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Fees and Funding
Sources of funding
As a current graduate student, looking for supplementary funding may be more complex and take more time than it did when you were an applicant. This is because most donors prefer to offer full scholarships to students for the duration of their course, starting from the beginning of the course. However, there are funding opportunities available and we hope this page helps you in your search.
Start by using the Fees, Funding and Scholarships Search to look for funding opportunities offered by colleges and departments at Oxford (there are no University-wide scholarships offered to on-course graduates). If the funding you are eligible for is at a college that is not your own, it may be possible to transfer there to take up the scholarship. Before you move, University regulations state that you must have written permission from the college you are currently at and then a certificate from the Proctors approving the college migration. However, if you are migrating to take up a recognised post at a college such as a Junior Deanship, then the requirement for written permission from the releasing college and the Proctors is waived. Please contact your college in the first instance if you would like more information or advice about migrating colleges.
Externally managed scholarships
If there are no suitable funding opportunities offered by the University, review our list of externally managed scholarships to see whether any are open to continuing students. We would also recommend the 'Funding my further study' section of the Prospects website as it has information that is relevant to on-course graduates.
Charities and the Voluntary Sector
Many hundreds of charities make awards to current and prospective graduate students. However, they can be hard to find and require a quite specific and specialized approach.
Oxford has subscribed to the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding 2012-13, which all applicants and current students can request using the link on the right-hand side of this page. This award-winning guide was written by two UK based PhD students who, between them, have won over £45,000 from 52 different charity awards. It will show you where to find charities, how to approach them, and how to complete strong applications in the correct manner. It contains model personal and financial statements, and over 100 links to voluntary sector funding sources. The Alternative Guide is independently published by GradFunding.
Many departments offer prizes that reward outstanding achievement. Whilst many are open to undergraduates only, some will be available to graduate students. Even if the monetary value of the award is not high, the prestige of being awarded a prize is immeasurable. Also look out on college and departmental notice boards for information about prizes and small grants.
Study at Oxford is very demanding. It is strongly recommended that you consult your supervisor before undertaking regular paid employment. International students should check their UK visa to make sure it contains no limitation on working. However, if you do decide you want to look for a part-time job and your supervisor is supportive, these are some possibilities:
- Teaching opportunities - departments and colleges are sometimes able to offer teaching work. Some departments have graduate teaching schemes in place - please contact the department or faculty direct for more information.
- Demonstratorships - in the experimental sciences, work as a demonstrator in practical classes is sometimes available to graduate students.
- Research Assistantships - these are sometimes available from departments and faculties.
- Junior Deans - colleges periodically advertise these positions. They involve providing pastoral care to other students and being on-call day and night several times a week. Junior Deans normally receive free college accommodation, free meals and a stipend of around £1,000 per year. These positions are normally advertised on college websites and sometimes on the College Vacancies board.
Other employment options include:
- Ad-hoc work can sometimes be found by advertising your skills locally as a tutor, translator or proofreader.
- Part-time or seasonal work supporting the running of the University and colleges, for example, invigilating examinations, doing administrative work, or working in one of Oxford’s many libraries. The University's Jobs and Vacancies page lists full- and part-time opportunities.
- Three further good sources of part-time and temporary vacancies in Oxford are the Career Service’s online resource, CareerConnect, the Daily Info and the Oxford Times
Please note that you will not be able to use any projected income from employment during your studies when completing your College Financial Guarantee form.
If you have recent work experience, it may be worth contacting one of your past/present employers to find out whether they may be able to offer you support. You could also consider approaching a potential employer of the future. Investigate companies or organisations working in your research area, particularly those with corporate social responsibility (CSR) aims and target them. Think creatively and strategically about other bodies you may be able to proactively approach for funding. They might not necessarily advertise scholarships or bursaries, but could you make a convincing case for them to support you? Are there any foundations in your local or home community that would be willing to support you? Consider the following when approaching an employer or other body:
- Your initial approach, especially if the organisation does not appear to provide support for graduate students, needs to be concise, memorable and tailored to the needs and aims of the body you are contacting. Take the time to get a contact name in the organisation rather than sending a generic, open letter to the CEO.
- Enclose a short version of your research proposal or statement of purpose. Remember that you may need to make it more user-friendly for non-specialists.
- Be specific: how much funding do you need; could any of this come from in-kind support (equipment/use of research facilities/work experience etc); and what will you use the funds for?
- Think about what you can offer a potential sponsor. Could you undertake some research for them, give them free publicity, give a lecture/presentation, write a report, etc?