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How do I get Postgraduate Funding?

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  • Written By: Rachel Burkot
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2018
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    Conjecture Corporation
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After completing undergraduate study and receiving a bachelor’s degree, many students wish to participate in a postgraduate program. The major reasons for this decision include further training in a specialized discipline, a gateway for broader employment options and the potential to earn a higher salary in the workforce. Graduate school typically costs more than an undergrad education, and postgraduate funding is more limited than financial aid for college. There are, however, possibilities when it comes to paying for graduate school.

Research councils provide awards and grants as forms of postgraduate funding. There are councils in specific subject areas, and grants are made for the course path which the student is seeking. Research councils typically provide generous sums of money, which often cover the total cost of tuition and even some living expenses. Graduate students usually cannot afford to go to school full time, so they will have a part-time job as well. Research council awards can reduce the number of hours students must work to afford school, giving them more time to focus on their studies.

The donations from research councils come from university departments. The schools are allotted money by the councils, and although these awards can be very generous, high levels of competition for this postgraduate funding usually exist. In most schools, less money is given to arts and humanities departments, making it more difficult for graduate students in these disciplines to afford their schooling.

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Similar to research councils, charities also exist to provide giveaways for grad students. Charities related to every subject area exist, but postgraduate funding at these institutions can be fickle. Some charities provide full scholarships, while others cover merely a fraction of a year’s tuition and other expenses. The amount that a charity can offer depends wholly on the donations made to support it.

Each college’s policy on postgraduate funding will differ, and some may only provide a small stipend toward expenses such as books. Another option is to participate in a fellowship program with the university. This will often involve teaching or assisting with undergraduate programs or acting as a research assistant for a specific department. Postdoctoral research is always in high demand.

For those who want to attend graduate school but cannot find the postgraduate funding, consider going to work for an employer who will contribute toward tuition. Many companies do this because there is a benefit for both parties. The employee gets the education he or she wants while the company gets a satisfied employee who demonstrates initiative to further his or her education and balance work with school. If postgraduate funding cannot be obtained any other way, there are always loans available. Although difficult to uncover, postgraduate funding can be found if students are willing to persevere in their search.

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