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PhD fully-funded scholarship

How is it possible to secure a PhD fully-funded scholarship?
The usual aim for PhD applicants would be to get a fully funded PhD, which would include the fees and also a stipend. This is normally through one of the research councils (which one depends on the area your PhD is in). Self-funded PhDs can carry some stigma in some areas (particularly STEM fields I gather), especially if you are aiming to continue in academia (as it's really the first test of your ability to secure research funding, which will be a continual part of working in academia).

The "how" would usually be to apply to the PhD with a very strong profile and, if not a "potted", existing PhD project, to have a very strong research proposal. Note that funding is very competitive (more so than actually being admitted to the PhD), especially in some smaller fields or less well funded fields (e.g. many "arts" fields). A 1st in your undergraduate and research experience would likely be very desirable, a relevant masters in hand may be desirable for some fields, publications would be excellent to have but not normally expected.
Suitable background & knowledge (demonstrable interests in the field)
Strong academics & evidence of ability to suit research
Understand the expectations of funding council & provide suitable research proposal
Find a supervisor who wants to work with you
Original post by educator allie
How is it possible to secure a PhD fully-funded scholarship?

Hey @educator allie

There is funding available through UK Research Grants. These are normally offered through the UK Research and Innovation. You can find more information about it here.

I have been fortunate enough to secure a fully funded PhD through my university. Here's what helped me to ace the scholarship application process:
- A strong academic background. I had a 2:1 in my BSc and a Distinction in my MSc.
- My research aligned with the research priority area of the university.
- I was extremely knowledgeable about my research area in the interview.
- My passion for the research topic was also shown through the interview.
- I built a very good relationship with my 2 supervisors who also assisted in completing the scholarship application.

I have to agree with what was previously said. Securing research funding is extremely competitive. Having a strong research proposal with tangible and beneficial outcomes and being passionate about the research area in the interview will definitely help you secure funding.

I hope this helps. Best of luck!

- Dennis :biggrin: (PhD Air Transport Management student)
Original post by educator allie
How is it possible to secure a PhD fully-funded scholarship?

Hey @educator allie

I think you've already had some great insight here, especially regarding having a strong & unique research proposal, which exemplifies why you in particular are most qualified to and should be the one to do the research (e.g. having relevant research experience). There are generally two ways to get funding for PhDs, which have been outlined by others - either from the university or from a research council (mostly applicable if you're applying to a pre-existing project).

I wanted to just add that there may be unique opportunities from the specific university you are applying to so it is definitely worth looking into all the postgraduate scholarships that the individual university offers! For example, I'm a PhD Psychology student at the University of Kent who holds a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) scholarship, whereby you teach undergraduate students alongside your PhD (generally running seminars within your area of expertise). This was particularly enticing to me because I'm interested in pursuing a career in academia. So whilst you may not be looking at Kent, definitely make sure to research all the scholarships offered by the university as there can be some really interesting opportunities out there!

Good luck with your application!

Natalie :smile:
- University of Kent Student Rep
(edited 6 months ago)

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