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The ESRC devolved administration of its postgraduate awards to the University, represented by the Student Registry. We will now handle payments to students and colleges, and all changes to awards.

The contact for students is the Scholarship Administrator.

Students should become familiar with the most recent 'ESRC Student Funding Guide' below. This contains the 'Terms and Conditions' of your awards.

The following are useful sections:

  • The finances and length of time ESRC studentships may cover
  • Tax
  • Disabled Student's Allowance
  • Suspension, maternity/paternity/adoption leave
  • Change of status (e.g. from full-time to part-time)
  • Termination

Further information

Students and Supervisors should send applications for changes to their award to Scholarship Administrator, who has the authority to approve such changes on behalf of the ESRC.

You will find a full list of possible changes to awards and extra allowances in the ESRC Postgraduate Funding Guide. Applications will be considered strictly according to the eligibility criteria set down by the ESRC in this document. (Note: there is a separate Guide for students whose awards commenced prior to October 2011, and those on the Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) programme from October 2011).

Progress
To continue your award from year to year (doctoral only), your Supervisor must provide a satisfactory report of your progress on the online system: Cambridge Graduate Supervision Reporting System (by July).

 

Payments

'Full' Award

You will receive:

  • University Fees
  • Once the +3 element of a studentship has started, all students are eligible for a Research Training Support Grant (RTSG), accessed via your Department
  • Maintenance grant (£14,553 full-time rate for 2017/18; part-time rate is 60% of this)
  • You can also apply for contributions towards the costs of overseas fieldwork and other training activities

'Fees-Only' Award

You will receive:

  • University Fees
  • Once the +3 element of a studentship has started, all students are eligible for a Research Training Support Grant (RTSG), accessed via your Department

Maintenance payments
Full ESRC award holders will receive their maintenance quarterly by BACS paid directly into their UK bank account. In order to receive your first instalment of your award you will need to provide your UK bank account details and register in person at the Student Registry at the start of Michaelmas Term.

Fee payments
All award holders have their combined fees paid for by their ESRC award. Colleges are notified by us that you will be funded in this way but if you receive a fee bill from your College please advise them to redirect it to the Student Registry.

Overpayment
If you suspend or withdraw from study during your award, you are not entitled to any maintenance or fee payments from the date you intermit/withdraw from study. If any funds have been paid to you in advance, you must refund the ESRC (via the SR) immediately. See 'Suspension of award' below.

Maintenance Payments Schedule:

Expected payment date To cover period
On or around 1st October 1 Oct - 31 Dec
On or around 1st January 1 Jan - 31 Mar
On or around 1st April 1 Apr - 30 Jun
On or around 1st July 1 Jul - 30 Sep

 

If you have not received payment when expected, please contact the Scholarship Administrator.

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Research training support grant (RTSG)

Once the +3 element of a studentship has started, all students are eligible for a Research Training Support Grant (RTSG). Fees-only students are eligible only if they commenced in 2013 or later.

The RTSG is intended to be used to pay for expenses which the student's Supervisor/Department deems to be in direct support of a student's research, such as, but not restricted to:

  • UK Fieldwork Expenses
  • UK, EU and Overseas conferences and Summer Schools
  • Language Training Courses usually undertaken in the UK prior to an Overseas Fieldwork Trip
  • Reimbursement of Interpreters, Guides, Assistants
  • Survey costs, e.g. printing, stationery, telephone calls
  • Purchase of small items of equipment e.g. cameras, tape recorders, films, cassettes or telephone and photocopying facilities in the Department/Faculty
  • Gifts for local informants

Supervisors should show support for each application by countersigning the department claim form/ESRC DTC Discretionary Fund application form.

Students are fully entitled to use this grant for these purposes, and should refer to their Department/Faculty ESRC contact for details of how to make a claim.

Closing date for applications to the ESRC DTC Discretionary Fund - please see ESRC DTC website. Please be aware that restrictions apply to assistance from the ESRC DTC Discretionary Fund for conference attendance.

For ESRC Confirmation of Expenses form see below*

 

ESRC Doctoral Training Centre for Social Sciences

Note for Faculties/Departments

Shortly after the start of the academic year you will be asked to invoice the Student Registry for the RTSG for your ESRC-funded students. You will also be asked to keep a record of the amount of RTSG each student has spent over the course of their award.

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Overseas Fieldwork and Difficult Language Training

  • Whilst undertaking overseas fieldwork, in addition to your normal stipend you may apply to receive an additional allowance to contribute to your flight and any extra costs. Funding is available from the University Fieldwork Fund, and the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre.
  • Students may apply for up to 12 months Difficult Language Training if you need to acquire or develop a working ability with a difficult language in order to carry out your research. You must have included the period of language learning in your original research proposal. If successful students will receive an allowance in addition to their normal stipend and a paid extension to their award to allow the extra time required to learn the language. The Postgraduate Funding Guide gives guidance on categories of languages and the length of extension that may be awarded.
  • To request this funding, apply to one of the termly competitions, with a fully-costed proposal. Applications are made through the online application form on the ESRC DTC website - please see the section on 'Support for Overseas Fieldwork' - Applications are considered three times a year; please consult the ESRC DTC website for these dates.
  • You will also need to apply for Leave to Work Away From Cambridge from the University (via CamSIS Self-Service), for the duration of the overseas fieldwork.
  • You should also apply for University Fieldwork Funding please visit Leave to Work Away From Cambridge for information on how to apply.

