Postgraduate Funding for University Students through Grants from Charity | GradFunding

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Sam Pollard, PhD Theology, University of Bristol
Funding for Everything
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I am half-way through a PhD at University of Bristol that I have longed to do for over 10 years - and I could not be doing it without securing multiple charity grants.  Three times previously I applied, every time securing a place (even part-funding once) but every time having to decline because of finance. Then in 2014 I seized my chance when my employer offered me funding for the first year - I could remain in post but focus the majority of my time on further study. Since then I have been on a journey.  My housing was linked to my employment so, in 2015, I had to move house 2 weeks before my first child was born. I moved to part-time study and took a paid role to help cover costs. In 2016 I took a further part-time role and 2 days of child-care alongside the PhD to enable my wife to go back to work. We have been juggling 3 jobs, child-care, and a PhD between us whilst living with a monthly deficit.  I am an Anglican Priest with a passion for Theological Education and a desire to motivate the church to be a force for good in our communities.  

My PhD would not be possible had it not been for grants from charities which we have secured for a whole range of purposes: for fees, general living, to holiday grants which have for example enabled us to visit our newly-born niece in the USA.  The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding has been an invaluable help enabling me to find funding to support my PhD. These grants have been based on a my subject of study, my role as an Anglican Priest, my connection to Bristol as place of study, the fact I live in Essex, and my focus on Religious Studies,.  So far I have received:

- £1,000 per year for 3 years from St Luke's College Foundation
- £500 per year as the Chelmsford Diocese Advanced Study Grant
- £500 per year from the St Matthias Trust
- £600 one off grant from the Clergy Rest Fund
- £600 one off grant from the Society for the Relief of Poor Clergy
- £500 from the Four Winds Charity

Twice a year I take a morning to search through the Alternative Guide database, following up anything likely online and with emails/letters.  I make a brief timetable for applications and over the next months all I need to do is take an hour here at the right time to apply.  Every year I have received at least one grant, and every year it has made a huge difference.

We think Sam's inspiring story shows how things you might not have expected - such as where he had lived in Essex and Bristol, and his role as an Anglican Priest - can help uncover funding opportunities from charities and trusts!

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I am half-way through a PhD at University of Bristol that I have longed to do for over 10 years - and I could not be doing it without securing multiple charity grants.  Three times previously I applied, every time securing a place (even part-funding once) but every time having to decline because of finance. Then in 2014 I seized my chance when my employer offered me funding for the first year - I could remain in post but focus the majority of my time on further study. Since then I have been on a journey.  My housing was linked to my employment so, in 2015, I had to move house 2 weeks before my first child was born. I moved to part-time study and took a paid role to help cover costs. In 2016 I took a further part-time role and 2 days of child-care alongside the PhD to enable my wife to go back to work. We have been juggling 3 jobs, child-care, and a PhD between us whilst living with a monthly deficit.  I am an Anglican Priest with a passion for Theological Education and a desire to motivate the church to be a force for good in our communities. 

My PhD would not be possible had it not been for grants from charities which we have secured for a whole range of purposes: for fees, general living, to holiday grants which have for example enabled us to visit our newly-born niece in the USA.  The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding has been an invaluable help enabling me to find funding to support my PhD. These grants have been based on a my subject of study, my role as an Anglican Priest, my connection to Bristol as place of study, the fact I live in Essex, and my focus on Religious Studies,.  So far I have received:

- £1,000 per year for 3 years from St Luke's College Foundation

- £500 per year as the Chelmsford Diocese Advanced Study Grant

- £500 per year from the St Matthias Trust

- £600 one off grant from the Clergy Rest Fund

- £600 one off grant from the Society for the Relief of Poor Clergy

- £500 from the Four Winds Charity

Twice a year I take a morning to search through the Alternative Guide database, following up anything likely online and with emails/letters.  I make a brief timetable for applications and over the next months all I need to do is take an hour here at the right time to apply.  Every year I have received at least one grant, and every year it has made a huge difference.