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Cambridge students

 

Postgraduate Funding - Frequently Asked Questions

(For undergraduate funding queries please refer to the Cambridge Bursaries pages)

 

  • Applying for Funding during Admission

  1. How do I apply for funding?
  2. Is funding means-tested?
  3. What funding is available to part-time and mature students?
  4. I have not heard anything from Admissions regarding my application for funding through the Application Portal. Should I contact them?
  5. My Financial Tracker on CamSIS states "Award offered". Does this mean my award has been confirmed?
  6. What happens if I am offered full funding from more than one source?
  7. I have been offered a place at another University. Can I transfer my scholarship?
  8. I have been offered funding. Do I need to complete another Financial Undertaking Form, now my financial situation has changed?
  9. Can I hold more than one scholarship simultaneously?
  10. I have been offered a fees only award. Can I apply for other funding?
  11. I have applied for Gates funding. How do I find out about the progress of my funding application?
  12. I would like to apply for a college scholarship, but I haven't yet been accepted by a college. Do I need to wait until I am accepted before I apply?
  13. Am I eligible to apply for scholarships from colleges other than the one which has accepted me?
  14. I have decided to withdraw my application from Cambridge. As well as withdrawing my application on CamSIS, should I also advise the funding bodies I am applying to for funding?
  15. I want to defer my PhD start date. Can my award start date be deferred?
  • Applying for Funding as a Current Student

  1. How do I look for funding as a current student?
  2. I am in my first year of my PhD and have a Central Trust Fund scholarship. Will my funding be automatically extended to my second year?
  3. I am in my last year of my PhD. Can my funding be extended to include the writing up year?
  4. I would like to apply for the Jebb Travel Grant. How do I do this?
  5. I would like to apply for the Mary Euphrasia Mosley, Worts, Bartle and Frere Funds. How do I do this?
  6. I would like to apply for the Schiff Fund. How do I do this?
  7. I would like to apply for a Henry and Procter Fellowship. How do I do this?
  8. How do I apply for University Fieldwork Funding?
  • Applying for Hardship Funding

  1. I have a medical condition for which I need funding for medical costs. Are there specific funds for this?
  2. I have children. Can I apply for funding to cover childcare costs?
  3. I am a postgraduate student. How do I apply for hardship funding?
  4. I am an undergraduate student. How do I apply for hardship funding?
  5. How much money can I apply for?
  6. Am I eligible to apply for hardship funds?
  7. I am an MPhil student. Can I apply?
  8. I am in my first year of my PhD. Can I apply?
  9. Is there a limit to the number of times I can apply?
  10. I have been rejected for hardship funding. Can I apply again?
  11. Can I apply retrospectively?
  12. I am applying for a postgraduate degree. Can I apply?
  13. How do I appeal against the decision of the Hardship Committee?
  14. I have been successful in my application. When and how will I receive the money?
  • Paying Fees

  1. If I am the holder of an award, how are my fees paid?
  2. If I am self-funded, how do I pay my fees?
  3. As a PhD student, when am I eligible for exemption of fees and how do I apply?
  • Award Holders

  1. I am the holder of an award. When will I receive my maintenance payments?
  2. Can I receive my maintenance payment early?
  3. I want to submit my thesis before my funding end date. Will I need to return any money?
  4. I want to extend my submission date.  What do I need to do?
  5. Can my award be extended into my writing up year?
  6. Can I suspend my award?

 

Applying for Funding during Admission

 

How do I apply for funding?

Complete the online application before the funding deadline that applies to you.  Please note the funding deadline is often well before the course application deadline.

For 2020/21 entry the deadlines are 3 December 2019 or 7 January 2020.  

When completing the online application, please tick that you wish to be considered for funding in the Funding Application section.  This will automatically enter you into the Postgraduate Funding Competition.  If you wish to be considered for specific funding you can add this in the drop down that appears.  This includes the Gates Cambridge Scholarship.  If you wish to be considered for Gates you must tick yes and explain how you meet the criteria.

To search for available funding you should use the Student Funding Search

Is funding means-tested?

No, postgraduate funding is not means tested.

What funding is available to part-time and mature students?

All funding is advertised through the Student Funding Search

I have not heard anything from Admissions regarding my application for funding through the Application Portal. Should I contact them?

No. Applicants who ticked that they wanted to be considered for funding will be automatically considered through the Postgraduate Funding Competition. This also applies to Gates Cambridge.

Successful applicants will be contacted from March onwards by the Student Funding Team and funding bodies with details of the funding secured.

If applicants have not received an email by the end of July, they should assume that their application has not been successful.  Unsuccessful applicants will not be contacted.

My Financial Tracker on CamSIS states "Award offered". Does this mean my award has been confirmed?

