Scholarships and Grants

Scholarships and Grants at the Faculty of Oriental Studies

The Faculty of Oriental Studies has a number of scholarship and funding opportunities across a wide range of subjects. Please see below for a list of these opportunities.

To be considered for graduate funding, candidates applying to start a course from October 2018 must have submitted their University application(s) for the course(s) for which they wish to be considered by the relevant January deadline in 2018. Candidates will automatically be considered for their eligibility for funding from a number of sources including the AHRC, the Clarendon Fund, and benefactors.

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

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

For the Ertegun Postgraduate Scholarships in the Humanities, please see the programme website.

Since 1 August 2016, if you plan to take a postgraduate master’s course, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Loan of up to £10,000 to help with course fees and living costs. For more information, please visit the Postgraduate Loans page of the GOV.UK website.

It is important to note that the below is not an exhaustive list; check the main University website and college websites for more funding opportunities. The fees, funding and scholarship search is a good place to start to see what scholarships may be available.


Research Grant Application Approval Process

The Faculty of Oriental Studies Research Committee reviews research applications made to and through the Faculty, and works with the University’s Humanities Divisional Research Facilitators to help applicants submit the strongest possible applications to the most appropriate grants. The Director of Research and the Divisional Research Facilitator are able to advise colleagues on potential grant applications.

If you wish to apply for a research grant, you will need to follow the procedures outlined in the 'Research Grant Application Approval Process'. Please note that the processes for permanent post-holders and for other applicants differ.

Before you decide on a specific grant, and before you approach the Director of Research or the Divisional Research Facilitator, familiarise yourself with the grant eligibility and application guidance material on the grant funder’s website, and see ‘A Brief Guide to Applying for Funding’.


St Cross College MPhil Scholarships in the Humanities and Social Sciences

St Cross College invites applications for two MPhil Scholarships from students who will begin studying at the University of Oxford in the academic year 2019-2020 for an MPhil degree in any of the humanities and social science disciplines or for the BPhil degree in Philosophy. Please see here for more information.


Sasakawa Fund Scholarship

The Sasakawa Fund is pleased to offer scholarships for students who have been accepted by the University to undertake a graduate degree in October 2019 or who are currently undertaking such a course. The scholarships will be awarded to applicants who are Japanese nationals currently on a course or starting a course at Oxford University, or alternatively to students from the UK or other countries currently on a course or starting a course at Oxford University which requires some period of study in Japan.

The awards, of up to £10,000, will be made for one year in the first instance and may be renewed for a maximum of three years, subject to satisfactory progress.

The Sasakawa Fund Scholarship has been established thanks to a generous donation made by the Japan Shipbuilding Industry Foundation.

To apply, please complete the Scholarship Application Form, along with:

  • one reference (to be sent by the referee directly)
  • a Curriculum Vitae
  • a statement of research interests (of no more than six pages) including an outline and research proposal (for research degree applicants only) OR
  • a personal statement (of no more than six pages - for taught degree applicants only).

Please send your application as a PDF directly to the Trust Funds Administrator on, with all documents included in the same PDF, if possible, to arrive by Sunday 31 March 2019.


Sasakawa Fund Travel Grant

The Sasakawa Fund also awards travel grants to fund travel and research in Japan by senior or junior members of the University of Oxford, or alternatively to students from the UK or other countries currently on a course or starting a course at Oxford University which requires some period of study in Japan.

Please note that grant applications should be submitted no later than Friday of sixth week in any term for consideration later that term. To apply, please complete the Travel Grant Form, along with a covering letter giving details of the purpose of the grant, and send your application as a PDF directly to the Trust Funds Administrator on Applications from junior members must be accompanied by letters of support from their tutor or supervisor and from their college Senior Tutor or Tutor for Graduates. 


