Scholarships and Grants

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 2020 must have submitted their University application(s) for the course(s) for which they wish to be considered by the relevant January deadline in 2020. Candidates will automatically be considered for their eligibility for funding from a number of sources including the Clarendon Fund, and benefactors. For other schemes, including the AHRC, candidates will need to indicate their wish to be considered and provide additional information as part of the University application. For a list of gradute funding opportunities available within the Faculty, please see the Graduate Funding Handbook.

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 course, you may be able to apply for a Postgraduate Loan 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.

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.

The Faculty of Oriental Studies is pleased to offer, beginning in Michaelmas Term 2019, up to three graduate scholarships for £8000 for Master’s or DPhil students whose study or research focuses on Buddhist Studies (including all areas, historical periods, and aspects of this field). The scholarships have been established thanks to a generous donation of the Lingyin Temple (Lingyin si), an ancient and important Buddhist temple in Hangzhou, China.

Applications are invited from suitably qualified individuals who are applying to a Master’s or DPhil course at the Faculty of Oriental Studies for entry in October 2020, or current students studying for a Master’s or DPhil at the Faculty of Oriental Studies. This scholarship may be held in conjunction with other partial awards, but the total value of your scholarships should not exceed the cost of tuition and college fees in full and a grant for living costs at a rate agreed with Graduate Admissions and Funding.

Applicants applying for a new course (this includes current students who are applying for re-admission) for entry in October 2020, and who submit their application to the University by the January 2020 deadline at the latest, will be automatically considered. On-course students should submit an application form to by Friday 24 April 2020 at the latest. The scholarship will be awarded on the basis of academic merit and potential. If there are more than two equally qualified applications, preference will be given to students with a research interest in Chinese Buddhism, or in Chinese Buddhist sources.

The scholarship is open to UK, EU, or Overseas students and will be tenable only for one year at a time. Students holding the scholarship who would wish to reapply for it for the following year would be required to submit a new application for that year, which would be considered competitively alongside other applications for that year.

The Open-Oxford-Cambridge DTP offers a number of studentships each year, across the range of arts and humanities subject areas. In addition to funding for fees and living costs, OOC DTP students benefit from being able to access a variety of other funding sources and a wide range of training available at the three partner universities.

Please see here for more information about the scheme and the application process.

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 here.

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

The Radhakrishnan Memorial Bequest awards grants to assist students who are citizens of the Republic of India and who are studying, or wish to study, in Oxford, and to fund travel and research in Indian Studies by senior or junior members of the University of Oxford.

To apply, please complete the Radhakrishnan Memorial Bequest Grant Application Form and send it directly to the Trust Funds Administrator on by noon on Monday of week seven of term. Applications from junior members must be accompanied by letters of support from their tutor or supervisor. Applications will be considered in a gathered field in Week Seven and applicants will be informed of the result as soon as possible thereafter.

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’.

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 Tuesday 31 March 2020.

The Sasakawa Fund 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. 

The Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies has been awarded a grant by Taube Philanthropies toward the Taube Family Doctoral Student Scholarship Fund. They invite applications for one full three-year scholarship for a doctoral candidate accepted for a DPhil degree at the Faculty of Oriental Studies of the University of Oxford. The successful candidate will engage in research on any topic of Hebrew and Jewish Studies, but in the selection of the successful candidate a demonstration that the proposed project will make use of resources uniquely available in Oxford will be an advantage. The scholarship will cover course fees at the home/EU rate as well as their living expenses up to £12,000 per annum. Candidates apply on the Faculty of Oriental Studies graduate admissions website ( before Friday 10 January 2020, 12:00 midday UK time. The shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview. Skype interviews are possible.