For ESRC Confirmation of Expenses form see below*

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Overseas Institutional Visit

Please be aware that applications for financial assistance towards Overseas Institutional Visits are temporarily suspended and will re-open as a competitive process in Easter Term 2016.

  • Please visit the ESRC DTC for information on how to apply to this scheme. The DTC may be able to assist with the costs of your visit, including travel and subsistence.
  • Apply with a fully-costed proposal through the online application form on the ESRC  DTC website.
  • Please note that not all applications to the ESRC are successful, so although we encourage you to apply, you should be aware that funding for your visit is by no means guaranteed.
  • If your application is successful you will also need to apply for intermission – please see ‘Suspension (Intermission of Award) below.
  • If you wish to apply for University Fieldwork Funding please visit Leave to Work Away From Cambridge for information on how to apply.

For ESRC Confirmation of Expenses form see below*

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Collaboration with external organisations

  • ESRC encourages DTC students to undertake collaboration with non-academic organisations, to gain experience of social science in action and to enhance career opportunities. The DTC may be able to assist with the costs of undertaking collaboration.
  • Apply to one of the termly competitions, with a fully-costed proposal. Applications are made through the online application form on the ESRC DTC website.
  • You must ensure the ESRC DTC is aware in advance of any collaborative activity you wish undertake.
  • If your application is successful you will also need to apply for intermission – please see ‘Suspension (Intermission of Award) below.

*ESRC Confirmation of Expenses Form

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Suspension (Intermission of Award)

You may suspend your award for up to 12 months for: medical reasons, to take up employment related to your research, to undertake an Overseas Institutional Visit or to undertake collaboration with external organisations.  Please contact the Scholarship Administrator if you wish to suspend your award; please also apply to intermit via your CamSIS self-service page.

If you are applying for intermission to undertake collaboration with an external organisation or to undertake an Overseas Institutional Visit, then you will continue to receive maintenance payments.

Intermission in order to take up employment related to your research or for medical reasons will result in your maintenance payments being suspended.

Applications to intermit can take some time to be fully approved, so please inform the Scholarships Administrator about your ESRC award as soon as you think you may have to suspend, so that we can stop the next maintenance payment - otherwise you will have to return any overpayments to the ESRC (via the Student Registry).

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Maternity/Paternity Leave

Maternity Leave

The allowance is 6 months' fully paid extension and up to 6 months' unpaid suspension of your award directly afterwards.

There is a separate application process for maternity/paternity leave in addition to your University 'application to intermit'. Please complete the application form below and submit it to the Scholarships Administrator at the Student Registry.

Please also send a copy of your MATB1 form to the Scholarships Administrator.

You will also need to apply for University 'Intermission of Studies'. Application to intermit can take some time to be fully approved.

Paternity Leave

Please refer to the Research Council Terms and Conditions (http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/funding/grantstcs/) for information about entitlement.  The usual entitlement is two weeks paid leave.

Shared Parental Leave/ additional Parental Leave

Please note the maximum paid Maternity/Paternity leave is 6 months in total across both partners combined.

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Permanent Withdrawal

If you need to leave your course you must take 2 actions:

  1. Initiate 'Withdrawal' from University form from your Self-Service. The date of withdrawal will mark the end of eligibility for ESRC award benefits.
  2. Contact the Student Registry by e-mail immediately to signal your intention. Scholarships Administrator will discuss the implications with you and advise you how to avoid repayments (as maintenance is paid in advance).

Once an award is terminated it is not possible to reinstate an award.

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Change of Status (e.g. from full-time to part-time)

The circumstances under which you can change your status award are given in the most recent ESRC's 'Student Funding Guide' document, available at the top of this page.

  • Apply via the University and we will assess this application

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Submitting Your Thesis

Please notify the Scholarship Administrator  if you intend to submit your thesis prior to your award end date, so that we can advise you on any implications this may have on your maintenance and fees. Please note – you are normally not eligible for maintenance after you have submitted your thesis.

The ESRC requires you to submit your thesis within one year of the end date of your award. If for any reason you are unable to meet this deadline please contact the Scholarship Administrator as soon as possible. It may be possible to apply to the ESRC (via the Student Registry) for an extension to your submission deadline, but this is usually only granted in exceptional circumstances.

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Disability Support Allowance

Please make contact with the Disability Resource Centre to discuss your needs.

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