Postgraduate scholarships

Students applying to postgraduate research programmes in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law may apply for funding from a range of sources or be eligible for an Alumni discount. Explore the funding options available to help you finance your postgraduate research degree.

Opportunity Bristol

Opportunity Bristol provides funding for UK students from Black backgrounds to undertake a fully funded research-focused Masters programmes and will help successful awardees to gain the research skills and experience needed to apply for funded doctoral research opportunities in the future. The deadline for applications is Monday 29 January 2024.

To find out more, visit the Opportunity Bristol webpage.

Funding Sources to do a PHD

The University of Bristol and the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law are delighted to be able to offer a number of Postgraduate Research Scholarships to candidates demonstrating exceptional research potential. Scholarships are available for up to four years (full-time) or eight years (part-time), subject to satisfactory annual progress.

Some of the funding available to applicants of postgraduate research programmes in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law include:

  • Bristol Postgraduate Research Scholarships
  • Bristol Postgraduate Research Scholarships for candidates of Black and mixed Black heritage, who are UK domiciled with Home fee status
  • Fully Faculty-funded inter-/ cross-disciplinary PhD Scholarships
  • Cotutelle Scholarship with Macquarie University, Australia
  • Strategic Research Scholarship in collaboration with the University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • The Sasakawa Japanese Studies Postgraduate (PhD) Studentship
  • ESRC Scholarships (SWDTP pathways only)
  • Business School Bursaries

For other possible sources of funding, please visit the Student Finances webpages

Details on how to apply for these funding opportunities, and information on eligibility and amount of funding, can be found at the bottom of this page.

Bristol Postgraduate Research Scholarships

Closing date: Tuesday 27 February 2024, 12 noon UK time (we regret that we cannot consider applications for funding received after the deadline)

Word limit for research proposals: 1,000 words.

The Faculty of Social Sciences and Law is pleased to announce that there will be up to 20 fully-funded PhD scholarships for applicants showing exceptional research potential. Bristol Postgraduate Research scholarships are available for applicants from any country and for any PhD programme offered within the Schools in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law. We actively encourage applications from all parts of the world, and from under-represented and non-traditional groups, both from within and outside of the UK. All applications, whether requiring home or overseas fees, will receive equal consideration. 

Applicants for these scholarships should demonstrate how their proposed research aligns with (or intersects between) the following University and Faculty strategic research priorities:

  • Economic, political, and social justice 
  • Environment/ sustainability/ climate change
  • Health and social care
  • Migration and mobilities
  • Socio-digital/ data science/ technology

Proposed research projects in the above areas that examine policy and/or policy evaluation are welcome. We also welcome proposals located firmly in traditional disciplines, as well as proposals that are interdisciplinary, whether across the social sciences and law, or more broadly.  

 

Bristol Postgraduate Research Scholarships for candidates of Black and mixed Black heritage, who are UK domiciled with Home fee status

Closing date: Tuesday 27 February 2024, 12 noon UK time (we regret that we cannot consider applications for funding received after the deadline)

Word limit for research proposals: 1,000 words.

We are pleased to announce that fully-funded Bristol Postgraduate Research scholarships will be offered to candidates who self-identify as being of Black and/or mixed Black heritage, who are UK domiciled (with UK Home fee status), and who demonstrate exceptional research potential. Applicants for these PhD scholarships may submit research proposals in any area of study within the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law, and do not have to demonstrate alignment with the University’s and Faculty’s strategic priorities (outlined above), though they may wish to do so. For these scholarships, we encourage applications to every School in the Faculty.

These scholarships will initially respond to the persistent structural inequalities that disadvantage people from Black and Black-mixed heritage, including existing barriers within higher education and academic research. The scholarships will provide an opportunity for development as a leader in research and innovation, providing support for independent research, knowledge exchange and professional development. The focus is on investing in talented individuals reaching their full potential.

 

Fully Faculty-funded inter-/cross-disciplinary PhD Scholarships

Closing date: Tuesday 27 February 2024, 12 noon UK time (we regret that we cannot consider applications for funding received after the deadline)

Word limit for research proposals: 1,000 words.

Two fully Faculty-funded PhD scholarships will be offered to candidates whose research proposals demonstrate inter-disciplinary or cross-disciplinary research, across the Faculty’s Schools, and/or between the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law and another Faculty in the University of Bristol. For these applications, the student and the main supervisor will be registered/ located in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law. These two scholarships stem from the extensive and long-standing experience within our Faculty of inter-/ cross-disciplinary research, and links to esteemed University Institutes, such as the Cabot Institute for the Environment, Brigstow Institute, Bristol Poverty Institute, the Elizabeth Blackwell Institute for Health Research, Migration Mobilities Bristol, Bristol Digital Futures Institute, and the ESRC Centre for Sociodigital Futures.

