School of Social and Political Science

PhD Research Support Fund

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Support is available to doctoral students within the School of Social and Political Science for research activities, via the School of Social and Political Science PhD Research Support Fund.
 

What activities will the Fund support?

The SPS PhD Research Support Fund may cover the following research activities:

  • presenting a paper at a conference
  • costs associated with fieldwork
  • other activities directly related to your research - for example, training workshops covering content not offered internally, contribution to the cost of language training

Applications for books, equipment or attendance at conferences will not be considered.

Students who are in receipt of funding from a sponsoring body which includes a research expenses allowance (e.g. ESRC funded students) are not eligible to apply for this fund. 

Please see your scholarship terms and conditions to check your eligibility for this fund.

PhD Research Support Fund - Application Form

Application deadlines

Applications to this fund are considered in four rounds, the deadlines for the 2020/21 academic session are as follows:

  • 1 August 2020
  • 1 November 2020
  • 1 February 2021
  • 1 May 2021

The outcome will be emailed to applicants within a few days after the closing date.

Applying

Applications can be made in advance of the research activity or retrospectively, as long as the award, expenses claim and event all occur within the same financial year (August to July). 

Note that this differs to the academic year (September to August). For example, funding for a conference in August would come from the new year’s allocation as August is the beginning of the University's financial year.

Expenses cannot be claimed unless the award has already been approved.

Applications for books, equipment or attendance at conferences will not be considered.

Once the School’s annual budget limit has been reached, no further applications for that year will be considered.

How to submit your application

Applications should be submitted to the Graduate School Office by the closing date to be considered in that quarterly round.

The completed application form must include:

  • the date or date range of the event
  • a supporting statement from your supervisor

Applications without a supporting statement will not be considered. Late applications will be considered in the following round.

Please complete a separate form for each activity, unless two elements coincide in time and place, for example conference and fieldwork.

Applications must only be requested in GBP currency. 

The most economic method of travelling should be sought in all cases. Except for exceptional circumstances, only these economic costs will be covered.

We recommend you use the University's free travel insurance where applicable.

After submitting your application

Expenses for successful applications must be claimed within one month of the date of the activity.

If the application is successful, feedback is required to be submitted via the Research Support Post-Activity Report Form. The expenses will not usually be reimbursed until this form is received.

If successful applicants no longer intend to undertake the research activity for which they had been awarded money, they must let the Graduate School Office know immediately.

Research Support Fund Terms

Maximum award values

  • The maximum award for presenting at EU/Overseas conferences or EU/Overseas fieldwork is £500
  • The maximum award for presenting at UK conferences or UK based fieldwork is £300
  • The maximum award for other research costs is £200
  • A total maximum of £500 may be awarded to a successful applicant in any one academic year.

If the actual cost is higher than the amount awarded, the applicant will have to fund the excess.

Depending on budget constraints it may not always be possible to fund up to the maximum award amount.

Eligibility

Who is the scheme open to?

  • The scheme is open to PhD students in the School of Social and Political Science, except those in receipt of funding from a sponsoring body (for example the ESRC) which includes a research expenses component.
  • For conference funding, only students who are presenting a paper are eligible to apply.
  • Normally, only students in Years 1-4 (full-time) of study are eligible to apply. In exceptional circumstances, your supervisor may make a case to support an application beyond the end of Year 4 (full-time) and where you have had no more than 3 previously successful applications to the fund.
  • The Research Support Fund may only be used to cover costs where the activity occurs before submission of the PhD thesis. You will NOT be eligible once you have submitted you thesis.
  • Applicants are expected to have sought funding from any other relevant sources - for example, postgraduate bursaries provided by disciplinary associations - before applying for this fund. Successful awards from other funding sources must be used in place of the Research Support Fund.
  • Once the School's annual budget limit has been reached, no further applications for that year will be considered.
  • Applications must only be requested in GBP currency.
  • The most economic method of travelling should be sought in all cases. Except for exceptional circumstances, only these economic costs will be covered.
  • Applications must be emailed to the Graduate School Office (pgresearch.sps@ed.ac.uk) by the closing date to be considered in that quarterly round. Late applications will be considered in the following round.
  • If successful applicants no longer intend to undertake the research activity for which they had been awarded funds, they must let the Graduate School Office know immediately.
  • Expenses for successful applications should be claimed within one month of the date of activity.
  • If the application is successful, feedback is required to be submitted via the Research Support Fund Post-Activity Report Form. Expenses will not usually be reimbursed until the form is received.
Application procedure

You must complete Part A of the application form then forward to your Supervisor who must complete Part B.

On completion of Part B, your Supervisor should send the form by email to the Graduate School Office (pgresearch.sps@ed.ac.uk).

Application results

Applications are pooled at each round and the decision to authorise the application is made at the discretion of the Director of Postgraduate Research of the Graduate School and is subject to a statement of support, made by your supervisor.

You will be notified of the outcome by the Graduate School Office by email. You should expect to hear within a few days and no later than 3 weeks after the application deadline.

Reclaiming your expenses

You will be expected to pay up-front for costs, and then reclaim up to the amount authorised after the research activity has taken place.

You are responsible for making your own travel and accommodation arrangements, and any insurance which you may require.

Within one month of the date of the research activity, an expenses claim form (with receipts) and the Post-Activity Report form must be submitted to the SPS Graduate School Office (pgresearch.sps@ed.ac.uk). 

Or, if you have already attended your event and are awaiting a decision on your funding application, please retain your expenses claim until after the funding decision has been advised.

Full details on how to claim expenses are below.

How to claim expenses

After the research activity, please complete an expense claim form and email to pgresearch.sps@ed.ac.uk.

Expense claim form

This must be received within one month of the date of the research activity and before the end of the financial year (July) or as advised above. 

Receipts or other proof that you have incurred the expenditure must be provided, regardless of the price of items. Please see further details on the claim form.

Expenses receipts

Invoices, plane tickets and other tickets that do not include the amount and your name are not acceptable.

Email confirmations, print-outs of bank statements (with confidential information blanked out if you wish), and receipts are all acceptable.

Travel and medical insurance

We recommend that you ensure you have travel/medical insurance cover where required and you should use the University's insurance cover for University business. This is free of charge and, therefore, if you take out private insurance instead, we cannot reimburse this cost to you.

Receiving your expenses

If the Expense Claim Form is completed with bank details, a BACS payment will be made.

Our expectation is that all claims will be paid into UK bank accounts. Please note that payments are not made by the Graduate School Office but by the University's Accounts Payable department.

You should expect to receive your expenses two-three weeks after submitting your Expenses Claim Form.

You must also complete a Post-Activity Report Form which should be returned alongside your expenses claim:

PhD Research Support Fund - Post-Activity Report Form

Student category
PhD Students