PGRF & DCIF - Conference and Travel Funding

The QMUL Postgraduate Research Fund is open to all Postgraduate Research students at QMUL and is designed to support travel and other expenses (although not consumables and equipment) related to the student’s doctoral studies. Applications to the Fund will be assessed by a panel of senior colleagues from across the College (two per faculty). The panel will normally assess applications a couple of weeks after the deadline, and both applicants and schools/institutes will be informed of the results. Funds will only be reimbursed to awardees after they have made the initial payment themselves and have submitted to their School/Institute the expenses claim form together with receipts.

The Doctoral College Initiative Fund (DCIF) is designed to support and promote creative and imaginative activities organised by postgraduate research students which will enhance their research experience, intellectual and/or professional development. The Doctoral College anticipates supporting a wide range of activities or events ranging from, but not limited to, seminars, conferences, debates and specialist training activities. Please download the DCIF Fund Form and Guidelines below. Please note there is also a DCIF Award Holders Report Form to complete after the event.The Doctoral College anticipates supporting a wide range of activities or events ranging from, but not limited to, seminars, conferences, debates and specialist training activities.

Deadlines for PGRF / DCIF applications

Applications are collated by schools/institutes, for sign-off by the school/institute Director of Research, before submission to the panel.

The deadline for receipt of applications centrally is normally 1 October, 1 February and 1 June.

Internal school/institute deadlines will generally be one week before the central deadline. Your school/institute coordinator’s contact details are listed at the bottom of the page.


Purpose of the funds':

The aim of the fund is to help students gain funding for conference travel or work that will directly benefit the student in their studies. The idea is to prepare students for producing serious grant applications in their future careers.  This is a useful skill even if the student leaves academia, as private individuals and companies also apply for grants and extra funding sources.

The panel considers approximately 50 applications each term.  It usually takes a full day to assess each application in detail, prior to the actual panel meeting.  Applications are not ranked, but failed applications are asked to re-submit a more serious application in the next round.  The funded applications are restricted to the advertised PGRF limits.  Finally all applications are then reduced by the same percentage to fit within the budget.

The PGRF budget is typically overspent.


Things to consider:

Think about how the panel will see the application. They want to review succinct information, so as not to have to guess what is being requested, but not such detailed information that it takes too long to read a single application.  Typically, a single side of A4 for each proof of cost e.g. airline ticket, hotel room would is preferable.


What the panel is looking for:

·         Has the applicant previously been awarded through the fund

·         Is the funding being requested retrospectively?  This is not allowed.

·         Is the case well made

·         Is the conference/workshop appropriate for the student's research

·         Is it the correct time in the students studies to use these funds

·         Is there proof that conference papers / posters / talks / abstracts have been accepted

·         Does the application have strong support from the supervisor

·         Is the amount being requested within the PGRF guidelines

·         Has there been a realistic attempt to apply for external funding

·         If no external funding opportunities exist then the application must read to that effect: supervisors must confirm this in their statement of support

·         Are quotes for travel / accommodation / fees provided

·         Is it good value for money

·         Are visa costs / airport transfer costs etc. included

·         Do the sums of money in each category add up to the totals

·         Is the student conducting fieldwork whilst in Writing-Up status? This is not allowed.

·         The application should not sound like an excuse for a holiday

If you intend to visit a company or a research group, state clearly what the goals are, who you'll meet, what definite arrangements you've made and provide a timetable of your proposed discussions. 

How to apply:

Submission of PGRF and DCIF applications are to be made to the PGR Programmes Officer.