skip to content
 

Please note that from May 2018, all PhD students are eligible to apply to the Postgraduate Hardship Fund.  This includes PhD students in their first year of research and is a change to the previous criteria.


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 will encounter unforeseen financial difficulties.

In such circumstances you should consult your college Graduate Tutor as soon as possible. They will talk with you about your financial situation and provide advice about appropriate sources of financial assistance. In genuine cases of unforeseeable hardship they may seek help from other funding bodies. Please note, however, that if you run out of money early in your course it is unlikely that the University will be able to provide sufficient funding for you to complete your course.

Your Graduate Tutor may advise you to apply for a Postgraduate Hardship Award. This scheme aims to support students who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of unexpected changes in their financial circumstances. 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) and administered by the Student Registry.

Please note that:

  • awards are not normally made for more than £2000
  • all PhD students are eligible (including PhD students in their first year)
  • applicants must currently be in financial hardship (speculative applications are not permitted)
  • applicants must be able to demonstrate tha their hardship is a result of unexpected changes in their financial circumstances, rather than a result of insufficient funding being available from the outset of the course
  • applications for thesis binding costs will be considered by the Postgraduate Hardship Fund, rather than by application through college tutors (see the eligibility criteria and guidance below for further details).

How to apply

1. Read the eligibility criteria and guidance.

2. Make an appointment to discuss your financial difficulties with your Graduate Tutor.

3. Complete the online Hardship Awards Application by the relevant deadline (table below).

4. Your application form will automatically be sent to your supervisor (who will be required to comment on your academic progress) followed by your Graduate Tutor (who will be asked to comment on your financial circumstances).

5. Applications are assessed by the Student Registry and applicants are informed of the outcome of their application.

Timetable (from Michaelmas Term 2018)

  Applications open Deadline for application submission Deadline for supervisor comments Deadline for Graduate Tutor comments Awards announced and payments made
Michaelmas Term 16 October 30 November 7 December 14 December January
Lent Term 1 February 17 March 24 March 31 March April
Easter Term 1 May 16 June 23 June 30 June July
Long Vacation 1 August 16 September 23 September 30 September October

Guidance for supervisors and tutors

Supervisors and Graduate Tutors who are providing references for applicants should familiarise themselves with the eligibility criteria and guidance above. In particular, they should note that applications cannot be accepted if either supervisor or Graduate Tutor does not supply a reference. The attention of Graduate Tutors is also drawn to the list of documents that may be requested as evidence of a student's financial hardship. The information on this page replaces any previous guidance referees may have received.

Contact

If you have any unanswered queries after reading the information above and the eligibility criteria and guidance, please contact graduatefunding@admin.cam.ac.uk