Student Development Funding

This funding is only available to students who receive their fees & scholarship (or fees only) from SGSAH through the AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership competition or those in receipt of Creative Economies Studentships, AHRC studentships awarded under the remit of the National Productivity Investment Fund.

What is Student Development Funding?

This funding is available to AHRC funded students to help you to address your individual training needs.  It can be used to:

  • extend the duration of the paid studentship period; and/or
  • meet additional costs associated with training, including travel.

SDF is not available to provide extended stipend for thesis pending/writing up.

Every student fully funded by the AHRC through SGSAH who attends the SGSAH Future Research Leaders Programme and SGSAH Summer Schools will be eligible for one month’s additional stipend.

SDF covers:


There are three deadlines for the SGSAH SDF Training Fund.  SGSAH Visiting Doctoral Researcher and SGSAH self-organised internship/artist residency applications may be made at any time.

31 October 2017 31 March 2018 31 May 2018

In exceptional cases, the review panel will consider applications for funding outwith these times.


This funding is only available to students who receive their fees & scholarship (or fees only) from SGSAH through the AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership competition. It is not available to students funded by the AHRC through other routes, e.g. CDA, CDP.  

Where a student is in receipt of ‘fees only’ funding, they may also benefit from both extensions to PhD training & additional costs of training funded from the SDF, e.g. KE activity, travel, fieldwork etc, provided this does not take the form of a stipend award.

If you are unsure of your eligibility for this funding please contact in the first instance.

How Much Can I Apply For?

SDF for each cohort of students has been calculated on the basis of a six month extension per funded studentship. This is NOT an automatic allocation and students may apply for, and receive, more or less than this notional amount over the course of their programme of study. However, you are asked to bear it in mind when making an application and to ensure you keep your costs to a reasonable minimum to enable us to support as many students as possible.  Awards will be made on the basis of strategically-argued applications. Any extension to the period of study must be agreed by the home HEI & confirmed in the application.

What Isn't Covered?

We don’t normally fund subsistence costs for trips of more than a week and we don’t normally fund accommodation for trips over six months.  We only fund travel at economy rates and advance tickets.   In general, we aim to be as flexible as possible to support your needs, so please do contact us to discuss anything you are unsure about.

Identifying Training Needs

All SGSAH member universities endorse the Vitae Researcher Development Framework and we encourage you to think about your training needs in this context. 

Please note that we would normally expect extended study periods for international placements to learn languages and/or other specific skills development to have been clearly identified in the original proposal, and these to have been agreed by SGSAH before the studentship begins. Where this is not the case please contact us as early as possible.

We would not normally expect to award SDF in the first year of doctoral research, other than where this has been agreed before the start of the studentship, e.g. international placement for language training, specific skills development. Please alert us as soon as possible to potential SDF applications, particularly where these are essential to complete your research.

Annual Training & Development Plans, typically completed as part of your annual progress review, should agree training needs and identify resources. These plans will be used to support applications to the SDF. Here you can find a sample Training & Development Plan.

Can I Apply More Than Once?

AHRC guidance suggests that they do not expect more than one application. We do allow more than one application; we may prioritise applications from researchers who have not previously been supported through the fund, so you should think carefully about your own priorities.

We will not normally support two applications for the same type of SDF, so you cannot do two internships, or have two Visiting Doctoral Researcher awards.  

Can I Apply For Funding To Go To A Conference?

We recognise that this is a particular area of interest for our students, however our funds are limited and to make sure they are focused on high quality skills development opportunities we will require any applications to make a strong case about which additional skills will be developed through additional training opportunities, for instance: a relevant visit to an archive; workshops/masterclasses; training events attached to the conference.

Funding is also available through the Research Training Support Grant for you to attend conferences. This is administered directly by each HEI. Please contact your postgraduate office for further details of how to apply, deadlines and so on. You should leave plenty of time before applying for funds either through RTSG or through SDF.

How To Apply

Please complete the Student Development Fund form.  Note that we cannot accept retrospective applications. If an important training need or opportunity arises outwith the deadlines above, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss.

Please leave enough time between the deadline and your planned activity to ensure that you are able to book travel at the most affordable rates. If flights are involved, we recommend that you apply at least 6 months’ ahead. 

Conditions of the Grant

You will be required to submit a short reflective piece within three months after the end of each funded activity. This is likely to be used on our blog and we encourage you to be creative – we welcome still and moving image as well as links to blogs, films, websites, creative pieces etc. which have been created as part of or as a result of the training and/or impact event.

You will also be required to submit a financial statement alongside your reflective piece to confirm that the funding was spent for the purpose allocated.

How Do I Claim The Funding?

You make a claim to your home HEI.  SGSAH will reimburse them once the activity is complete.