Loughborough Doctoral College

Funding and Studentships

Doctoral Researcher Support Fund

The Doctoral College will consider funding requests from Doctoral Researchers who require funding to support the costs associated with their PhD. The funds are primarily intended to support opportunities for researchers to enhance their doctoral training experience and increase future employability.

Funding will be awarded on a competitive basis and could support activities such as

  • presenting at conferences,
  • collaborating with partner institutions, industry, or other external organisations
  • Unplanned / unexpected travel or field work additional to the original PhD project plan
  • specific training including workshops and summer schools

Doctoral Researchers are expected to have first exhausted alternative funding sources, such as Research Training Support Grants (RTSG), industrial funding, project grants, School funding, funds from the supervisory team or Research area, where available. Doctoral Researchers who are self-funded with no access to alternative funding will be prioritised.

Please note, Doctoral researcher support funds are limited and prioritised awards will typically be made at a maximum £500 to support activity taking place within the UK, or £1,500 for international activity. Funds may be used to contribute to partial payment of an activity where costs exceed the schemes maximum allowance.


What do I need to know?

Before requesting funding, researchers are asked to discuss their plans and gain the support of their supervisor, establishing clear links to your research or training needs.

The Doctoral Researcher Support Fund panel will review applications at the following times:

Application Deadline Panel Review meeting  Funding Period
26th February 2023 Week commencing 27th February 2023  
23rd April 2023 Week commencing 24th April 2023 For activity taking place no later than 31st July 2023.
2023/24 DRSF Funding
18th June 2023 Week commencing 19th June 2023 For activity taking place from 1st August 2023.


It is important that you plan your activity well in advance to meet the funding dates above. Applications may only be considered outside of the published timescales in exceptional circumstances.

Funding awards will be prioritised for students in their later years of study and for those who are self-funding with no access to funding from other sources. Funding will not be provided to students in their R3 extension period.

Please note that expenditure occurs when the travel/training/conference takes place and not the date of ordering or booking. This means that awards from the 2022/23 budget can only be used for activities taking place up until 31st July 2023. Activities after this date will require funding from the 2023/24 budget so please ensure you select the correct appliction form below. 

Travel and accommodation should be consistent with the needs of activity and booked using the University’s approved Business Travel supplier. The guiding principle is that the most cost-efficient manner which meets the needs should be selected.

Please do not make any purchases or bookings using your own money. You will not be permitted to retrospectively claim expenses for any activity or purchase against the fund where the purchasing procedures have not been followed.

There is the opportunity to apply for this fund more than once but we will only award one funding request over the lifetime of your PhD, so please be mindful of this when submitting an application.


I want to apply, what do I need to do?

Refer to the application form link below and note the application deadlines for the next available funding panel.

Please be specific about why you are requesting funding and make sure you have the support of your supervisor.

The Doctoral College will usually communicate the outcome of your funding application within a week of the panel date.

If funding is approved, you will need to make the relevant bookings though your local school finance team. Further information will be given to successful applicants.


To apply for funding from the 2022/2023 budget (any activity commencing no later than July 2023), please complete the Doctoral Researcher Support Fund application form 2022/2023


To apply for funding from the 2023/2024 budget (any activity commencing after 1st August 2023), please complete the Doctoral researcher Support Fund application form 2023/2024


Frequently Asked Questions

I need to undertake specific field work or purchase consumables to undertake work that is essential to my research, am I eligible to apply for this funding?

Whilst we will consider all applications, we would not expect to see claims for equipment or consumables, or funding requests to undertake specific field work that is crucial to your research. This type of expenditure should have been considered (and funding provision made) at the outset of your research.

Should an unexpected opportunity arise to undertake additional research activity connected to your PhD project, you should detail the benefit it would bring to your development and to the University in terms of collaborating with industry or research led institutions.