Funding for postgraduate study
Some sources of funding for masters and PhD courses require a separate application. Check closing dates and eligibility criteria carefully. In your application focus on the recipient - what do they need to know about you, your interests, your motivation, your experience? In many cases it is also important to consider why they are offering the funding. Is it a scholarship from a foundation aiming to promote international understanding or some other ethos? How will you be an effective ambassador for that? Most commonly you will need to submit an academic CV and personal statement.
See also our information on sources of funding for postgraduate study in the UK, the USA and elsewhere.
Post-doctoral fellowships, including Junior Research Fellowships (JRFs)
Read the job description carefully to understand what is prioritised by the recruiting College or institution(s) beyond furthering your research. If there are additional responsibilities such, as outreach, mentoring, expanding or fostering academic networks, you will need to provide evidence of your interest and experience in these areas, as well as statements about how you would fulfil these roles when in post.
Try to meet current JRF holders to gain further insight into what the role entails on a daily basis and what is expected by senior colleagues.
Show how your research contributes to, extends and/or maximises the impact of other work going on in the University. Then state why the JRF would enable you to further these in specific ways.
Give prominence to your publications (and those in progress):
- use headings in your publications list to draw attention to journal articles (above book chapters), and to distinguish policy papers from expert reviews and public commentaries, or conference proceedings from published papers.
- consider adding an impact factor or HI index metrics to journal publications (even if these are not high for junior stage publications they show an awareness of their importance).
Outline how you intend to participate in knowledge exchange and public engagement within your fellowship. These activities are now recognised as significant components of academic life.
Give prominence to your grant-writing experience and partnerships or work with people or organisations outside the university.
Look at Vitae's Research Developer Framework to identify any other academic-related competencies that you could demonstrate in your application (particularly project-management, leadership, developing innovative partnerships/strategic thinking).
Make an appointment with a Careers Adviser to have your application reviewed.
Applications for research funding will have varying requirements according to the funder and scheme in question. Oxford University Research Services works in partnership with academic divisions, departments, University Administration and Services (UAS) and Oxford University Innovation to support Oxford’s research community in many ways.
These include understanding grant eligibility and writing competitive application, how to engage strategically with non-academic partners (including intellectual property agreements), and defining Knowledge Exchange or Impact targets to benefit both the project and your career.
Research Services run regular training sessions on how to apply for funding. Their staff are equally willing to advise individuals on which schemes to apply for and how to prepare a solid funding application. Use the searchable Oxford University research support staff list to identify the right person to talk to about research funding. Research Services also offer twice-yearly seminars on writing funding applications.
- Research Professional is an online database of funding opportunities that you can tailor to your subject areas. It is a subscription resource so you need to be on a university-networked computer to set up an account.
- UK Research and Innovation, the new national body which brings together the seven Research Councils, Innovate UK and Research England, is another good place to look for information about current research funding opportunities.
- The European Research Council also has a broad range of grants available to researchers whose projects will be undertaken in an EU member state or associated country.
- Early Career Fellowships for scientists (plus, increasingly, other disciplines) are helpfully summarised by Research Services Fellowships, including a table for download containing key information and upcoming deadline dates.
- Funding Insight articles are of particular relevance to early career researchers, with advice on applying for funding and interviews with funders and researchers.
- Daily Info often carries advertisements offering editorial support for documents. Check out, however, the University policy on the extent to which academic writing can be edited by others prior to submission before using extensively.