Research Support Funding

Research Support Funding for Staff and Students in Oriental Studies

Outline of changes implemented with effect from 1 October 2011

What has happened to the funds that used to be dispersed by the sub-faculties?

The funds previously dispersed by the sub-faculty standing committees have been divided into five new categories:

  1. Research support allowances for post holders
  2. General research activity
  3. Graduate Research support
  4. Graduate Language Study support
  5. Graduate Research Training (seminars)

Details of each one and how to apply are given below.  For graduate funding, much more information is provided in the notes at the top of the relevant application form. 

A list of links to relevant forms and pages is also provided at the foot of this page.

1. Research support allowances for post holders

The purpose of the allowance is to promote individual research (research travel, conference attendance, publishing, purchase of research materials, research assistance) although it is possible to use the allowance for general research activity such as seminars, lectures, visiting academics, etc.  For conference attendance it is a requirement that the claimant is presenting a paper, chairing or organising a section, workshop or panel, or that participation in the conference is directly linked to the claimant’s research. 

Professors, Associate Professors, Readers, University Lecturers, Departmental Lecturers and Instructors may claim up to £800 per annum (pro rata for part-time staff) for research costs.

University Research Lecturers may claim up to £300 per annum (and OCHJS staff may also continue to apply to the Hebrew and Jewish Studies Unit for funding)

Not eligible: faculty tutors and externally-funded contract research officers

The Faculty Board expects that in all cases where trust fund income is available for this purpose it will be drawn upon before using this budget.

The level of allowances shall be determined by the Planning and Resources Committee in Hilary Term of the preceding year.  Allowances may not be carried forward from one financial year to the next (i.e. after the end of July) under any circumstances. 

How to claim

All expenditure must be made in accordance with the University Financial regulations.  Claimants will be asked to indicate briefly in the annual research survey how their use of their allowance has benefited their research. 

Claims should be submitted on the most up to date expenses claim form together with a coversheet giving a description of the use of the allowance and confirming that where a suitable trust fund is available the claimant has applied to this fund before making a claim against general faculty funds.

2. General research activity

The Research Committee has a small budget to support general research activity that will be of benefit to the faculty (e.g. seminars, lectures, visiting academics) rather than directly advancing the research of the individual applicant. Grants will not exceed £200 per event and the committee expects applicants to seek matching funding where possible.

All post holders may apply for this funding (including externally funded contract research officers) in addition to the post holder allowances mentioned above.

Grants will normally only be made to members of staff in the Faculty, but the Committee will consider applications from any member of the Faculty. A list of non-post holders eligible to apply for this type of support will be published by the Faculty Board annually, on the recommendation of the sub-faculties.

How to apply

Applications for this type of funding should be made on the application form Application for a small research grant from the Research Committee and submitted to the Academic Administrator in the Faculty Office not later than the end of the first week of each term.

3. Graduate Research support

All graduate research students (PRS/DPhil) in the Faculty of Oriental Studies who are within full fee liability are entitled to apply for research support costs of up to £200 per annum in each full year of their study for as long as they continue to pay full fees.  They may apply instead for one grant of up to £600 during their research degree, normally in the second year of study, but could be at any time during the student’s period of fee liability. 

The purpose of the allowance is to fund attendance at conferences provided the student will be giving a paper; travel and subsistence costs associated with field research; and/or to purchase materials necessary for research.  Allowances may not be carried forward beyond the period of fee liability.

During the transition period, any grants previously awarded by the sub-faculty will be set against this allowance.

Further information, including who to contact with queries, is provided at the top of the application form and must be consulted before any expenditure is incurred.

How to apply

An application form for a graduate research support grant should be completed by the student and signed by their main supervisor before any expenditure is incurred.  The form should be returned to the Assistant Administrator (Resources), Trudi Pinkerton, Oriental Institute, Pusey Lane, Oxford, OX1 2LE.     

4. Graduate Language Study support

All taught graduate students recommended to attend a language course between the first and second years of their MPhil shall be entitled to apply for up to £500 towards the cost of this study abroad.  

The key courses for which this is applicable are the MPhil courses in: Modern Middle Eastern Studies, Islamic Studies & History, Islamic Art & Archaeology, Modern South Asian Studies, and Tibetan & Himalayan Studies.  In addition, since 2012, any MPhil student needing to travel or undertake fieldwork between the first and second years of their course may claim an allowance, provided their supervisor verifies that purpose of the travel is integral to their course.

How to apply

An application form for a graduate language study grant should be completed by the student and signed by their main supervisor before any expenditure is incurred.  The form should be returned to the Assistant Administrator (Resources), Trudi Pinkerton, Oriental Institute, Pusey Lane, Oxford, OX1 2LE.

Further information, including who to contact with queries, is provided at the top of the application form and must be consulted before any expenditure is incurred

5. Graduate Research Training (seminars)

Funds previously allocated by the sub-faculties for regular seminars that graduate students are expected to attend will henceforth be funded from a budget managed by the Graduate Research Training Co-ordinator.  The seminar organisers are encouraged to advertise the events as widely as possible  to Oriental Studies graduate students (via at the start of term and for each individual seminar) and to flag them up as graduate research training events when appropriate, for example on the Faculty website.

The events defined in this way are:

  • China Seminar Series: Convenor - Professor B ter Haar , held each term, 1 seminar a week for 9 weeks, budget £800 per term.
  • East Asian Linguistics Seminar Series: Convenors - Professor Bjarke Frellesvig and Dr Jieun Kiaer. Held each term, budget £800 per term.
  • Contemporary South Asia Seminar Series: Convenor - Dr Nandini Gooptu, £800 per annum (to be funded from the Indian Institute trust fund)
  • Islamic World seminar: Convenor - Ryan Lynch, even weeks of Michaelmas and Hilary terms, budget £80 per term.
  • Graduate Indology Seminars: Convenor - to be confirmed. Budget £30 per term or £90 per annum.
  • Egyptology and Ancient Near East Seminar Series: Convenors - Jacob Dahl, Elizabeth Frood and John Baines. £500 per term for visiting speaker expenses.

How to apply

Advance application for the funding for the events listed above is not necessary, though it will be necessary to confirm once a year in Hilary Term that the budget for the following year should continue to be set aside. 

Seminar organisers may either request an advance (and receive the balance upon production of receipts for the whole amount) or should direct claimants to the expenses claim form on the university website.  The seminar organiser (or a designated administrator) should sign the ‘supervisor check’ line before submitting it to the faculty office for payment.

Any member of staff wishing to apply for a budget for this type of regular activity should write to the Sub-Faculty Secretary before the sub-Faculty meeting in Hilary Term in the year preceding the first seminar or event.


Sources of Funding


For details of funding and bursaries for undergraduate students please consult the relevant pages of the main University website (click here).

Graduate study at Oxford is a rewarding experience but is also a significant investment. Because we seek applications from students of the very highest calibre, irrespective of their background or personal circumstances we also aim to ensure that outstanding candidates have sufficient funding opportunities to enable them to take up their place. Information about graduate research support and allowances can be found here.

The central administration website features a table that outlines the funding opportunities that may be available to you (please click here to view this page).

The University also administers a number of funds available as grants towards special expenses of research or in cases of hardship (details are available here).

Funding is also available from the Arts and Humanities Research Council