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Please note that this application process is new for 2022. We thank you in advance for your patience whilst we adjust to using the new process. 


Prior to starting their course, all postgraduate students are expected to have arranged sufficient funding for the duration of their studies. It is possible, however, that students could encounter unforeseen financial difficulties during this time and may be eligible to apply for hardship funding.

The Postgraduate Hardship Fund provides assistance to postgraduate students in financial need. The awards are intended to support students who would otherwise be unable to complete their research or study. The scheme is funded by the University and Trust Fund donations (the Lundgren Fund and Harry Desai Fund). 

Students are expected to have discussed their financial circumstances with their College Tutor prior to applying. 

Applications for thesis binding costs are considered through the Postgraduate Hardship Fund. Please note that to be eligible for this funding, students must be in unforeseen financial hardship. This scheme is partly funded through the Malati Sharma Memorial Fund. 


These eligibility criteria should be considered in addition to the General Eligibility Principles and Guidance of the University's Hardship Funds

All registered postgraduate students at the University of Cambridge are eligible (with the exception of students studying ICE Non-Award bearing courses and Higher Doctorates), so long as they are in immediate need of help for financial hardship (speculative applications are not permitted). 

Please note that:

  • Students experiencing a collapse in funding early in their studies will have to show that the circumstances leading to their financial hardship are unforeseen as it is not within the remit of the Fund to provide support to students who did not have a sufficient financial plan in place from the outset. All students are advised at the start of their course to ensure sufficient funds are available for the full duration of their course and are required to sign a Financial Undertaking Form.  
  • Students who have completed their course or submitted their thesis for examination (applicable to PhD students only if not applying for assistance with thesis binding costs) are not eligible to apply for financial support. 
  • If your course is part funded or fully funded you are expected to have approached your funding sponsor for support before submitting an application the Postgraduate Hardship Fund. More information can be found here.  
  • Students should have explored all loan options available to them before applying for financial support.
  • The Fund does not normally provide assistance to PGR students beyond their fourth year as students are expected to submit their thesis within four years.  

How much support is available?

The Fund provides awards of up to £2,000 to assist students with maintenance and rental costs. If successful, students can only make one application in any academic year. 

How to apply 

Please ensure you complete the following steps before completing the application form:

  1. Talk to your Academic Supervisor and College Tutor about applying 
  2. Read the eligibility criteria above to ensure you are eligible
  3. Read the application guidance

Guidance for Supervisors and Tutors supporting student applications for hardship funding. 

Word copy of application form 

Application Timetable for 2021/22


Applications open

Applications close

Deadline for support statements

Outcomes communicated to student

MT 2021

5 October

9 November

23 November


LT 2022

18 January

15 February

1 March


ET 2022

26 April

24 May

7 June


Long Vacation 2022 (for PhD students)*

5 July

9 August

23 August


*A long vacation round is available for PhD students who are in need of financial support over the summer as well as Masters students who are in extreme financial hardship and have not completed their course. 


Please contact the Student Funding and Fee Policy Team using the email address if you have any questions about your eligibility and the application process.