For any questions, please contact Mrs Martine Smith-Huvers at

Project description

Court theatre was a core part of Chinese court and performance culture for centuries, yet its texts have never been amply studied. There are several reasons for this: their low status in Chinese literary history as ‘authorless’ performer’s texts; the vast (20,000+) quantity of texts and the difficulty of accessing them; and the lack of an existing analytic framework to study anonymous Chinese performance texts on such a large scale. Chinese court drama thus remains a ‘closed’ textual world, neglected in literary history. The lacuna is especially glaring given the quantity and richness of the extant texts: performance practices and other aspects of material culture are preserved alongside dramatic content. Furthermore, court theatre was among the most ‘outward facing’ of all Chinese genres, shown to foreign ambassadors. Many visitors recorded what was often their only impression of Chinese theatre culture. Chinese court theatre thus contains a complex series of closed, disjointed textual worlds.

To re-link these textual worlds, this project will build the first digital archive of court drama scripts and related foreign records. Centring on the textual database, the project aims to establish links among the textual worlds of Chinese court drama, following these main lines of inquiry: Were court drama texts only found in the palaces or also elsewhere? What additional or different data can we retrieve from foreign records, and what does this tell us about the intercultural reception of performance and visual cultures? How do we fully exploit and utilise the rich information about Chinese court drama embedded in these texts, and more importantly, make the collected data accessible both to future researchers and to the general reader?

The project focuses on four types of links: LINK1, internal links between scripts in the textual web of court drama; LINK2, external links to individuals and occasions; LINK3, external links to visual and material cultures; LINK4, cross-cultural links which situate Chinese court drama in its global context. Focusing on these links will illuminate the intersections and interconnections between the textual worlds of court drama.

The project will produce the first textual studies of Chinese court drama, including a court drama textual database, a series of monographs and publications on extended text-based research topics, and an anthology of English translations for the general reader. These outputs will remedy the lack of textual studies on Chinese court drama, contributing towards our understanding of Chinese theatre history and world court cultures. The methodology the project develops to study a large corpus of authorless texts could be applied to other Chinese genres such as folk tales and dialect songs.

The project, launched on 1 October 2019, will include one DPhil studentship from years 2-4 to conduct research focusing on LINK3 (court drama and visual and material culture) and/or LINK4 (court drama and cross-cultural exchanges). The choice of topic is kept broad enough to ensure that the DPhil student will have ample opportunity to develop and pursue her/his own research interest. The DPhil student will participate in all team research activities and will be supervised by Professor Tian Yuan Tan (Principal Investigator) and receive further guidance from the junior researchers.

Funding details

The studentship is funded by the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The value of this scholarship will be £22,970 per year for three years.

How to apply

You will need to apply for both the programme and this studentship via the main University online graduate application form, and pay an application fee of £75. The application form, all supporting materials required for the programme (including references) and payment must be submitted by 10 January 2020. To access the application form and application guide please visit our website at

To be considered for this studentship, please submit an application to the DPhil in Oriental Studies. On the application form, in the section headed ‘Departmental Studentship Applications’, you must indicate that you are applying for a studentship and enter the reference code for this studentship 20ORIETEXT.


Questions concerning the project and how to apply can be made by e‑mail to

This annual award is open to all current postgraduate students studying the Ancient Near East and enrolled for the degree of MPhil or DPhil at the University of Oxford. For the purposes of this award the Ancient Near East is defined as ancient Mesopotamia (including Syria, south-eastern Turkey, south-western Iran and the Gulf countries) before the Parthian period. One award, to the value of £600 will be awarded to support research and fieldwork, with preference given to students at Wolfson College.

All applications should include a cover letter, including a description of the proposed activity and a budget, together not to exceed two sides of A4, and a CV. Applicants should arrange for a letter of reference from their academic supervisor for the proposed activity to arrive by the due date.

The successful applicant is required to submit a short report on their work within 12 months of receiving the award.

Applications should be sent to Dr Diana Rodríguez Pérez at with the subject “Application_Tim and Kathy Clayden Prize” by the end of the 3rd week of Hilary term each year. Receipt of all applications will be acknowledged by email usually within two business days. Applications will be considered at the AWRC Steering Committee meeting in Week 6/7 and a decision will be communicated by email by the end of the term.

For the academic year 2019/2020, applications will be considered in Trinity Term.

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