Travel funding schemes for PhD Students

Graduate School Travel Support Scheme

The Graduate School Travel Support Scheme permits eligible doctoral researchers to apply for funding towards travel relating to conferences, data collection or research visits.

Successful applicants will receive up to a maximum of £200 towards their travel. Schools are expected to make a contribution of 50% of the travel costs, up to a maximum of £100.   

Example 1: Travel costs of £600.
School travel contribution of £100. Graduate School award of £200.
Example 2: Travel costs of £80.
School travel contribution of £40. Graduate School award of £40.

The scheme supports travel only, which must be a single trip, and not other costs such as conference registration, visas, subsistence or accommodation.

Funding is allocated at three points in the year (deadlines below). Applicants should be aware that the Graduate School has a limited budget of £6,000 to award per year. Each of the three rounds of the competition will award a maximum of one third of the total annual budget. Applications are reviewed by a panel of Graduate School senior staff and decisions will be communicated within approximately four weeks. Where more eligible applications are received than can be funded, priority may be given to: researchers who are self-funding their studies; (for data collection) researchers who are collecting data that is critical to the completion of their doctorate; (for conference travel) researchers who are presenting at a conference rather than just attending. Researchers receiving a travel award are expected to meet the minimum level of engagement with RRDP training.  

Deadlines for 2020-21 

Application deadline Decisions Deadline for claiming funds*
1 September 2020
(for travel occurring 1/10/20 - 30/1/21)
1 October 2020
28 February 2021*
1 January 2021
(for travel occurring 1/2/21 - 31/5/21)
1 February 2021
30 June 2021*
1 May 2021 
(for travel occurring 1/6/21 - 30/9/21)
1 June 2021
30 September 2021*

 * Funding will be lost if not claimed by the given deadline.


Eligibility – who can apply?

You should be:

  • a current doctoral researcher at the University of Reading
  • in your 2nd/3rd year of study when the travel takes place (if full time)
  • in your 3rd/4th/5th year of study when the travel takes place (if part-time)
  • applying for travel which takes place within the specified period for the round


How to apply

Apply using GS Travel Bursary Application Form 2020-21.  Include a supporting statement from your Supervisor confirming (a) that the School has agreed to provide 50% of the travel costs, up to a maximum of £100 and (b) whether you have an authorized risk assessment. For further advice about risk assessment, speak with your School Health and Safety Officer.

Include an RRDP Certificate of Attendance, which you can print from RISIS.

Email your complete application, including RRDP attendance certificate and supporting statement to Helen Apted,, by the relevant deadline.



  1. Applications must be for travel within the period stated above (see deadlines above).
  2. Applications which are received after the closing date, are incomplete, or are for travel outside the relevant period for the deadline will not be considered. Applications cannot be made retrospectively. Please check carefully before submitting. Applications must provide a true reflection of your funding status.
  3. You can only receive one award during your doctoral programme.

Conditions of award

  1. Funding will be provided on provision of an accurately and fully completed expenses claim made by the deadlines given above. If you do not submit a claim by the given deadline, the funding will be lost. If your School will be booking your travel on your behalf, please inform the Graduate School Office and provide a named contact for the person making the booking.
  2. You are asked to submit, preferably with photographs, a short report on the travel. This should be completed within 6 weeks of the travel using the form provided.  (Travel support post award report).

Further information

Awards made from the Graduate School Travel Support Scheme are funded by contributions from several sources, including generous support from the prize fund of the Clifford Norton Award.


University Research Travel Grants

The University's Research Travel Grant Sub-Committee makes awards to eligible applicants for funding towards activities such as participation at research conferences and seminars. The Sub-Committee meets once a term but is able to consider applications on a rolling basis.  

Full information can be found on the web page for the Research Travel Grant Sub-Committee; you will need to input your University username and password to access this page.

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