Research and event funding
Your LISS DTP studentship provides you with many opportunities to secure additional funding for activities that will be beneficial both to your doctoral thesis and your future career. You can read more below about the research and event funding available.
At the beginning of each year, you’ll be asked to complete a Training Needs Assessment (TNA) in consultation with your supervisor(s), which will provide the starting point for our Deputy Director for Training & Cohort Development to review your plans. In subsequent years, you’ll review this TNA on an annual basis and make the necessary revisions as your project develops.
Applications for funding are processed quarterly on the first working Monday of January, April, June and October. Decisions will take up to 2 weeks after this deadline. LISS DTP reserves the right to limit reviewing out-of-cycle review requests, students should plan appropriately and submit their application for funding within the quarterly review periods.
Research Training and Support Grant (RTSG)
LISS funded students are eligible to apply for Research Training Support Grant funds (RTSG). These funds are intended to be used to pay for expenses that you and your supervisor deem to be in direct support of your research.
The ESRC provides a notional amount of RTSG funding to the LISS DTP. The actual allocation of funds towards RTSG is at the LISS DTP’s discretion, based on the funding available within the Doctoral Training Grant. Given the allocation, the LISS DTP expects to award approximately £750 p/a to each LISS DTP student over the course of your studentship (that is, during the time that you are receiving funding). We may be able to award higher amounts dependent on budgetary constraints. It is your responsibility to budget wisely and reserve funds to cover your expenses, and/or find additional sources of funding.
- UK fieldwork expenses
- UK, EU and overseas conferences, training courses and summer schools
- language training courses usually undertaken in the UK prior to an overseas fieldwork trip
- reimbursement of interpreters, guides, assistants, participants
- survey costs eg printing, stationery, telephone calls
- purchase of small items of equipment eg cameras, recorders, films,
- gifts for local informants
- books and other reading material not available through libraries
RTSG cannot be used fund trips to areas to which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against travel. See https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Training Needs Analysis (TNA)
The TNA is a compulsory annual task for all LISS DTP PhD (+3) students and is a condition of receiving ESRC Studentship funding. As such, to access RTSG applications, this form must be completed on an annual basis and returned to the LISS DTP. Failure to do so will result in your application for research funds being declined.
In normal circumstances computers and office equipment are not eligible. Any such request must be justified based on the nature of the research being undertaken and the student’s circumstances and must be essential for the successful completion of the PhD. Note that the purchase of high-power computer equipment with a value of over £500 is only eligible if it is not available at your university under normal circumstances. LISS DTP reserves the right to take custody any equipment purchased in excess of £200 following completion of the award. This condition is waived for purchases resulting from the CV-19 pandemic and lockdown.
Allowance and Budgeting:
You can apply for up to £750 per year of award over the course of your studentship (as long as you are receiving funds) ; we may be able to award higher amounts dependent on budgetary constraints. Please note that the £750 is not a personal allowance. Unused funds in one year might be carried over to the next. Students are encouraged to work out a budget for the lifetime of their studentship with their supervisor in the early stages of their award period. The ESRC expect the RTSG funding it provides to be pooled for flexible use across funded students and it may be possible to allocate additional funding from time to time. RTSG funds can also be combined with the funds provided for overseas fieldwork.
RTSG budgets should be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. It is your responsibility to keep receipts and evidence of your spending and be able to produce them if called upon to do so for auditing purposes. You should also inform LISS DTP if your plans change following award of RTSG funding. If you have questions about the eligibility of certain expenses, please contact us.
Applications will be reviewed on the first working Monday of January, April, June and October each year. Decisions will take up to 2 weeks of the application review date to announce. KCL students should note that depending on volume of applications it may take a further 2 weeks to arrange payment.. You may make applications retrospectively providing that receipts etc are available but note that there is a risk that your application may not be approved.
Queen Mary and Imperial students should contact their institutional LISS administrators (see Institutional Contacts) if you have not received notification of outcomes within two weeks of the application review date, or payment within one month of the review date. King’s students should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
We review a lot of applications so please be specific in your query, including the date, type of research funding application you have made, and the amount of money you applied for.
Note for Queen Mary students:
The Queen Mary travel and expenses policy states that all travel and accommodation must be booked via KeyTravel. Please go to the KeyTravel website for a quote to accompany your application and email it to the QMUL LISS Administrator Angela Kamara email@example.com who will arrange the purchase of your travel/accommodation using the LISS budget code and raise a Purchase order number which you then send to KeyTravel to confirm your booking. Note that your RTSG application must be approved before Angela can purchase travel/accommodation.
Overseas Fieldwork Funding (OSFW)
Full-time students undertaking the doctoral element of their award are eligible to apply for overseas fieldwork expenses. Master’s students are not eligible to claim this allowance. Part-time students can become eligible for an overseas fieldwork grant if they transfer for a fixed period to full-time status for the duration of the fieldwork.
Full-time ESRC studentship award holders undertaking the doctoral element of their award are able to make one claim for overseas fieldwork expenses in the life of the award. Your proposed overseas fieldwork should have been outlined in the relevant section of your LISS DTP application and in your project summary. However, if you and your supervisor decide that a fieldwork period would be valuable once you have started your studentship, please raise this as soon as possible with LISS DTP.
