Researching Postgraduate Funding

Advice for applying for postgraduate scholarships and funding:

  • Check all the criteria and ensure you can meet them
  • Check the required format and tailor each application individually
  • Stand out and be personal - ensure you explain your own individual situation and why you feel you would be a worthy recipient. Remember you are likely to be competing against others for support
  • Budget - provide all the financial information requested; be clear and realistic about costs, and show that you have considered them carefully. Where appropriate, show what else you are doing to cover expenses yourself - eg working part-time, using savings, etc
  • Make a realistic request – consider the size of the organisation to whom you are applying and make a realistic request. Most small charities and trusts are likely to give out hundreds rather than thousands of pounds
  • Be timely and patient - check deadlines and consider that many small organisations may only meet a couple of times a year to consider requests
  • Say thank you. If you do receive any funding, be sure to write to say thanks and give a brief record of how their support will make a difference to you and your studies

Sources of information

The internet always provides a good starting place for any research, and the following websites may prove useful.

Funding

Postgraduate websites

Money information

The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding

As Falmouth is a subscribing university, you can access the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding Online: postgraduate-funding.com/gateway

You'll need to register on the site and, when prompted, enter the Falmouth University PIN. This and other information is available from the Student Funding Team:

Tel: 01326 213744/255159
Email: studentfunding@falmouth.ac.uk

Private trusts and charities

There are hundreds of private trusts and charities out there; many are very localised and niche, but they are certainly worth researching as potential funders.

To do a paper-based search, you could also visit HE careers centres - either at Falmouth or another university near you - which should hold reference books such as The Grants Register and The Directory of Grant Making Trusts. These will list numerous funding sources with all manner of eligibility criteria and application processes and deadlines. You'll need to spend some time searching for any that you may be eligible for.

Other useful literature to look out for includes the Education Grants Directory and the Prospects Postgraduate Funding Guide.

The charity Family Action has an online funding database: family-action.org.uk

All postgraduate students

  • Prospects (guide to all aspects of postgraduate funding): prospects.ac.uk/funding
  • Scholarship Search (funding search tool): scholarship-search.org.uk
  • Postgraduate Studentships (funding search): postgraduatestudentships.co.uk
  • Student Cash Point (a new site, with a funding search tool): studentcashpoint.co.uk
  • FunderFinder: FunderFinder is a database application available in our careers office, and Connexions centres (for under 25s only). This database isn't available online. You'll be asked a variety of questions relating to your course, personal and financial circumstances and family history, which the database uses to search for likely funding sources.

International students

Students with a disability

  • SKILL (National Bureau for Students with Disabilities): skill.org.uk

Info service: 020 7450 0620
Voice: 0800 328 5050 (freephone)
Text: 0800 068 2422 (freetext)
Email: info@skill.org.uk

Educational Grants Advisory Services (EGAS)

EGAS is primarily concerned with helping those students who are ineligible for statutory funding. They hold a database containing details of funds available from various charities, trust and bursary schemes. Foundation, undergraduate and postgraduate students can use the service they provide.

Send a letter requesting a free funding search application form and include an SAE. When EGAS receives the completed application form and SAE, they will search the database for details of any funding you may be eligible to receive and forward the results to you.

An application form for this free search can be obtained from the EGAS website: family-action.org.uk

Literature

  • The Directory of Grant Making Trusts. Published by the Charities Aid Foundation, this directory enables grant seekers to search for trusts that might aid them in funding study. Available from many libraries
  • The Grants Register. Provides information on the availability of, and eligibility for, postgraduate and professional funding. Each entry gives details of subject area, eligibility, purpose, numbers offered, frequency, value, length of study, establishments and application procedures. Full contact details appear with each awarding organisation or individual award
  • The Education Grants Directory. This title provides information on almost 1,400 sources of financial help for students in need. Its listing section includes national and general sources of funds, local sources, statutory funds and student grants, company sponsorship, career development loans and LEA funding. There is also guidance on selecting the right source of funds for your needs, and advice on how to make an application
  • Prospects Postgraduate Funding Guide: The Essential Guide to Funding Further Study (Paperback) ISBN: 1840161299