How to apply successfully for funding

Competition for funding is rising, so follow our advice to help make the application process easier.
Raining money

Applying for funding is similar to applying for a place on a course and in some cases applications for academic places and for funding may overlap. So all the usual rules for completing applications apply (see pages 128–129). For the best chances, attend briefings at your college from funding bodies for insight into their guidelines, attend any sessions offered by your careers service, and have your application checked by an academic mentor if possible.

Timing it right

If you want to study at a North American university this means early on in the previous year (usually at the same time that you apply for your university place). Competitive awards are announced at the start of the academic year, with deadlines from November onwards.

Meet the eligibility requirements

There is usually a lot of competition for funding. You should have good academic results and a good fit for the programme concerned. Funding bodies expect the best possible results overall throughout your academic course, normally at least a 2.1.

Complete the forms carefully

Read forms and directions carefully and make sure you give the information required. Give evidence of your track record in the subject and motivation and a sense of direction; also emphasise your interest in the department and university. Provide information about extra-curricular activities. This might include academic transcripts, academic references, a ‘statement of purpose’, or a statement from your bank manager or guarantor. Always meet the deadline

Where to find help

  • Attend briefings at your college from funding bodies such as Research Councils. Follow the guidelines given there and on their websites.
  • Attend any preparatory sessions offered by your careers service.
  • Have your application checked by an academic mentor if possible.

This information was published in the gradireland & postgradireland Directory 2016