These scholarships are available for applicants from any country and for any PhD programme offered within the Schools in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law. We actively encourage applications from all parts of the world, and from under-represented and non-traditional groups, both from within and outside of the UK. All applications, whether requiring home or overseas fees, will receive equal consideration.

 

Cotutelle Scholarship with Macquarie University, Australia

Closing date: Tuesday 27 February 2024, 12 noon UK time (we regret that we cannot consider applications for funding received after the deadline)

Word limit for research proposals: 1,000 words.

The Bristol-Macquarie Cotutelle programme is an exciting opportunity for students to spend two years studying at the University of Bristol and two years studying at Macquarie University, Australia. Established in 2018, the programme between Macquarie University and the University of Bristol has resulted in 21 Cotutelle projects to date. Cotutelle students represent the University of Bristol internationally, and we are especially keen to support research collaboration with our international partners.

This scholarship is available for applicants from any country and for any PhD programme offered within the Schools in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law. We actively encourage applications from all parts of the world, and from under-represented and non-traditional groups, both from within and outside of the UK. All applications, whether requiring home or overseas fees, will receive equal consideration.

The University of Bristol will provide funding (fees and stipend) for two years, with £2,000 research costs per annum. Macquarie University will provide fees and stipend for up to three additional years, stipend  while in Australia, and an airfare allowance of up to $4,000 AUD, and up to $5,000 AUD to support costs essential to the completion of the research project. Note, however, that the preferred arrangement is to fund a 4 year PhD, with the student based at each location (Bristol and then Sydney) for a block of 2 years.

Students will study for two years at each university and on completion of their studies, students will receive a PhD degree from both universities.

Applicants for Cotutelle scholarships with Macquarie University should demonstrate how their proposed research aligns with at least one of the following University of Bristol strategic research priority areas; the equivalent Macquarie strategic research areas should also be addressed in the application (note that projects can also be interdisciplinary, intersecting between the two Universities’ strategic priorities).

University of Bristol

Macquarie University

Social Justice

Resilient Societies

Socio-digital/ data science/ technology

Innovative Technologies

Environment/ sustainability/ climate change

Secure Planet

Cotutelle applicants should identify one suitable main supervisor at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law, and one suitable supervisor at Macquarie University. Applicants should write to both potential supervisors during the application process.

Indicative list of potential supervisors:

Candidates for this Cotutelle should also apply directly to Macquarie for a PhD enrolment. Individual projects will have to have an agreed individual project agreement in place. At Macquarie, Faculty of Social Sciences and Law students will attend Faculty Graduate Research Events: welcome events, conferences, student-led events, workshops and more.

 

Strategic Research Scholarship in collaboration with the University of Cape Town, South Africa

Closing date: Tuesday 27 February 2024, 12 noon UK time (we regret that we cannot consider applications for funding received after the deadline)

Word limit for research proposals: 1,000 words.

Research collaborations between the University of Bristol and the University of Cape Town have been underway for a number of years. The Faculty of Social Sciences and Law will offer a Research Scholarship to applicants wishing to pursue a research project that promotes collaboration between the two universities (this can involve a co-created project, a co-supervised project, research visit, fieldwork, etc).

Please note that this is not a Cotutelle or dual PhD arrangement. There is no specific requirement to spend a set period of time at the University of Cape Town, however, if there is such a requirement, this should be clearly communicated at point of application.

The University of Bristol will provide funding (fees and stipend) for four years, with £2,000 research costs per annum. Please note, however, that no additional funding will be provided for travel or accommodation, beyond the standard £2,000 research costs per annum, so please take this into account when planning a project.

This scholarship is available for applicants from any country and for any PhD programme offered within the Schools in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law. We actively encourage applications from all parts of the world, and from under-represented and non-traditional groups, both from within and outside of the UK. All applications, whether requiring home or overseas fees, will receive equal consideration.

Applicants should identify one suitable supervisor at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law and one suitable supervisor at the University of Cape Town. Applicants should write to both potential supervisors (if known) during the application process.

Indicative list of potential supervisors or collaborative teams:

 

Sasakawa Japanese Studies Postgraduate (PhD) Studentship Programme 2024/25 

 This Japanese Studies Postgraduate Studentship Programme, funded by the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation, is designed to support the development of the study of Japan in the UK.

The studentships are intended for support of PhD programmes only at the University of Bristol. This is a one-year studentship with the value of £15,000. Applications can be made in recurrent years of three years (although the Foundation cannot make a recurrent three-year commitment to any one PhD candidate at the outset). 

Eligibility 

  • PhD applicants/candidates pursuing any aspect of Japanese studies (the primary focus of the thesis needs to be on Japan) 

  • All disciplines within arts, humanities, and social sciences 

  • Open to any nationality (including Japanese)  

  • Previous study of Japanese language is not a condition 

Internal deadline for applications: 1st March 2024  

For any queries regarding the Sasakawa Japanese Studies Postgraduate Studentship Programme, please contact Professor Misa Izuhara at the School for Policy Studies. 

