Applying for a PhD

a PORT for Modern Languages tutorial

4 applying for grants

4.3 Early planning

The search for a grant must begin at least one year before the envisaged year of studies. Early planning and careful organization help to maximise the chances of a successful application. The planner below may help you do just that. Here are the documents you may have to prepare for your funding application:

  • Application form: most often application forms are provided to applicants by post. Some of them are also available electronically or even allow for an electronic submission.
  • Letters of recommendation: most often two recommendation letters are requested. Make sure that you request them well in advance from your tutors and also make clear to them whether they need to send them directly to the funding bodies or not.
  • Transcripts of qualifications: make photocopies of all your degrees and certificates. Translate them if obtained in another country/language and certify them (e.g. the local British Council can do this job -otherwise request the Hague stamp from local authorities. Be aware that this is a costly enterprise!).
  • Research proposal/outline
  • CV: there is no single way to write your CV. However, in all cases you must highlight your qualifications and strong points. Make sure your layout is clear, structured and eye-catching.
  • Covering letter: this is the letter which accompanies an application of any sort (course, job or scholarship application). It is very useful because it introduces you and your application, and more importantly because it lists the documents attached. It functions as a navigator to what is included in the envelope you send. 
  • Financial statement: on some occasions for being awarded a scholarship one of the defining criteria is the financial situation of the applicant in which case the applicant must provide the funding body with a financial statement. The statements should be honest and concrete.
  • Interview

The more scholarships you apply for the greater the chances of getting one. However, a big number of applications makes difficult to track the progress of your application. The planner below might be of some help:

Last update:

Name of Scholarship

Value of Award

Date of submission

Notification Date

Combinable  with other grants?