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PhD Funding and Scholarships

At one time, funding for postgraduate study in Europe was rare. Now, there is substantially more funding available for good ideas. It is sound advice not to consider doing a PhD unless you are confident that you have sufficient source of funding to support you throughout. A PhD is intense, and while it is possible to take many years to complete it, your career prospects are strongest if you complete it as quickly and efficiently as possible. That means you will not have time to do part-time jobs while studying. So, you should have a source of funding in hand before you embark on your research.

There are many potential sources of funding, large and small. There are also several types:

  • your own funds;
  • external funding bodies such as charities and trusts;
  • national/governmental agencies;
  • employers and the private sector and;
  • University scholarships, funded studentships and projects advertised by supervisors.

In researching possible funding sources, you should not limit yourself to the most obvious options of internal scholarships. Sometimes the least obvious sources of funding are some of the easiest to secure. It takes time to investigate potential funding avenues and to prepare postgraduate research applications, so allow yourself plenty of time. It is not unreasonable to start investigating approximately one year before you intend to start your PhD. Your first port of call will probably be the list of postgraduate scholarships available to students at Trinity. There is a wide range of funding options available to postgraduate students and researchers based at Trinity. Many have specific requirements and are subject to some form of competition. For more information and a list of the funding options available, please visit the College’s Postgraduate Scholarship Page.

Occasionally, researchers working at Trinity will develop a doctoral project as an offshoot of their own research. In this case, they will advertise the doctoral researcher position in a similar way to a job. If you respond to such an advertisement, you will need to pay close attention to the first contact you make with the principal researcher, and make sure to stress how the project, its goals and theme fit closely with your research interests and aspirations