Fees, Stipend and RTSG

Your studentship has been awarded for a period of 4 years unless an exceptional extension has been granted by the Management Board in advance of the project starting. The studentship includes tuition fees, which are paid direct to your home institution, a stipend in line with UKRI recommendations which is paid to you directly through your home institution, an annual travel and conference grant of £300, and an annual Research and Training Support Grant (RTSG).

The RTSG is an award of between £2k and £5k (depending on your project needs) to support your research (e.g., consumables and fieldwork) and training needs (e.g., workshops, conferences and travel to DTP cohort activities). Please note that the RTSG differs from student to student in line with the expected needs of the project. For example, ‘wet lab’ projects (which involve substantial laboratory work) will usually attract a greater RTSG than ‘dry lab’ projects which may be predominantly desk based.

This money is released through your supervisory team at your home institution. Actual expenditure is claimed back by them from Cardiff University (the lead Research Organisation (RO) in retrospect, at the year end.

The RTSG is not intended to relieve an RO of any part of its normal expenditure. Neither is it to support the costs of your project, which should be covered by grants held by the laboratory and/or department.

Your stipend will be paid through your home institution. Information on how and when your stipend will be paid can be found below:

University of Bath

  • On arrival, students will be emailed by the Studentships team and asked to complete a Maintenance / Stipend Agreement.  Provided that students are fully registered and that the Maintenance /Stipend Agreement is completed and returned (via email) to Studentships by the relevant deadline, the first stipend payment will be made into their nominated bank account on 1st October.  Subsequent payments for the year will be made quarterly in advance on 1 January, 1 April and 1 July.  More information may be found here:

University of Bristol

  • Stipends are paid monthly via BACS into a UK bank account, usually on 1st of the month (subject to adjustments for weekends and Bank Holidays). New students will be paid their first monthly instalment approximately 5 days after registering in person. Students registering outside of the main September registration week will receive a pro-rata payment in the first instance. Future payments will be in line with the monthly payment schedule and the final payment will also be a pro-rata payment.  Annual renewal is dependent on maintaining satisfactory academic process and meeting the criteria set out in any annual progress monitoring reviews.
  • Once the initial funding has been set up, at or before the start of the course, students will receive an email from the Student Funding Office to confirm details of payments, and to ask them to enter their bank details in the student portal.

Cardiff University

  • Students are provided with information regarding their stipend ahead of their first enrolment. Payments are made quarterly, in October, January, April and July. Currently, the first payment is made in mid-October, but thereafter at the beginning of the relevant month.

University of Exeter

As a DTP student, you are expected to monitor your budgets in liaison with your supervisor. If you underspend the RTSG budget in your first year, this can be carried over into the following years of your PhD. Similarly, if you need to draw down funds from the following year to meet an exceptional need, this can be arranged through your supervisor (however, the institution must pay back over-expenditure if you leave).

Please also note that there are many additional sources of funding, usually in the form of bursaries, to help you attend conferences and courses. These are often provided by professional societies, and they will require you to prepare and submit an application for funding.

Additional Funding Awards

There will be further opportunities to bid for funding, led by your supervisor, to support exceptional activities which have not been covered in your initial grant as the projects/student’s interest develop, e.g.

  • Internships/placements.
  • Extensions to the project.
  • Exceptional or high-cost training opportunities.
  • Travel to an international laboratory for collaboration or training.
  • A public engagement activity.

Please note that these funding awards are competitive and are not a guaranteed pot of funds. Typically, these awards are claimed as actual expenditure in retrospect from the lead RO at the year end.

Flexible Funding Supplement

Bids for additional funds and/or an extension to cover exceptional placement costs can be made via the Flexible Funding Supplement. The Flexible Funding Supplement is a biannual competitive call to enable students to bid for additional funds for exceptional or high-cost training in the MRC priority areas or transitions into post-doc positions. The call will occur biannually in March and October each year.

Please note that the fund cannot be used to finance project costs or conference attendance. Neither can it be used to grant extensions to the length of the PhD unless this is to facilitate time-consuming training needs.

Although there is no upper limit on the amount of funding that can be requested, the supplement is a relatively small amount and the panel aim to maximise its impact by supporting as many eligible students as possible. Applicants are asked to check that the activities funding is requested for have been costed realistically.

The awarding panel will look for:

  1. A clearly defined need that will be addressed by the skills and/or partnership training activity or transition to first post-doc position.
  2. Strong justification for funding the activity, particularly the importance of the activity in the context of the research training and PhD project, and the benefits it will bring to the individual and their research; or, in the case of a transition to first post-doc position, strong justification that the funding will increase the competitiveness of outstanding candidates.
  3. The quality of the student who will benefit from the funding – evidenced by academic progress and achievements to date (journal or conference papers, prizes); The likely impact of the award on the quality of the student’s research training and career, and any expected impact on the broader research training in the area of research.