Research Student Handbook

Funding and Finance

If you are funded and your studentship is administered by the University, stipend payments will be paid direct to your bank account on a monthly basis in advance.

Payments made under this studentship award are not regarded as income for tax purposes and the University of Exeter is not deemed to be employer of an award holder.  The University does not make any payments for students’ National Insurance contributions.  For information about tax and National Insurance, please see the Inland Revenue’s guidance on Income Tax and Students:  http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/students/index.shtml.

The stipend payments will be suspended during periods of interruption except for periods of medical leave, as determined by the sponsor, and maternity/paternity/adoption leave.  If the stipend is paid to you for a period of time during which you are not registered on the programme of study, we will seek reimbursement for any overpayment that has occurred.

If you discontinue or terminate your studies you will not be entitled to any support from the date on which studies ceased. If an overpayment of your stipend has occurred we will seek reimbursement.

Your stipend payments will automatically stop when you submit your thesis. However if you are funded by a Research Council or by the University your stipend payments can continue until the end of the quarter ( if you submit early) but only if you remain engaged in research or training during this time. RCUK quarters are January to March, April to June, July to September, October to December. For example, your funding end date is 30 September. You submit your thesis on 10 July. If you remain engaged in research and training until 30 September you can continue to receive your stipend payments.

As previously mentioned the University payments system automatically stops stipend payments when you submit, so in order to continue being paid you need to email your supervisor giving details of your plans post submission and requesting payment until the end of the quarter. If your supervisor is satisfied with this, they should forward the email to the STEMM PGR Support team with their authorisation and the team will make the payment arrangements with the scholarship payments team.

Please note that if you are part of a DTP they may allow for payments beyond just the quarter. You should check the DTP handbook and quote this in the email.

If you are in receipt of a scholarship from a Research Council or other sponsor, your funds will be administered by the University. In conducting your research, you may also need to access fund to cover necessary training, lab expenses, or other research costs. How to access this is detailed in this section. Externally funded studentships (e.g., Research Council) normally come with RTSG.

Your RTSG can be used until the end of your funded period or until you submit your thesis, whichever is earlier. For further advice please contact the PGR Support Office.

To help with costs related to your research, primarily attending conferences, fieldwork, research training events and purchases essential to your research, self-funded students are entitled to a financial contribution made by the College over the course of their period of normal registration, this is does not include your Continuation year.

The allocation of funds will depend on your programme and discipline of study as follows:

Biological Sciences:              £1,000

Physical Geography:             £1,000

Sport and Health Sciences:    £750

Psychology:                           £600

Human Geography:               £300

The funding rules:

  • This is a per annum allocation based on 3 years for MPhil/PhD students, 1 year for MbyRes.
  • The above values are for full-time students. Part-time students would receive 50% of the allocation over twice the timeframe.
  • If the allocation is unspent, this is rolled forward each year.
  • The fund is available until you submit your thesis for examination.
  • No allocations would be given to any student who is on an RCUK studentship (excluding AHRC) or who is on a studentship administered by the University that has RTSG funding associated with it.

Your RTSG can be used until your completion deadline or until you submit your thesis, whichever is earlier. For further advice please contact the PGR Support Office.

You should discuss with your supervisor the use of the RTSG and plan expenditure accordingly.

The purchase of laptops or desktop computers is not normally permitted. If you require new IT equipment please contact the PGR Office in order to find out whether you are entitled.

If you need to purchase goods or services you will need to complete a requisition form and submit this to the relevant Finance office using the CLES Web Requisition System.

The University has a number of contracts with suppliers and we are committed to using them. Purchases made for certain goods/services must be made with our contracted suppliers e.g. car/van hire, stationery, hospitality for internal functions etc. In order to gain access to the system please contact CLES-Purchasing@exeter.ac.uk.

The preferred supplier for booking travel is Click Travel. You do not need to use your credit/debit card to confirm your booking and receive your ticket. The Purchasing Team will complete the paperwork on your behalf.

If you need to claim against your RTSG either retrospectively or in advance, you will need to complete a claim form.  There are various different forms depending on the type of expenditure, and they can be found from links under the “Accounts Payable” section on the following page:  http://www.exeter.ac.uk/finance/operations/forms/. Before submitting your claims, please make sure that you have carefully read the information tab present in each of those forms.

Sometimes – normally for subsistence - you may need to make purchases with your own money and then claim back your expenses. In this case you will need to complete an Expenses Claim Form. The University accepts claims for processing only up to six months after the date that the expense was incurred. Claims submitted more than six months after the expense was incurred will only be processed if there are exceptional and extenuating circumstances that caused the delay in submission.You cannot claim expenses for purchases of equipment – these purchases must be made by the CLES Finance office.  For further details please see the expenses policy.

Please note that it will take up to 2 weeks to be reimbursed.

In some circumstances, for instance, if you are going on fieldwork for a few weeks or more, it is possible to receive funding in advance of your trip. If you would like to request an advance, please complete a Student Advance Request Form. You will reconcile your advance on your return. If you have not used all of the money you had advanced for your trip, you will need to return the funds.  If you have used more than you had advanced, when you reconcile your advance, the extra funds due to you will be paid to your bank account.

Claims must be authorised and signed by your supervisor before being submitted to the CLES Expenses/ASU Finance on the addresses below for approval. If you do not provide proof that your supervisor has authorised your expenditure there may be a delay to reimbursing your expenses and/or purchases.

Streatham:      CLES Expenses

                        Finance Operation

                        Northcote House

                       

Penry:             ASU Finance

                        Peter Lanyon Building          

 

You can request details of expenditure and the balance remaining from the PGR Office on cles-pgr-support@exeter.ac.uk.

There are different sources of financial help for students experiencing severe financial difficulties. The Guild Advice Unit offers help with applications for the University-level hardship funds (Access to learning, SELS and FISH). They also provide advice on many other aspects of student finance and funding.

Access to Learning Fund

The Government gives every university funds each year to assist students who need extra financial support because they have higher than expected costs (such as single parents). Most awards from the Fund are in the form of grants, although some short term loans may be available to meet temporary hardship such as delayed Student Maintenance Loan or severe cash-flow problems. Eligibility for the Access to Learning Fund is restricted to home fee status undergraduate and postgraduate students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least three years prior to the start of their course. 

Special Emergency Loan Scheme (SELS)

A fund has been established for the alleviation of emergency financial hardship suffered by European and Part-time International students of the University of Exeter. Financial assistance will normally be in the form of a loan, and is in most cases unlikely to be in excess of £500.

Fund for International Student Hardship (FISH)

A fund has been established for the alleviation of emergency financial hardship suffered by international students of the University of Exeter. Financial assistance will normally be in the form of a loan, and in most cases is unlikely to be in excess of £500. If you think that you might need help from the Fund, see an adviser at the Guilds Student Advice Centre or ask for an application form. Application Packs are available from the Student Funding Team in Northcote House and the Student Advice Centre on Streatham campus.