Other sources of funding

This page contains some additional funding sources beyond any scholarships and loans that you may be eligible for.

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 may require a specific and specialized approach.

Oxford has subscribed to the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding, which applicants and current students can request free of charge (see section on the right-hand side of this page.) This award-winning guide was written by two UK-based PhD students who, between them, won over £45,000 from 52 different charity awards. It will show you where to find charities, how to approach them and how to write strong applications. It contains model personal and financial statements and links to funding sources in the voluntary sector. The Alternative Guide is published independently by GradFunding.

US Department of Veterans Affairs Funding

The University of Oxford is able to process applications for US Department of Veterans Affairs funding. Please note that distance learning and unmatriculated courses are not eligible for VA funding. Applications are processed by the same team at Oxford who deal with US Federal Loans.  Once you have made your application to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, please contact the US Loans Team to have your enrolment confirmed and certified. For further information please visit the US Department of Veterans Affairs website.


Any employment during study must adhere to the University's Paid Work Guidelines. Study at Oxford is very demanding. Within these Guidelines, the following may be possible:

  • 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, Demonstrators are sometimes required for practical classes.
  • Research Assistantships - these are sometimes available in 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 for the University and colleges, for example, invigilating examinations, 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

Other possibilities

If you have recent work experience, it may be worth contacting one of your past or present employers to find out whether they would 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 potential funding 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?