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PGR Hardship Fund

What is the Fund?

The PGR Hardship Fund provides funding to students who are experiencing unforeseen exceptional circumstances during their studies.

PGR Hardship Fund Application Form  

Hardship due to Coronavirus

The fund is available to postgraduate research students who are facing financial hardship due to exceptional circumstances arising from the impact of Coronavirus. We are considering applications fortnightly so please don't expect an immediate response. Our criteria and the funding available remain the same.

Postgraduate research students are eligible to submit an application for funding at any point during their registration period, including during a period of temporary withdrawal. Priority will be given to cases where an award will assist on-time thesis completion during the standard registration period. Awards will not normally be made to students more than three months into an extension period or following thesis submission.

If you have any queries or would like to discuss a potential application please contact doctoralcollege at warwick dot ac dot uk.

What would be considered as ‘unforeseen exceptional circumstances’?

All applications will be considered on their own merit, however the following are examples of recent successful applications:

  • Student who transferred from another University with supervisor experienced unforeseen expenses and a deficit in external funding;
  • Health issues prevented student from completing within funded period, in order to submit thesis on time student was unable to continue paid employment;
  • Student’s partner was made redundant, student unable to increase paid employment while ensuring on-time thesis submission;
  • Student’s family has planned to provide financial support but were unable to do so due to unforeseen health issues of family member

How much funding is available?

Payments from the Fund will usually cover a maximum period of three months with the level of funding being half of the research council stipend rate, £636.88 per month for 2020/2021. However, additional funding may be available in exceptional circumstances. The monthly amount for the 2021/2022 academic year (starting October 2021) will be £650.38 in line with increased research council stipend rates.

How do I apply?

The application form is available at the top of this page. Please read the guidance notes carefully and provide all the requested information, including any relevant supporting evidence. Your application should include:

  • Details of unforeseen/exceptional circumstances together with supporting evidence, where available;
  • Details of sources of funding for the full duration of your registration eg self-funded, scholarship, Research Council funding. If multiple please provide full details and relevant dates;
  • Amount of funding requested;
  • Completion plan, outlining how you intend to schedule your work to ensure completion by your end of registration and how receipt of hardship funding would assist this (if appropriate).

When you have completed sections 1-3 of the form you should ask your supervisor to provide a statement in relation to your request. Your application, together with your supervisor’s statement will be considered by your department Director of Graduate Studies (DGS). If your supervisor and department DGS support your application it should be submitted to the Doctoral College (by either you or your department) in order for it to be considered by the (Deputy) Academic Director of the Doctoral College. If you are unsure who your department DGS is, please contact your department administrator for further advice.

How do I find out about the progress of my application?

If your DGS supports your application and agrees that it can be passed to the Doctoral College for consideration, we will inform you of the outcome as soon as possible.

I have previously applied for the Fund – can I apply again?

Awards are limited, so it is not usually possible to make multiple awards to the same student. Any applications received from students who have previously received an award from the Fund will not usually be considered. However, if you have previously applied but been unsuccessful you can submit further applications for funding.

Are there any other forms of funding available to PGR students?

If you are experiencing financial difficulties you may wish to consider applying for funding via the following schemes. Some academic departments may also have funding available to PGR students.


"I am very grateful for the financial support from the PGR Hardship Fund. It provided me with a lifeline during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown. This removed the worry about how to pay my maintenance costs and gave me the peace of mind to concentrate on completing my thesis. Thanks again to the Doctoral College for the financial support and to my supervisors and the director of graduate studies at WBS, for supporting my application."

Hardship fund holder

Hardship fund holder - story of support 

"During my PhD, I developed major mental health issues which hindered the writing process massively. When I had run out of my funding, this was worsened by financial difficulties. Fortunately, the Doctoral College Hardship Fund was there to relieve at least this worry. It was easy to apply for, and came through very quickly and I am still very grateful for this, since it meant I could finish my PhD with the peace of mind needed to do so."

Hardship fund holder

"I applied for the Doctoral College Hardship Fund two months before finishing my PhD. Applying was very simple and I had the support of my supervisor and my department, which made the process very easy.

I was really happy to get the grant because I was in unforeseen exceptional financial difficulties, since I still had two months left to finish the PhD. Receiving these funds allowed me to work on the last details of my thesis without worrying about financial constraints and I was able to submit my dissertation on time and properly. Recently, I had my viva and passed successfully. I was able to meet my goals thanks to the help of the Doctoral College and the Hardship Fund scheme."

Hardship fund holder