How to Get PhD Funding?

PhD Funding

Having a PhD degree is an essential requirement for a scholar looking to have a stable career in academics. Getting selected for a PhD is a difficult process, you need to go through tough exams and interviews. But the story doesn’t end with being selected, you also need a PhD funding source to sponsor your research. So, if you are wondering how you can get a PhD funding, we have an answer for you in this blog.

Studying PhD in India and Abroad

A PhD is perhaps the most important degree for a career in academic research, therefore it is very important to choose a good university to pursue your degree. If you are looking to apply for a PhD in India, here is a list of the top universities you can opt for according to the NIRF 2020 rankings:

Indian Institute of Science1Bengaluru
Jawaharlal Nehru University2New Delhi
Banaras Hindu University3Varanasi
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham4Coimbatore
Jadavpur University5Kolkata

Many students prefer to get their PhD degrees from universities abroad. If you are one of them, below is a list of the best universities worldwide according to the QS World University Rankings 2021:

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)1United States
Stanford University2United States
Harvard University3United States
California Institute of Technology (Caltech)4United States
University of Oxford5United Kingdom

Studying in Canada can not only provide you PhD fundings but also with a great career ahead in research. Here are some popular PhD in Canada with Scholarship options for you!

Cost of a PhD Degree

There is no fixed cost of getting a PhD degree, it varies both university and country wise. In India, getting a PhD is considerably cheaper. Govt-funded institutions charge much less than private institutes. A PhD degree in India can approximately cost anywhere between Rs. 2000 to more than Rs. 20000 per year. 

The cost is much higher if you opt for universities in the UK or the US. The approximate annual cost for a PhD degree in the UK for international students is around £18000, while in the US it can go much higher- around $28000 to 40000. Germany is a much cheaper option, with the semester fees being around €250. But there is no need to get discouraged by the high costs, there are various sources for PhD funding that you can avail for your research.

How to Get PhD Funding?

For a PhD, the main issue remains its funding. There are various universities, councils and organisations that offer PhD funding to qualified students. Other than that, there are specific scholarships too. Here we list down some of the sources from where you can get funding for your PhD.

Scholarships and Fellowships

Scholarships are financial grants given to students for further studies or research work. There are many scholarships and fellowships available for PhD scholars both in India and abroad which provide full or partial funding depending on the amount granted. For getting a scholarship, the candidate has to qualify the requirements, which may include an exam or a brilliant research proposal. Here is a list of a few scholarships for Indian students you can apply for:

Scholarships in IndiaInternational Scholarships
UGC-NET JRF FellowshipCharles Wallace India Trust Scholarships (UK)
CSIR UGC-NET JRF FellowshipOxford and Cambridge Society of India (OCSI) Scholarships
Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund ScholarshipsSaltire Scholarships (Scotland)
Google PhD Fellowship India ProgramRhodes Scholarships at Oxford University for International Students (UK)
Fulbright-Nehru Doctoral Research FellowshipsFriedrich Naumann Foundation Scholarship for International Students (Germany)
ICHR Junior Research Fellowships (JRF)Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Scholarships in Germany for International Students (Germany)

Here are some more PhD Scholarships for you!

Research Council Grants

There are Research Councils for specific fields and disciplines all over the world which support research in their respective fields. Research councils grant funds for research and these can be availed by PhD students.

Some of the research councils in India which provide PhD funding are:

  • Council of Industrial and Scientific Research
  • Indian Academy of Sciences
  • Indian Council of Historical Research
  • Indian Council for Philosophical Research
  • Indian Council for Agricultural Research
  • Indian Council for Social Sciences Research
  • Indian Council of Medical Research

In the UK the research councils have been grouped together to form an umbrella organisation known as the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). There are National research Councils in many countries like the US, Canada and Italy which provide research support. Similar organisations exist all over the world and so, you can apply for PhD funding from the respective council’s website.

Academic Institutions and Universities

The best way to fund your PhD is to receive stipends from your university. Many universities provide full or partial PhD funding, and such details are generally available in their respective websites. Universities in the UK mostly provide partial funding for research to PhD scholars, while few universities offer full funding. Many universities in the US offer stipends that cover all the costs to be incurred.

In India, registered PhD scholars not availing any other scholarship or fellowship are entitled to receive a basic stipend from the university. Thus a major number of universities provide funding to their PhD scholars, all you need is to check the official website for the details before applying.

Must Read: Engineering Scholarships

Funding Organisations and Studentships

Other than academic institutions and research councils, various other organisations provide grants of funds to PhD scholars both in India and abroad. These scholarships provided by the organisations are a major source of funds for PhD scholars worldwide. For example, in Germany, more than 20000 organizations (both public and private) provide PhD funding to international students. 

PhD scholars can also opt for studentships which require them to work as teaching or research assistants along with their own research. Studentships provide a good opportunity to gather relevant work experience along with providing funds for your research

Benefits of Studying PhD Abroad

For the students thinking of pursuing PhD, a matter of concern remains whether they should pursue their PhD in India itself, or try getting their degree abroad. For a PhD degree, the most popular countries include the UK, the US and Germany. If you are apprehensive about whether you should get you degree from abroad or not, here are some benefits that you can get from abroad:

  • Universities abroad offer a huge choice of specialization within a particular subject.
  • You get a chance of getting global exposure which opens up a lot of opportunities.
  • You get to study in the top international institutes.
  • You get a chance to study a specially designed syllabus according to global standards.
  • You get to study under some of the best instructors in the field.

Hope this blog was useful in addressing your concerns about PhD funding. If you are looking for options to pursue a fully funded PhD abroad, our team at Leverage Edu can help you with selecting the perfect university as per your requirements.

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