Staff and investigator costs - STFC


Studentships on grants

STFC may fund PhD studentship projects as part of the broader programme of work supported by the grant. These are known as associated studentships (project students when completing the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system).

The intention of these associated studentships is to help research groups to capitalise on any excellent student training opportunities within the proposed grant supported research programme.

A studentship should be for a minimum of three years.

STFC accreditation needed

To be in receipt of a STFC-funded Associated Student the department in which the research grant will be held must have received STFC accreditation of their training provision. Where this is not the case, the department must successfully apply for accreditation in advance of the student starting, or have been through an equivalent process administered by another council.

Find out more about the accreditation process and those departments that have passed.

Demonstrate alignment with programme of work

Applicants must be able to clearly show that the studentship project is closely associated with the programme of work to be undertaken as part of the grant proposal. The case for support should explain how the project will be integrated into the broader aims of the grant and how this integration will be of benefit to the training of the research student.

Studentship projects that do not have such a close and direct relationship with a grant funded research project may be more appropriate for an STFC Doctoral Training Partnership.

Training provision

A studentship project must provide the student with training in the methods of research associated with the work to be undertaken on the research grant.

The student must have the opportunity to undertake broader skills training during the course of the PhD.

Maintenance and tuition fees

Student maintenance and tuition fees will be funded at 100% under the exceptions: other and the exceptions: staff headings and are set at the level agreed for research council studentships each year. If research organisations set a higher fee than that paid by STFC (for example, to include Oxbridge college fees), the funds to cover this would have to be vired from the directly incurred costs awarded in accordance with the rules for virement. Funds may only be transferred into studentship stipend or fees to supplement an existing studentship post on the grant. They may not be transferred to create new posts without prior approval from the council.

The funds requested for the student should be for the total period of each studentship using the current rates for maintenance and tuition fees.

Requesting other resources

Other resources for the student such as travel (UK and overseas fieldwork or long term attachment costs), consumables and equipment should be estimated and listed under the appropriate fund heading in the proposal and will be funded at 80% of full economic costing.

Student supervision time should not be included in the costs of Investigator time requested on the proposal.


There are no constraints on the nationality or residency of associated students.

Continuing studentships when a grant ends

If the associated studentship will need to continue after the grant has finished, the research organisation will be responsible for funding or finding funding to ensure the training programme is completed. If funds have been vired to fund the student to cover the whole of the training programme, the research organisation must ensure that the requirements for the Associated Studentships still apply, and if so, may request a no-cost extension to complete the programme.

Delaying start of a studentship

Permission must be sought from the relevant secretariat to delay the start of an Associated Student on a consolidated or project grant award.

Last updated: 8 July 2022

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