option of reaching out to your department programme managers for additional guidance, if required.
Adhere to the deadlines
Many of these awards require that you have a successful admission to the programme that you applied to before your funding application is considered. Therefore, it is important to note the funding deadline for your programme of choice. Usually, the funding deadline will be much earlier than the programme application deadline. It is important that you prepare your application including all of the ancillary materials well in advance and submit your application by the funding deadline to be considered for funding.
Final advice: securing financial support can be crucial for some students intending to pursue doctoral studies, and so it is best to start the process of researching your options and preparing your application as early as you can. All the best with your applications! 🙂