What You Need to Know About Earning a PhD Scholarship - PhDportal.com

What You Need to Know About Earning a PhD Scholarship

The process of doing a PhD is often described as challenging. Financially speaking, it will, of course, be even more challenging if you do not have sufficient funding to pursue it and have to earn a living while trying to bring your contribution to innovation and discoveries.

In this case, an option is to apply for a PhD scholarship or other types of funding. Find an answer to how you can get a scholarship for a PhD.

Find PhD programmes

Check out how you can finance your studies abroad.

Types of PhD Scholarships

It is important to remember that there are different types of scholarships available. We have more than 2,000 doctoral scholarships on our portal. Some are provided directly by a research department recruiting doctoral candidates, some by universities. There are many doctoral candidates at European universities that are sponsored by the governments of their countries to come and do a PhD degree.

In addition to this, there are various foundations and organisations that provide financial support to doctoral candidates. So, one of the first things you need to do is identify all these different sources of funding.

  1. In the UK, for instance, non-academic organisations have partnerships with local universities and provide studentships to prospective PhD candidates. These studentships are usually for four-year PhD courses and offer students the opportunity to work for a few months in a local company or organisation in return for a financial contribution that can be used for their research project. This kind of opportunity can sometimes become a full-time job for students.
  2. Other studentships are available in UK charities, but they offer awards to supervisors, who then advertise for PhD candidates, so it’s always a good idea to check them out as well.
  3. Several universities worldwide deliver university prize scholarships that include payment for the entire tuition fee and, sometimes, cover an annual maintenance stipend and a research training support grant as well. The latter includes payment for conferences, books, consumables and equipment. However, you should know that university prizes are highly competitive so you have to read requirements carefully and be very realistic about your chances of receiving one.
  4. Switzerland provides a large number of scholarships for PhD students, including international students. The Swiss government offers research scholarships for all disciplines, and they are available in all types of higher educational institutions in the country: cantonal universities, universities of applied sciences and the two federal institutes of technology.

Useful tips that can help you find a scholarship

Regularly check university websites and look for scholarships or studentships or contact the student services and ask if there are any available.

Look for research grants in your field that could lead to future studentships.

Verify what governments, national charities or other organisations might offer in terms of scholarships and funding for higher education studies.

Carefully check the details of your PhD Application

During your application for a PhD programme, it is important to check all the details and make sure to fulfil all the requirements. Depending on each university and the specific scholarship programme, the competition among applicants can be quite tough. But do not be discouraged!

As always, when preparing your scholarship application, you need to try to evaluate it critically from the perspective of the people who will be reading it. In essence, research departments are looking for people with a strong academic background who would be able to successfully conduct a long-term research project and contribute to the research field. So make sure you read the scholarship requirements carefully and explain clearly how you meet the requirements in your application letter.

Find out what are the common requirements when you apply for a university abroad

How to use use our portal to find scholarships

  1. Go to phdportal.com and select the country where you want to pursue your PhD studies, and the subject you're interested in.
  2. Click the “Scholarships” tab at the top of the page. 

The information about each scholarship on the website generally includes a detailed description, the benefits for a scholarship holder and an explanation of the application process. In the tab “Detailed description” for each programme, you can find the contact details of the institution awarding a scholarship, so you will be able to contact them directly to learn more about the application process.

Apply right now for the Studyportals Scholarship

You can also apply for our Studyportals Scholarship. It's open to all students who plan to go abroad for their studies, including those interested in a PhD, like you. Check the admission requirements and apply for the Studyportals Scholarship.

Interesting programmes for you

Explore more than 10000 Ph.D. Degrees from all around the world with Studyportals.

All disciplines


Go to your profile page to get personalised recommendations!