Research Degrees: Funding, Scholarships and Bursaries
There are various sources of funding available to research students, but these tend to be extremely competitive. If you wish to be considered for any source of funding, you should apply as early as possible. Our Postgraduate Research Administrator can provide guidance when you are considering a funding application, so we recommend that you discuss your plans with us.
Information on all sources of funding for the new academic year normally becomes available in the previous November.
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the main source of funding for Home and EU postgraduate students. (To qualify for maintenance, EU students need to have been resident in the UK for three years.) The Politics studentships funded by ESRC are within the Doctoral Training Centre, organised with the Departments of Politics in Leeds and York. In 2012-13 the Department of Politics offered three ESRC funded studentships, but this level changes every year depending on funding from ESRC. Applications will be welcomed from both students wishing to follow either the '1+3' or '+3' routes.
ESRC studentships provide broadly based research training, allowing you to undertake doctoral research in a specialist area of politics/international relations. This is built around four complementary strands:
- generic social science methods training (taught in conjunction with other leading Social Science departments within the University)
- politics/international relations methods training
- specialist training pathway in one area of politics/international relations
- a dissertation
If you are interested in applying for an ESRC studentship, contact the Postgraduate Research Administrator in the first instance.
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) offers funding to those interested in studying political philosophy or the history of political ideas. Postgraduate students may be eligible for this funding, depending on their proposed course of study. Most commonly, AHRC funding will be granted to students on the MA in Political Theory.
If you are interested in applying for an AHRC studentship, contact the Postgraduate Research Administrator in the first instance.
The University of Sheffield offers a variety of scholarships for Home, EU and International students. In addition, many external organisations, such as charities, foundations and trusts, can provide financial support for postgraduate students. Please note that students can only apply for a scholarship if they have been offered a place to study for an MPhil or PhD at the University of Sheffield.
University Fees Scholarships
The Department is allocated a number of 3-year fees scholarships which are made available to students who wish to undertake research. To be considered for one of these scholarships, you should contact the Postgraduate Research Administrator in the first instance. You must be accepted by the Department before you can be nominated for funding.
Postgraduate Research Travel Fund
The cost of fieldwork for postgraduate research can be significant, particularly when this involves travel overseas. The Department therefore provides a small fund to contribute towards the travel and subsistence costs of fieldwork. Postgraduates have the opportunity to submit an application for support prior to undertaking the fieldwork. There are two opportunities to apply to this fund each year, which are publicised within the Department.
Conference Support Fund
The Department of Politics offers a small fund to staff and PhD students who wish to give original research papers at major national or international conferences. The fund subsidises conference fees, accommodation and travel. Further details can be found on the application form, which you can download at the top right of this page.
Subject to certain considerations of progress in your research, you will be offered the opportunity to teach undergraduates in seminars. Department policy is that such teaching is not normally undertaken in the first year of research, and is restricted to a maximum of two or three hours a week. Students who undertake teaching in the Department are required to attend a teacher training module.
Many students work part-time alongside their studies. The University of Sheffield’s Union of Students runs a job shop which holds details of job vacancies and can help you to find work.
We recommend that you discuss your plans to apply for funding with our Postgraduate Research Administrator at an early stage.
Postgraduate Research Administrator
Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 1640