Postgraduate bursaries

First-class research is at the heart of Cambridge. Students choose to undertake postgraduate study for a wide range of reasons: to pursue cutting-edge research, either in academia or in a research institute; to join a profession that needs specialist training; or to deepen their knowledge of a particular subject.

Postgraduate studies are expensive. A UK/EU student studying an MPhil course will need at least £19,000 for a single year’s fees and maintenance in 2016-17, and the total costs of a PhD range from £20,376 pa for a UK/EU student to almost £40,000 pa for an overseas student doing a clinical PhD.

Cuts in funding available from Research Councils such as AHRC have also increased the need for the Colleges to bridge the gap between what the University can provide for postgraduate students, and what is required. The wealthier a college, the better it is able to reduce this gap for as many students as possible.

“Whilst doing my MPhil at St Catharine’s, I applied for AHRC funding for my PhD, but was turned down. Instead, I received a bursary from St Catharine’s, enabling me to start my PhD – and, having received a distinction for my MPhil, I have now been able to secure AHRC funding for the remainder of my PhD. The St Catharine’s bursary was invaluable in bridging this one-year funding gap.”

A first-year History PhD student

The Graduate Support Fund

Whilst we endeavour to provide support where we can, the College’s current situation is not yet satisfactory. In recent years a number of excellent students, including several undergraduate senior scholars, have either moved to other institutions offering better funding, or withdrawn from postgraduate study altogether for financial reasons. To have lost these exceptional students because we are unable to offer them the funding they need is both frustrating and worrying for the College.

A substantial Graduate Support Fund would enable St Catharine’s to attract and retain the very best postgraduates – both those we have nurtured through their undergraduate degrees and those applying from elsewhere.

How will my gift help?

The College is keen to fund, and ultimately to endow, a larger number of entrance bursaries for MPhil and PhD students in any subject. Although these awards would not cover the full costs of postgraduate study, they could be sufficient to enable a student to study at St Catharine’s rather than elsewhere. A gift to the Graduate Support Fund could be allocated in one of the following ways:

  To fund a single bursary

To endow a single bursary in perpetuity

MPhil bursary
(1 year)
£5,000 £125,000
PhD bursary
(3-4 years)
£40,000 over 3-4 years
(£10,000 awarded pa)

£1 million for one bursary, awarded every 3-4 years

£4 million for 4 bursaries, one awarded every year

Make a gift