Sheikh Zayed Graduate Studentship in Islamic Studies

If a suitable candidate presents him or herself, an election will be made to the Sheikh Zayed Graduate Studentship in Islamic Studies with effect from Michaelmas Term 2018. The award is intended for any postgraduate student pursuing doctoral research in any field of Islamic Studies. Candidates must have obtained a merit or distinction result or its equivalent in a masters course in a relevant field of study. 

The studentship comprises the equivalent of the university and college fee for up to three years (at either the UK/EU or overseas rate) and a maintenance grant. The award is tenable for one year in the first instance, renewable for up to a maximum of two further years subject to receipt of a satisfactory report from the supervisor. 

The award is tenable at any Oxford college, and may be held in either the Faculty of Oriental Studies or the Faculty of Theology. The award is funded by the Sheikh Zayed Endowment Fund, established at Oxford by a generous benefaction from the Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahayan Charitable and Humanitarian Foundation. 

All applications will be considered on their merits by a panel of representatives from the Board of Management for the Sheikh Zayed Fund for Islamic Studies.

Applicants who have applied for a DPhil (this includes current students who have applied for re-admission) for entry in October 2018, and who submitted their application by the January 2018 deadline, will automatically be considered.

On-course students should submit an application form to Jane Kruz, Academic Administrator (Graduate Studies) at no later than Friday 18 May 2018. Applications must include: (a) the names of two referees (please see below); (b) an outline of your research so far covering areas such as the background to the research, methodology, expected results and the contribution to the field of learning; (c) two writing samples of no more than 2000 words each; (d) a CV.

Applicants should ask their referees to supply confidential references by the same date. 

The holder of the studentship will be invited to give a short presentation of their research to the Board of Management for the fund at their annual meeting.


Oxford-Indira Gandhi Graduate Scholarships

The Radhakrishnan Memorial Bequest is co-funding, with the Oxford India Centre at Somerville, one scholarship per year for the one-year MSc in Modern South Asian Studies, starting now for first entry in October 2018.

For more information, see click here.

Any questions about the Oxford-Indira Gandhi Graduate Scholarships should be directed to the Oxford India Centre.


The John P Clay Graduate Scholarship in Manuscript and Text Cultures: Sanskrit

The Queen's College is pleased to offer, beginning in Michaelmas Term 2018, a fully-funded graduate scholarship for up to a maximum of three years for a DPhil student in Oriental Studies whose research focuses on Manuscript and Text Cultures with a special focus on Sanskrit (including all areas, historical periods, and aspects of this field). For more information, please click here.


Frere Exhibition for Indian Studies

Entries are invited for the Frere Exhibition for Indian Studies. The Exhibition will be awarded by the Board of Management for the trust set up for this purpose.

The Exhibition is awarded to enable its holder to undertake a specified piece of work, approved by the Board, in the field of Indian studies. It will be offered in Trinity Term 2018, for one year, and to a value of £2,500, subject to consideration of the financial resources already available to the successful candidate. The Board of Management may, exceptionally, extend the award at the end of the year. It may also award grants to candidates for the Exhibition, to encourage the study of matters relating to India.

The work must be carried out in Oxford unless the Board gives dispensation otherwise in the interests of the work. Candidates should specify in the application where they would wish to pursue their work.

The Frere Exhibition is open to members of the university who, on the day of election, have not exceeded twenty one terms from their matriculation. In recent years successful candidates have been well advanced in their research.

The closing date is Friday 25 May 2018. Applications must comprise:

  • A completed application form – available here.
  • A statement of no more than two pages in length, describing the work proposed.
  • An example of the candidate’s written work on a matter relating to India, of not more than 5,000 words in length.

Candidates should also ask three referees, one of whom would normally be the candidate’s supervisor, to provide in confidence a letter commenting on the candidate’s academic progress, the value of the intended project, and the reasons for requesting this funding. It is the candidate’s responsibility to ensure that these references are requested and sent to by the closing date. Applications must also be sent to

If you have any questions about the Exhibition, please contact Professor Christopher Minkowski, Chair of the Board of Management for the Frere Exhibition, on

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