External Funding

Whether you’re an undergraduate or postgraduate, prospective or current student there are hundreds, if not thousands of external organisations that offer funding towards your studies.

These organisations include charities, trusts, foundations and professional bodies. Each has their own funding opportunities, eligibility criteria and application process and the closing dates are often different. You should therefore contact the relevant organisation directly to make enquiries.

Also bear in mind that most organisations have a limit on what they can award, and it is rare to secure full funding for the entirety of your programme from just one source. We therefore advise that you apply to as many organisations as possible (after checking that you are eligible of course), and to try and secure multiple awards.  However, do also be aware that some or all of your applications may not be successful, so make sure you have a contingency plan before you start your studies.

The internet is one of the most useful ways to start searching for funding opportunities.

Using key words like: 'charitable funds for students', 'university funding', ‘scholarship funding’, ‘postgraduate funding’, ‘bursaries’ and ‘grants’ can provide you with a number of websites and information that could lead to additional financial support.

You can find information about trusts and charities that offer educational funding from:

It is also worth visiting your local library and looking through one or more of the following publications for information on grant-making bodies:

  • the Educational Grants Directory
  • the Charities Digest
  • the Grants Register
  • the Directory of Grant Making Trusts

Please be aware - there is a massive amount of information out there so be prepared to spend many hours (if not days!) searching through these sources.

1. Be early. You should start looking for funding around 10-12 months before you intend to start your studies. If the deadline for an award has passed, it is unlikely that the funding body will accept late applications.

2. Check eligibility criteria. This may seem obvious, but most funding bodies have strict criteria for the allocation of funding. You should not usually apply unless you meet their criteria.

3. Spend time on your application.  Funding bodies receive many applications every year, so it is important that you take care over your application and market your skills, interests and qualifications properly.  This is especially the case if you are making multiple applications - don't just copy and paste paragraphs onto different forms, make sure you tailor the applications accordingly.

4. Find a suitable referee.  Start contacting potential referees now, in case you are required to submit a reference with your application.

5. Have a contingency plan.  It is important to be realistic about the chances of receiving funding and you should always look for alternative sources of funding for back-up.

1st Formations Scholarshipawards up to 10 successful applicants with a bursary of £600 each. The bursary is designed to help students with some of the additional costs involved in studying, such as the cost of course materials, textbooks and other living expenses - Applications are now open and the deadline is 31st December 2016.

Kennedy Trust - Applications for Kennedy Scholarships for 2017-18 will open on Monday 15th August 2016 and will close at 23.59 on Wednesday 26th October 2016.

Entrepreneur Scholarship Programme - 20 x £500 scholarships to candidates who can clearly demonstrate academic excellence and/or entrepreneurial potential - Applications will open shortly.

Fulbright Scholarships  - For UK Citizens to study in the USA - Fulbright is the only organisation that offers scholarships for academic work in any subject, at any accredited US university. Each year, they give awards to approximately 40 students, including approximately 25 at the postgraduate-level. More than funding, their awards offer scholars the opportunity to heave a transformative cultural and academic experience and provide unparalleled support both during and after their Fulbright year. In addition to all the all-disciplines category, they also offer subject-specific awards in partnership with prestigious UK and US institutions in fields such as public affairs, journalism, law, finance and information science.

Travelbird Scholarship - This scheme has been created to encourage learning and travel. The most successful applicant will win €3,000 to go towards their studies, work placement or travels. This is based on a creative project and the winner will also have the opportunity to complete a paid internship for 3 to 6 months at the Travelbird HQ in Amsterdam.

This is open to all undergraduates at Royal Holloway. For more information about the programme and how to apply please visit the Travelbird Scholarship homepage.

Quality Formations Startup GrantQuality Formations’ startup grant programme is open to all students studying at an officially recognised or listed UK higher learning institution. It is specifically designed to supplement each student’s annual income to enable them to spend more time pursuing and developing a new business idea. They are awarding up to 4 students with £1000 each. The deadline for applications is 5pm January 27th 2017 and further information can be found on their website. 

Checkout ScholarshipCheckout.com is offering a £1,000 scholarship to students attending a university in the UK. Applicants may be UK citizens or foreign nationals. Students interested in applying are required to write a 500-800 word essay on the following topics: Why are you interested in entrepreneurship? What idea do you have for a business? How do you intend to use the scholarship funds? Applications will open shortly.

Toptal STEM ScholarshipToptal are offering 12 scholarships over the next 12 months to help women pursue their technical career aspirations. It is open to anyone with a passion for tech and they welcome applicants from all majors and any academic standing. Each scholarship winner will receive a stipend, and in addition, a year of mentorship and guidance from the senior developers within their network. The deadline to apply is the 15th of each month with a final deadline of October 14, 2016. 

SnurkExpert's Scholarship offers an annual $1,000 college scholarships to university and college students. They are currently accepting applications for the award of the Winter 2017 scholarship. The funds for the scholarship, are paid twice at the beginning of each semester. All applications should be submitted by December 1st, 2016 at midnight.

DealCrunch - Recently launched an annual $1,000 scholarship offer available to Royal Holloway University of London students who intend to pursue a career in the retail industry. Applicants may be undergraduates or graduates majoring in Marketing, Advertising, Business Management, Retail Management, Fashion, Merchandising or a related field.



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