5.4.1 Student Support Funds
College support funds are also available for those who meet unexpected financial difficulties during their course. The need for support is difficult to define in a precise way, but for the purposes of assessing eligibility for interest-free loans or grants, it is taken to mean: ‘being unable to meet the reasonable (in the College’s view) costs of accommodation, maintenance, study, and living expenses, whilst having drawn fully on normally available resources, and not having incurred any foreseeable unreasonable expenditure’. Postgraduate students completing a course with a research element are encouraged to complete their thesis in a timely manner within the period for which they have been awarded funding or for which they have planned to be self funded. It is not anticipated that the College will have funds available to support students who overrun that period unless they have faced exceptional difficult unforeseen circumstances. When a student is accepted, a financial guarantee is given for every year of the course either by the funding body, or the student themselves, or both in parts. Therefore any application for hardship funding has to make the case that the circumstances of the financial guarantee are no longer valid.
The College has various Trust funds available to help alleviate financial difficulty. The size of loans or grants varies according to circumstances. The amount does not usually exceed c£500, but larger loans or grants can sometimes be made in exceptional circumstances. There are also funds (the Hepper Fund and the Hodgson Fund) to assist disabled students and the Dawson Fund dedicated to the support of students with serious mental health problems.
It is important that you make contact with your Tutor to discuss the possibility of applying for these funds before you do so. Tutors can advise on how to complete the application. The relevant application form, which asks for details of your sources of income and other resources as well as your expenditures, can be completed and submitted to your Tutor as an electronic document or a paper copy. It can be accessed via this link:
The College also has a number of grants that are available to assist M.Phil. students who run into financial need. Your Tutor will be able to give you further information about these and how to apply for them.
5.4.2 College Funds to support your work
As a postgraduate student, you may well find that you need to travel for fieldwork, to attend a conference, or to undertake some other aspect of your research. As a first step it is important to check with your Faculty and/or your funding body to see what they offer. If you then find that you still have a financial shortfall, the College has two separate funds available to support the academic work of MCR members. The first can provide work-related travel grants, and the second can give help in covering the costs of essential items such as books, software, meeting registration, etc. Application for either of these funds is made using the same form which you can access via this link:
There are no closing dates, and applications may be submitted at any time. It is a good idea to discuss the application with your Tutor before you fill in the form. Completed forms should be submitted online; they will then be sent to your Tutor who will forward them for decisions within a few days.
In addition, the College has a number of subject-related funds from which grants can be given to assist with costs associated with work in specific disciplines. Further details of these funds and how to apply for them are given in a following section of this guide.
Those of you who are undertaking Ph.D. dissertations will qualify for a grant from the College, currently worth £100, to assist with the binding of the dissertation. This will be paid automatically when confirmation of your submission is received from the Student Registry. If you find yourself in unexpected financial circumstances that may prevent the completion of your thesis, you may apply for assistance from the University.