 

10 Business School Bursaries

The awards are for three-and-a-half years, starting in autumn 2024. The bursary provides full tuition fees (for either home/EU or international students), and a stipend at the rate of at least £20,400 per annum, paid in instalments, and teaching income, which will depend on the hours worked.

How to apply:

Please make an online application for this project on the postgraduate study webpage. Please select “Accounting and Finance (PhD)” or “Management (PhD)” on the Programme Choice page. You will be prompted to enter details of the studentship in the Funding and Research Details sections of the form.

Closing date: 31st March 2024

For further information please contact the business school postgraduate team.

How to apply, eligibility and funding

Application process

In order to apply for any of these scholarships, you must first submit an application to the University of Bristol and the PhD programme offered by a School of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law that you wish to study. In the funding section of the form, please select any of the following boxes that apply to your application: ‘University of Bristol scholarship’ (for Bristol Postgraduate Research Scholarships), ‘UK Research Council’ (for ESRC/SWDTP scholarships), or ‘other’ and specify the award. This will highlight to our Admissions teams that you wish to be considered for specific scholarships.

Should you require any reasonable adjustments throughout the application process, please contact your School Admissions team who will be able to discuss these with you.

To identify potential supervisors, please visit the Faculty's 'People' page and filter by the School you are interested in applying to.

Applicants for the Bristol Postgraduate Research Scholarships for candidates of Black and mixed Black heritage, who are UK domiciled with Home fee status, alongside their application, should also complete this online form.

Candidates for all scholarships will be selected on the basis of the specific criteria detailed in the Postgraduate Research Scholarships shortlisting criteria (Office document, 20kB).

(for selection criteria of the SWDTP scholarships, please refer to the SWDTP website):

Schools will shortlist candidates and make nominations to the Faculty. If you have already applied or hold a programme offer, please get back in touch with your School, via their Admissions team, to indicate your interest for a scholarship.

Unless otherwise stated, and to be considered for a scholarship, the research proposal has a strict 1,000 word limit (inclusive of everything except references/citations). This includes all the written text, quotes, in-line citations, section headers, captions, the contents of tables and any foot-/endnotes. Each figure/graphic should be counted as equivalent to 200 words. Tables should be counted as the number of words they contain. We regret that we cannot consider applications for funding where the research proposal is found to be overlength.

Eligibility

The University of Bristol aims to attract, recruit and retain students with different experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives because diversity – of people and ideas – remains integral to our success. Candidates demonstrating excellence from low-income backgrounds and non-Russell group universities, as well as Black, Asian, minority ethnic, Trans, non-binary, and disabled candidates, are strongly encouraged to apply.

Candidates are eligible for a scholarship if they:

  • Meet our standard admissions requirements for the PhD course they are applying to - please refer to the individual prospectus page for entry requirements;
  • Demonstrate exceptional potential for doctoral study;
  • Received an offer of study, which must be accepted before or at the same time as receiving any offer of scholarship.

For the Bristol Postgraduate Research Scholarships for candidates of Black and mixed Black heritage, who are UK domiciled with Home fee status only:

Candidates are eligible for this scholarship if they are a UK national with Home fee status who self-identify as having one of the following categories of ethnicity: Black African, Black Caribbean, Black Other, Mixed – White and Black Caribbean, Mixed – White and Black African, Other mixed background (to include Black African, Black Caribbean or Black Other. You will need to submit your PhD application and also complete this online form.

Please note that candidates who have been awarded alternative full awards (e.g. SWDTP or joint UoB-CSC) are not eligible for the University of Bristol or the fully Faculty-funded inter-/ cross-disciplinary PhD scholarships.

Funding

Unless otherwise stated, full-time PhD Scholarships will include tuition fees and a maintenance grant (stipend) in line with UKRI fee. The stipend rates for 2024-25 are at least £18,622 for four years (full-time) or eight years pro rata (part-time), depending on satisfactory progress. Each student will also have £2,000 per annum to be spent on associated research costs.

Please note: Funding is available only to new students commencing their PhD research in September 2024. Unfortunately, we cannot consider applications from current students already enrolled on a PhD course, or from MPhil students wishing to upgrade to PhD. 

Contact your Admissions Team

If you have any queries regarding the scholarships please contact the Admissions teams of the School of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law that you are applying for:

Other sources of funding

Find out about other sources of postgraduate funding, including:

  • Grants
  • Scholarships
  • Bursaries
  • Travel awards
  • Conference funding 

Bristol alumni discount

University of Bristol alumni can benefit from a 25% reduction in postgraduate tuition fees.

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