You must obtain approval for overseas fieldwork prior to undertaking it; retrospective claims for overseas fieldwork expenses cannot be considered. You are strongly advised to submit your overseas fieldwork application a minimum of 3 months in advance of your proposed fieldwork start date. We would generally expect to receive fieldwork funding applications in the period just before or after your upgrade from MPhil to PhD, when you doctoral project plans are reviewed and become more solidified.
Overseas fieldwork expenses CANNOT be used for the following:
- fieldwork within the UK (RTSG funds should be used towards these costs)
- trips for purposes other than primary research
- trips longer than 12 months (although exceptional cases can be made for up to 18 months)
- trips during periods of study interruption
- trips during the final 6 months of the studentship
- trips during periods when you are not in receipt of funding
- overseas conference costs (RTSG funds should be used for these)
- trips to areas to which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against travel. See https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice
Duration and Budgeting:
Your overseas fieldwork can last for up to 12 months. If you can demonstrate a strong case for a visit longer than 12 months, fieldwork of up to a maximum of 18 months may be granted. If you remain in the field for periods longer than have been formally agreed with your supervisor and LISS DTP, you will not be able to make retrospective claims for expenses or for extensions to the period of award/thesis submission date.
Overseas fieldwork must be an integral part of the PhD and take place during the life of the award, that is while you are receiving funding. Studentships will not be extended to reflect periods in the field. The overseas allowance does not cover the expenses of any family member accompanying the student. The overseas allowance will not be increased to cover extra expenses incurred by the student whilst abroad.
Calculating the value of overseas fieldwork expenses: The ESRC provides LISS DTP with a notional amount of fieldwork funding per student (£1575); however, not all funded students will need to undertake overseas fieldwork. The actual allocation of funds towards fieldwork is at LISS DTP’s discretion, based on the funding available within the Doctoral Training Grant. Given ESRC allocations and our current expectations about how many students will require overseas fieldwork for their projects, we anticipate that allocations for fieldwork could range up to £5000. Once the allowance has been calculated, it is the student’s responsibility to manage the funds allocated. If for any reason the fieldwork is abandoned or is unsuccessful and the student returns to the UK early, the fieldwork allowance less any reasonable expenditure already incurred, should be recovered.
Complete the online form linked above. Applications will be reviewed on the first working Monday of January, April, June and October each year. Decisions will take up to 2 weeks to announce, depending on volume of applications – please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have not heard within 2 weeks of the review date.
Note for Queen Mary students: The Queen Mary travel and expenses policy states that all travel and accommodation must be booked via KeyTravel. Please go to the KeyTravel website (https://www.keytravel.com/uk) for a quote to accompany your application and email it to the QMUL LISS Administrator Angela Kamara email@example.com who will arrange the purchase of your travel/accommodation using the LISS budget code and raise a Purchase order number which you send to KeyTravel to confirm your booking.
Queen Mary and Imperial students should contact their institutional LISS administrators (see Institutional Contacts table) about delays to payments or reimbursements. King’s students should contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Other Research Funding
Additional Research Funding is available to students via their Institutions as follows:
- QMUL Doctoral College – PhD Student Funding
- KCL Centre for Doctoral Studies – PhD Student Funding
- ICL Graduate School – Research and Communities Funding
Students may also receive funding for their research via grants to their supervisors, via collaborations with external partners, and are encouraged to hold additional grants themselves, provided that the annual income from these is not equal to or in excess of the annual value of your LISS DTP studentship. You should inform the LISS DTP team immediately if you are applying for an award from another body to support your postgraduate work, especially in the form of payment of fees or a maintenance grant.
Funding for Other Projects, Events or Activities
Student Led Activities Fund
LISS DTP invites applications from students for funding to support interdisciplinary events and other activities. To qualify for funding, your event must:
- Involve at least 1 LISS DTP funded student as an organiser. Please see a list of our current funded cohort here.
- Be student-centred (primarily organised by and/or for students).
- Be accessible to students from all 3 institutions.
- Be open to all LISS DTP affiliated students (although priority may be given to LISS DTP funded students if enrolment needs to be capped for resource reasons).
- Have at least 1 activity within 3 months of the closing date of the call
- Have a LISS DTP pathway lead as the academic ‘sponsor’ who agrees to manage the funding (sponsor should be based at the institution where the majority of funds will be spent)
Activities eligible for funding can include one-off events like a workshop or conference, recurring events like reading groups or seminar series, or involve the creation of resources such as web apps, handbooks, etc. We encourage innovative and imaginative proposals. We are very happy to receive applications to co-fund events with other DTPs or other organisations.
Planning & Budgeting
You should get in touch with the Deputy Director for Training and Cohort Development to discuss your ideas before submitting an application, and you should submit your application at least 2 months ahead of the planned date in order to give sufficient time for the necessary publicity and planning.
We can consider applications for any value, but an ideal budget would be £3000 or less. Please email the LISS Deputy Director for Training and Cohort Development to notify them that an application has been submitted.
Applications are processed quarterly on the first working Monday of January, April, June and October. Decisions will take up to 2 weeks after this deadline. LISS DTP reserves the right to limit reviewing out-of-cycle review requests, applicants should plan appropriately and submit their application for funding within the quarterly review periods.
If the event you have in mind is relevant to a particular discipline area, then it would be eligible for funding by a Pathway. Pathways have funds to support both staff and student led activities. Please approach the relevant academic Pathway Lead to discuss your idea in the first instance. Names of Pathway Leads can be found on the Pathways page.