Yes. CamSIS wording referring to funding "offered" means that you have been offered funding from a funding body.

What happens if I am offered full funding from more than one source?

You should always notify all your sponsors of the scholarships or bursaries that you have been offered. Some sponsors may reduce their offer of funding accordingly, and these funds can be used to sponsor more students.

I have been offered a place at another University. Can I transfer my scholarship?

The terms and conditions of your funding offer will specify whether your offer of funding is transferable. Most scholarships provided by the University of Cambridge will only be tenable at the University of Cambridge.

I have been offered funding.  Do I need to complete another Financial Undertaking Form, now my financial situation has changed?

Yes, you will be required to complete a second form.  This will automatically be sent to you by Graduate Admissions.

Failure to complete Financial Undertaking Forms will lead to delays in payment of awards due to admission not being confirmed.

Can I hold more than one scholarship/studentship simultaneously?

Please check the terms and conditions of your award. In most cases the funding body will request to be notified if you receive any additional scholarships.

I have been offered a fees only award. Can I apply for other funding?

Yes, you will still be considered for maintenance bursaries even if you have already been offered a fees only award. Awards can be shared, with fees from one funding body and a maintenance bursary from another.

However, it is not possible to hold two fees only awards simultaneously.

I have applied for Gates funding. How do I find out about the progress of my funding application?

All Gates Cambridge applicants will be contacted by Gates Cambridge with a final decision on their application. We therefore request that candidates do not contact Gates for progress updates. Candidates who apply during round 1 (US round) will hear by late December; candidates who apply during round 2 (International round) will hear by mid-March. 

I would like to apply for a college scholarship, but I haven't yet been accepted by a college. Do I need to wait until I am accepted before I apply?

We would encourage you to apply for a college scholarship prior to being offered membership by that college, as some applicants may not be offered membership by a college until close to the start of term, when it is too late to apply for a scholarship.

Am I eligible to apply for scholarships from colleges other than the one which has accepted me?

You may apply for scholarships at any college (or all of them if you wish to), however some colleges' scholarship criteria state that you must make their college the first choice on your application form, so you should consider this prior to making an application. It is normal practice, but not guaranteed, that an offer of a college scholarship will also include college membership. If you are offered membership by college X and later receive a scholarship from college Y, then college X will usually arrange (once you have accepted) for you to be transferred to the college which has offered the scholarship.

I have decided to withdraw my application from Cambridge. As well as withdrawing my application on CamSIS, should I also advise the funding bodies I have applied to for funding?

Yes, please contact the funding bodies, advising that you no longer wish to be considered for funding.

I want to defer my PhD start date. Can my award start date be deferred?

It is possible to request a deferral to Lent Term (January) with the agreement of your funding body and department.  If your funding body or department refuses to defer the award, you will have to commence your studies in Michaelmas Term (October) or risk losing your award and place on your course.   

 

Applying for Funding as a Current Student

 

How do I look for funding as a current student?

All funding is advertised through the Student Funding Search.  Certain central funds require an application form which can be found here.

I am in the first year of my PhD and have a Central Trust Fund scholarship. Will my funding be automatically extended to my second year?

You will be required to complete a progress report at the beginning of each calendar year.  This report will need to be supported by your supervisor.  Once approved your funding may be extended for the next academic year.

I am in the last year of my PhD. Can my funding be extended to include the writing up year?

You should consult the terms and conditions for your fund but funding does not usually include the writing up year of a PhD.

I would like to apply for the Jebb Travel Grant. How do I do this?

The Jebb Travel Grant is not currently available.

I would like to apply for the Mary Euphrasia Mosley, Worts, Bartle and Frere Funds. How do I do this?

This is through an application form which is located here.

I would like to apply for the Schiff Fund. How do I do this?

This is through an application form which is located here.

I would like to apply for a Henry, Choate or Procter Fellowship. How do I do this?

Information about these fellowships is located here.

How do I apply for University Fieldwork Funding?

You should visit your School website for details of how and when to apply.  You may need to provide details of the proposed fieldwork and a breakdown of costs.

You are also required to apply for Leave to Work Away and no funds are released until Leave to Work Away has been approved.

Queries about University Fieldwork Funding need to be directed to your School or Department rather than the Student Funding Team.

 

Applying for Hardship Funding

I have a medical condition for which I need funding for medical costs. Are there specific funds for this?

There is a specific fund for medical costs, the Crane's Charity.  Applications are accepted throughout the year and require the support of your tutor.

Please note that applications to Crane's take several weeks to process.

I have children. Can I apply for funding to cover childcare costs?

Yes, please visit the Childcare Office website for further details. 

I am a postgraduate student. How do I apply for hardship funding?

