SOAS University of London

Doctoral School

Doctoral School Grants

As part of Early Career Researcher development, SOAS offers funding to PhD students for language training, conference attendance, student-led initiatives and fieldwork. 

All funds are now open for applications - please use the application forms on PhD Manager.

Please see the tabs below for eligibility criteria. 

  • Conference Funding
  • Language Acquisition Fund
  • Student-led Initiatives Grant
  • Fieldwork Awards

Conference Funding

As part of Early Career Researcher development, students can apply for up to £500 funding for the opportunity to present a paper at a conference. 

Funding criteria: 

  • The grant is only available to students who are fully enrolled; researchers who are on interruption, are not eligible for this scheme.   
  • Only students in their 3rd and 4th "writing up" year (or part-time equivalent) can apply. Researchers in other years, or on interruption, are not eligible for this scheme. While doctoral researchers on 'extension of writing up' are eligible, no claims may be submitted after theses have been submitted.
  • Students can only receive one conference award during their PhD programme. To be clear, no-one who has already received conference funding from the Doctoral School can be considered for a second award in a different academic year.
  • Applications for conference expenses may be made in advance of the conference (and before you know if you have been accepted by the conference organising committee), but you should not rely on receiving conference funding while making arrangements to attend and decisions will be sent out after the deadline for applications has passed. 
  • To be eligible for this year's funding, the conference you plan to attend must take place in the current academic year.  
  • Subsequent to receiving the grant all claims must be (a) supported with valid receipts and no 'per diem' will be awarded and (b) proof of subsequent acceptance to present at the conference must be included with any claim.  

Application Deadlines for the academic year 2019/20: 

Call 1: 1 December 2019

Call 2: 31 March 2020

We aim to release the decisions within a month of the deadline. 

FORMS

Successful applicants will be informed of decisions within a month of the funding deadline and will be required to complete the forms below:

Conference Funding Report Form (msword; 51kb)  

Non-Staff Expenses Form (vnd.ms-excel; 310kb)  

Language Acquisition Fund

The Doctoral School manages funding to allow PhD students in any year of study up to £750 per year to learn a language to assist with their research. Students may apply more than once during their PhD programme.

  • Priority is given to those students whose admission forms indicated a need for support.
  • It is extremely important that any language learning needs are identified as early as possible during the application process and in the Training Needs Analysis Form when you first meet your supervisor.
  • Applications will only be considered where the language training is DIRECTLY relevant to the student’s research needs. Supervisors must therefore demonstrate clearly that the need is central to the nature of the research.
  • NOTE: All applicants should first check for the availability of their intended language course in the SOAS Language Centre and the term dates.  If the language course required is available within SOAS then it should be studied here and the Doctoral School can consider a request for reimbursement after the student has paid the fees.  Only where a course is not available at the SOAS Language Centre will applications for outside study be considered. 

Course costs

Applicants should note that they will need to pay for the course in advance and apply for reimbursement. This is permitted under the following conditions:

1.      If the course is offered by SOAS Language Centre

2.      If the course is offered by another University Language Centre in the UK or overseas

3.      If the course is offered by recognised course provider in UK or overseas (e.g. Goethe Institut)

Private language tuition / Bespoke language tuition

If a course is not available within SOAS or via another course provider, then the fund can be used for private language tuition. Students seeking private tuition should contact SOAS Language Centre for information on bespoke language training as they have the expertise and knowledge of London-based tutors.

Application Deadlines for the Academic Year 2019/20: 
Call 1: 1 November 2019
Call 2: 1 February 2020

We aim to release the decisions within a month of the deadline.

FORMS

Successful applicants will be informed of decisions within a month of the funding deadline and will be required to complete the forms below:

Language Acquisition Fund Report Form (msword; 49kb)  

Non-Staff Expenses Form (vnd.ms-excel; 310kb)  

Student-led Initiatives Grant

As part of Early Career Researcher Development, the Doctoral School is able to offer a maximum of £500 per event for student-led research activity. This grant is in addition to the conference funding (Years 3 and 4 only) and students may make an application to both funds in the same year if they are in Years 3 and 4.

