Thesis Pending Postgraduate Research Student Hardship Fund

Thesis Pending Postgraduate Research Student Hardship Fund

About the Fund


To support postgraduate research students who have experienced challenging circumstances during their thesis-pending year of study to submit and complete their doctoral thesis, the College of Social Sciences operates a special hardship fund (here within referred to as the Fund) that eligible students can apply to for discretionary financial support


To be eligible to be considered for financial support from the Fund applicants must be a fully registered postgraduate research student within the College of Social Sciences, who is in their thesis-pending year and have been granted an extension to their scheduled thesis submission date.

Students are only allowed to make one application to the Fund during the course of their doctoral studies. The fund is open to UK students only, International and EU students are eligible to apply for funding through the University Hardship Fund

Financial Support Provided by the Fund

The Fund is able to provide one-off awards of up to £300 in value, with the amount of funding awarded determined by the circumstances of each case considered and the level of funds that is available to the Fund. The fund is limited and applications will be considered on a first come basis.

Awards made by the Fund are treated as scholarship funding, with no tax or national insurance contributions taken from payments. It is for the award-holder to make any such payments to relevant authorities should that be necessary.

Applying to the Fund

Applying to the Fund

To apply to the Fund an eligible student must attach a PGR Hardship Fund application to their thesis submission extension request, which outlines the following information:

  • The reason for applying for a thesis submission extension;
  • The level of financial support sought from the Fund;
  • A summary of their current financial situation, including details of current available funds, including savings, loans, credit cards and other similar assets, such as ISAs and US Federal Student Aid awards;
  • Their financial plan for supporting their studies up to and shortly after their proposed revised date of thesis submission.


Students may be requested by the Fund’s Awards Panel to provide further supporting information and documentation in support of their application.


Assessment of Applications

All applications to the Fund are assessed by an Awards Panel, consisting of the Dean of Graduate Studies (Convenor) and School’s PGR Convenors, supported by the College Graduate School Manager (Clerk), who will usually consider business by electronic circulation. Applications will be considered on the first Friday of the month following approval of the extension request.

The Awards Panel will use the following criteria to assess each application on a case-by-case basis:

a)    Has the student’s request for a thesis submission date extension been accepted by the Graduate School?

b)    Are the grounds for the thesis extension request due to factors that are out-with the student’s control/influence?

c)     Is the student in demonstrable financial need?

d)    Has the student explored other avenues for addressing their financial circumstances?

e)    Does the student have a clear and robust financial plan for the remainder of their studies and the submission of their thesis?

f)     Will a financial award from the Fund make a material difference to the successful submission of the student’s thesis?

Applications assessed by the Award Panel must answer positively to all of the criteria listed to qualify for an award from the Fund. The precise level of financial support granted by the Awards Panel will be determined on a case-by-case basis, taking into account comparable past awards and the level of funds that are available to the Fund.

Processing of Applications & Outcomes

The College Graduate School Office will be responsible for processing all applications and payments to students. 

Students will receive notification in writing as to the outcome of their application to the Fund within a week of their application being considered by the review panel. The decision of the review panel will be final and there is no right of appeal.

All information provided by applicants will be handled and stored confidentially in strict accordance with the University’s data protection and confidentiality policies and procedures.