Before applying you should speak to your College Postgraduate Tutor. They will advise as to whether it is appropriate to apply to the Postgraduate Hardship Fund.

To apply, use the online application form which is open during the four annual rounds.  Once you have completed the form it will automatically forward to your Supervisor and Postgraduate Tutor to provide supporting statements.

The deadlines for students in 2019/20 are:

29 November, 13 March, 12 June and 11 September

Please note - When initially planning your finances you should not include hardship funding as part of your plans. To be successful in achieving hardship funding your circumstances need to be unforeseen.

I am an undergraduate student. How do I apply for hardship funding?

Please see the Undergraduate Students page for details on how to apply to the Bell, Abbott and Barnes Funds. Please note that the below information relates to the Postgraduate Hardship Fund only. 

How much money can I apply for?

You may apply for up to £2000 but please be aware that you may not be awarded the full amount that you apply for. 

Am I eligible to apply for hardship funds?

Please see the eligibility criteria for hardship funds here.

The funds are available only to those experiencing hardship as a result of unforeseen changes to their financial situation. 

I am an MPhil student. Can I apply?

Yes, MPhil students are eligible.  For a list of eligible courses please look here.

I am in my first year of my PhD. Can I apply?

Yes, first year PhD students may apply.  However, students experiencing funding collapse early in their studies may be better advised to consider an intermission.

Is there a limit to the number of times I can apply?

You may only apply for hardship funds once per year if you have been successful in receiving an award.

I have been rejected for hardship funding. Can I apply again?

If you feel that your circumstances have changed and your supervisor and tutor support a re-application then you may re-apply.  However there is no guarantee that you will be successful the second time.

Can I apply retrospectively?

Applications should be made at the point you realise you need support to finance current and future needs.  The committee will only consider historical periods of hardship in extreme circumstances.

I am applying for a postgraduate degree. Can I apply?

The hardship funds are only available to current students who find themselves in hardship during their course.

How do I appeal against the decision of the Hardship Committee?

If you wish to appeal against the decision of the hardship committee please contact postgraduatefunding@admin.cam.ac.uk

I have been successful in my application. When and how will I receive the money?

Following the notification of the outcome of each competition, payments are made via BACS directly to a student's college. Successful applicants should liaise with their college finance office to collect the award. Awards will be made in January, April, July and October.

 

Paying Fees

 

If I am the holder of an award, how are my fees paid?

The Combined Fee is paid directly to your college at the start of term by your funding body. If you receive an invoice in error, please return it to your college and they will forward it to your funding body.

If I am self-funded, how do I pay my fees?

The college will invoice you for a payment and you should liaise with your college directly for information on how to make this payment. Any queries regarding your invoice should also be directed to your college.

As a PhD student, when am I eligible for exemption from fees and how do I apply?

PhD students are liable to pay the University Composition Fee (UCF) for the minimum number of terms (9 terms full-time, 15 terms part-time), after this time you will normally be automatically exempted (there is no need to apply).

Exceptions to this rule are made if:

1. You are making substantial use of University facilities, beyond the minimum period.

2. Your PhD course is of longer duration (applies to certain courses in Physics).

3. Your funding extends beyond this point.

 

Award Holders

 

I am the holder of an award. When will I receive my maintenance payments?

In general, maintenance payments are made quarterly so as to reach the recipient's account by the following:

1 October, 1 January, 1 April, 1 July

If you are on a course which is less than 12 months, you will receive payments on the first three dates only.

Please note that there are some exceptions to the above, so please check your award letter.

Can I receive my maintenance payment early?

No, this not possible.

I want to submit my thesis before my funding end date. Will I need to return any money?

Yes, any funds received from the day after the early submission date to the end of that quarter must be returned and no further funding will be received.

I want to extend my submission date.  What do I need to do?

You should apply via self service for an Extension to Submission Date at least three months but no more than six months in advance of your present submission date.

You may need permission from your funding body for an extension.  It is your responsibility to check with them what they require from you and if they set any penalties.

If you are a Research Council award holder your application must have been approved prior to your Research Council submission date. Retrospective Research Council extensions to submission deadlines cannot be considered. You may also find that you now have two submission deadlines, one with the Research Council and another with the University, due to differences in Terms and Conditions.

If you are an ESRC award holder you need to submit an application to the ESRC via postgraduatefunding@admin.cam.ac.uk three months prior to your submission deadline.

For further information please seen the link above or email postgraduatefunding@admin.cam.ac.uk.

Can my award be extended into my writing up year?

Research Council awards cannot be extended into the writing up year. 

For all other awards please check your award letter.

Can I suspend my award?

Yes, it is possible to suspend your award. To do this, please apply for an intermission via self service.