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2024 British International Studies Association (BISA) Founders’ Fund for PhD Students

If you’re a PhD student reaching the final stages of writing up your thesis in an area of research related to International Studies, this fund might be for you.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic we’ve doubled the number of grants available under the Founders’ Fund to 16. We know that many of you are experiencing real hardship as you struggle to finish your PhD. In addition, applications are now open all year round, with no fixed deadline, so you can apply at any time.

We usually give priority to those applicants who haven’t received any other funding. We also aim to help anyone who can demonstrate that the grant will help them to finish within the short to medium term (three to six months), and who receive strong support from their supervisors. The key criteria are:

  • The academic quality of the PhD research
  • The accuracy of the timetable for completion
    • Financial need.

Aim and Benefits

If you require the grant to be paid to a non-UK bank account, the maximum amount you will receive will be £500 minus the bank charges incurred by BISA to transfer the funds.


Grants are up to £500 and are intended to help with the direct costs incurred in the final stages of your thesis (e.g. fees, living or travel costs). You can’t use the grant to fund fieldwork trips and you can only apply once. You must have been a BISA member for six months when you apply, and continue to remain so for at least three months after receiving the grant.

Application Deadline

Not Specified

How to Apply

Interested and qualified? Go to British International Studies Association (BISA) on to apply

Application is via our online form. Before you start your application, you should put together the following: 

  • Thesis topic/research area including details of what the grant would be used for, and of existing sources of financial support (200 words)
  • A letter of support from your supervisor (max 200 words) The letter should:
  • Introduce you and your supervisor
  • Confirm your attitude to studying and research
  • Detail your academic record and commitment
  • Make the case for funding i.e. confirm there is no institutional or other funding available for you
  • Confirm you’re still registered as a PhD student.

There is no fixed deadline for these awards. You can submit a case at any time which will be considered by our Research sub-committee.

For more details, visit BISA website.

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