Applications are encouraged from SOAS PhD students in any year of study who wish to organise a SOAS-based interdisciplinary conference or workshop. They can, of course, make an application with researchers from another institution and we would expect that the other institution would also offer partial funding. The money can cover catering or travel expenses for speakers; the funding cannot be used for paying speakers or printing costs for publications. The Doctoral School will order internal catering on your behalf. Please note that all claims for travel expenses will need to be supported with valid receipts and no "per diem" can be awarded.

Recently funded projects include Queer Asia, MUSA Conference, AFNET, Moralities of Dance (with the Institute of Historical Research) and Refracting Gender in Modern China (with SOAS China Institute).

Similar projects have also received partial funding from The Centres and Programmes Office, other University of London institutions and DTPs.

We are particularly keen to fund projects spanning Departments and/or Schools. The deadline for applications is 5pm on 15 January 2020 and we expect your event to be held by the end of September 2020. Early applications are welcome, and the fund will close when the funding limit is reached.

Please note that you may only use the SOAS logo on posters and not on correspondence with potential speakers or other participants. It is expected that the conference organising committee will approach potential speakers directly, but you should not use names on advertising materials before the speakers are confirmed.

The SOAS financial year ends in June each year, please advise if you would like to be considered for projects where costs will be incurred after this date, so that we can plan funding allocations over the financial year end.

After the conference, you will be asked to write a short report summarising the achievements, research impact and possibilities for future collaboration or publication. You will also liaise with Doctoral School Staff about claiming expenses for the conference

Application Deadline: 
15 January 2020


We aim to release the decisions within a month of the deadline.   

FORMS

Successful applicants will be informed of decisions within a month of the funding deadline and will be required to complete the forms below:

Student-led Initiatives Conference Report Form (msword; 52kb)  

Non-Staff Expenses Form (vnd.ms-excel; 310kb)  

Fieldwork Awards

The Doctoral School has responsiblity for Fieldwork Grant Funding from the Santander Mobility Allowance and University of London. A small amount of funding (between £500 - £1000 per applicant) is available, though this amount will vary by the allocation we receive each year.

  • Santander Mobility Awards and Fieldwork Awards do not fund overseas visits for attending conferences. They are only for overseas fieldwork and no exceptions can be made.
  • These awards cannot be granted more than once during an MPhil/PhD programme. If you have already received a Santander Mobility award you may not apply for a further Santander Mobility Award, nor may you apply for a Fieldwork Award. If you have already received a Fieldwork Award you may not apply for a further Fieldwork Award, nor may you apply for a Santander Mobility Award.
  • We cannot normally hold an award over into the next academic year if a candidate does not make the trip when intended: a new application has to be made.
  • Successful candidates must be transferred to PhD status and have had their fieldwork formally approved via the Doctoral School before they can claim their award.
  • Overseas fieldwork is normally undertaken in the second full-time year and cannot normally be undertaken in the first year of enrolment or during the last year of the student’s prescribed enrolment period.  Exceptional requests for fieldwork in the third full time year are subject to the approval of the Associate Director Research.
  • Any student accepting a Santander Mobility Award or Fieldwork Award must be enrolled (i.e. full-time, part-time or study leave status) for the academic year in which he/she applies and for the academic year in which his/her award is taken. Students on Continuation (Writing-up) are not eligible for these awards.
  • On completion of the fieldwork visit, the student must submit a brief report, signed by the supervisor, to the Doctoral School within one month of returning to the UK or within one month of the end of the fieldwork, whichever is sooner.
  • No retrospective applications for a Santander Mobility Award can be considered.
  • Retrospective applications for a Fieldwork Award may be considered but will not be given priority.
  • Applications for funding from students who have not yet Upgraded to a PhD and who have not yet received fieldwork approval by the funding deadline will be considered but will not be prioritised.

Application Deadlines for the Academic Year 2019/20: 

Call 1: 15 November 2019

Call 2: 15 March 2020

We aim to release the decisions within a month of the deadline. 

FORMS

Successful applicants will be informed of decisions within a month of the funding deadline and will be required to complete the forms below:

Fieldwork Certification Form (msword; 27kb)   

Payment Request Form (vnd.ms-excel.sheet.macroenabled.12; 288kb)