Charities and Trusts for Postgraduate Funding
This website - Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding - is all about how Masters, PhD, and PGCE students looking for funding (whether fees, maintenance, research expenses, conferences, travel) can access a major but neglected alternative funding source: charities and trusts.
If you haven't heard of charities funding postgraduate courses before, that's hardly a surprise. Very few people have, and universities often aren't very familiar with them either. But the UK has a strong tradition of philanthropy, and there are many thousands of charities, trusts, and foundations out there with grant-making power totalling millions, that will consider funding students at both postgraduate and indeed undergraduate level. These voluntary bodies vary considerably in size and resources- from huge multi-million pound organisations like Oxfam to small trust funds run by a few volunteers. Some of them are specific: The Vegetarian Charity will only grant postgraduate funding to students with a history of vegetarianism or veganism, and The Leverhulme Trades Charities Trust will only finance students who are the related to grocers, chemists, or commercial travellers. Most of them, however, are interested in simply helping people overcome financial difficulty, and funding good causes. Perhaps one of those good causes might be helping you become more employable through a Masters or PGCE, or in funding cutting edge doctoral research that they think is interesting, or that might one day make the world a better place.
So whether you are looking for £500 for a research trip, or are trying to raise thousands to finance a whole Masters or PhD, you should definitely check out charities and trusts- especially if you have been rejected or cannot apply for conventional public funding sources like research councils. The trouble is knowing where and how to begin.
The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding is intended to solve that problem- it will show you how to identify, how to find, how to approach, and how to successfully apply to charities with the simple yet effective methods which won the authors (two recent PhD students in History and Neuroscience) over £50,000 in charity grants. It also contains a database of almost 1,000 charities, with more being added each month.
The Alternative Guide is an independent and grassroots publication written by real students who thought outside the box about postgraduate funding, which is so often - with public scholarships - a depressing story of continual cuts each year, and more and more competition for dwindling resources. If you would like a fresh and original take on postgraduate funding from an emerging sponsorship strategy that few consider, check us out! Read more about the Alternative Guide!
If you would like to read some stories how how other students have successfully fundraised their postgraduate degrees using the Alternative Guide, please have a look at our new student stories section here.