On 2 September 2022, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) announced that it was increasing its minimum stipend from 1 October 2022 to £17,668 full time equivalent. This is a 10% increase on the previously announced 2022 to 2023 minimum stipend level of £16,062.
You can read more about UKRI’s changes to the minimum stipend in an open letter by Professor Melanie Welham, UKRI Champion for People, Culture and Talent.
The stipend increase will apply to UKRI doctoral students in receipt of a UKRI stipend who are due to commence or are continuing their UKRI-funded studentship from 1 October 2022.
Receiving your increased stipend
UKRI doesn’t fund students directly, but rather provides funding to universities in the form of training grants. UKRI is working with its training grant holders directly to release the additional funding and get it reflected in the payments students receive as soon as possible.
Payments will be backdated to 1 October. You don’t need to do anything to make this happen. You will receive this stipend increase automatically from your research organisation. Any questions regarding the payment process should be directed towards the relevant contacts at your organisation.
London weighting and enhanced stipends
Some students receive a stipend that is above the minimum level set by UKRI.
The 10% increase applies to the minimum stipend only. Students in receipt of additional funding (for example, London weighting or enhanced stipend support) will receive the 10% increase on the minimum stipend element of their studentship. The 10% increase will not be applied to the enhanced support element of their stipend.
Students will receive the additional £1,606 on top of the previously published £16,062 rate for the academic year 2022 to 2023.
This means that the students studying in London will receive a stipend of £19,668 (full time equivalent).
Long-term, we expect co-funders to play their full role in supporting students. However, we recognise that the changes to our minimum stipend level have come at short-notice and at the beginning of the academic year. UKRI is therefore temporarily waiving the co-funding principle and will provide the full increase to all students in receipt of UKRI funding until 31 March 2023. After 31 March 2023, research organisations will need to move back to business-as-usual for co-funding.
Setting the 2023 to 2024 stipend level
We will be setting the UKRI minimum stipend level for 2023 to 2024 in the spring 2023.
We normally set the stipend in January and we recognise that the delay may impact universities and other funders who set their stipend rate relative to ours. However, in the current volatile climate, it is important that we can make the most informed decision while also making the decision in time to fine tune recruitment.
We are recommending that the universities we fund act with prudence in their recruitment processes for 2023 to 2024 student starts, especially if making offers ahead of the stipend announcement.
We have been able to mitigate much of the impact of increasing the 2022 to 2023 minimum stipend level by using flexibility available in our overall talent budget.
There is no further flexibility when setting the 2023 to 2024 stipend, so we will need to balance our support for students with the support we provide for other people in the sector and what additional funding can be made available.
It may be necessary for us to reduce the number of studentships available for students starting in the 2023 to 2024 academic year and beyond to cover the additional costs. We will not stop support for current studentships.
Setting the stipend in for future years
UKRI has committed to reviewing the stipend and how it is set as part of work we are currently progressing on the New Deal for Postgraduate Research. We are prioritising work to inform the 2023 to 2024 stipend rate. We will continue to engage with the community as we develop the longer-term work.
For more information, read the UKRI terms and conditions and training grant guidance.
For further information, students should contact their research organisation.