Travel allowance


After several rejections and sinking into general despair about the whole thing, I've finally been offered a funded PhD position. It's an amazing project, perfect for me, the supervisors are nice people I can imagine working with, it's a (very) good university, all is good. I just had a concern when I noticed the travel allowance seems to be £1000 per student, for the whole 4 years. That doesn't seem very much to me, especially as other PhD-ers I've known have attended several overseas conferences during their 3 or 4 years, including Australia and north America which are hardly cheap to get to. £1000 isn't going to go very far if it has to cover plane fares, accommodation and conference fees!

Does this sound normal/reasonable to other people? Are there other sources of funding if you need to go to conferences? it would be awful to have the opportunity to present at a prestigious conference but be unable to do so because of lack of funds. Or am I misunderstanding something here?


I think it's very varied Ephiny, although £1000 does sound on the low side for four years. In my institute we get 50% of one conference paid per year, with our individual dept or grants from elsewhere making up the rest of costs. It might be worth asking the supervisors whether they provide additional funding out of their own resources for stuff like this. If you do get stuck there are plenty of societies and companies that offer travel grants on a regular basis, so it can be surprisingly easy to drum up a few hundred here and there.
Aside from that, congrats on the offer!


Hi Ephiny,
Congratulations on the offer! £1000 for the whole 4 years does seem a little on the low side...most of the funded students I know get about that per year...however, I do know a couple of people with similar and they receive a LOT of extra funding from the department to get them to conferences etc!

It might be worth checking out if your university has a Learned Societies Fund, if you've exhausted all the funding available from your department they'll usually fund a few trips per year with no quibbles, at least in my experience they do, I'm not sure about other universities.

Regardless of this, they'll also be a multitude of societies and funds etc outside of the university that you'll be able to apply to for travel grants/fieldwork expenses and I'm sure your supervisor will be able to point you in the direction of these. Maybe if you post your subject area people on here may be able to give you some funding sources :)


I'm going to have to disagree, I think a grand sounds about right. I get £300 a year, and with that I have to use if for conferences and any equipment I need. But like has been mentioned, there are other potential sources from where you can get grants and such like.:-)


I think this must be a difference in disciplines but £1000 travel allowance is something I'd dream about! I had to withdraw a paper last year as with my funding they will only contribute once to travel abroad and I decided that it would be better used toward the end of the PhD. That's only if your application is successful too. For any other conference travel I have to apply to the department. They've contributed once but they don't have the money to do it regularly!


It varies considerably but don't let it put you off - we had about 300 quid a year but a lot of conferences themselves will offer bursaries and there will usually be university bursaries as well. I went to two conferences that were paid for by the organisers and the rest came out of allowance and a further department bursary.


Thanks all for your replies, sounds like it's normal-ish but there's a huge amount of variation! Conferences etc are all a long way in the future for me anyway, I have to actually do some research and have something to present first...