Research Training Support Grant – RTSG

The ESRC provides money to the DTP to fund student expenses which the student, supervisor and members of the DTP Management Board deem to be in direct support of the student’s research. The ESRC provides guidelines as to how the monies can be spent, and offer the following examples:

  • UK fieldwork expenses
  • UK, EU and overseas conferences and summer schools
  • language training courses usually undertaken in the UK prior to an overseas fieldwork trip
  • reimbursement of interpreters, guides, assistants
  • survey costs eg printing, stationery, telephone calls
  • purchase of small items of equipment eg cameras, recorders, films
  • gifts for local informants
  • books and other reading material not available through libraries

The ESRC provides the DTP with a notional allowance of £750 per annum per student for each year of the award holders Doctoral studies. These monies are not to be considered a personal allowance, but are pooled to allow for greater flexibility in meeting the needs of the student cohort as a whole.

Students are asked to submit applications based upon their specific research needs and requirements, presenting a clear and concise justification for the activity or spending planned. Costings should be provided in pounds sterling (£), with clearly itemised expenditure. The applications are reviewed by at least two members of the NINE DTP Management Board, who allocate monies based upon the training need and the robustness of the application.

All applications will be judged on merit, not on any notional allocation of funding. However, the reviewers will take into consideration the applicant’s previous spend when considering the merits of the case. Therefore, students are advised to discuss the use of their RTSG monies with their supervisors at the beginning of their studies to plan how these might best be utilised across the duration of their studies.

When should applications be submitted?

  • Applications should be made at least 4 weeks in advance of the date by which you will need to make any payments;
  • No payments should be made before the award has been confirmed, as the DTP will not be able to reimburse you for any such expenditure;
  • No RTSG monies can be used beyond the end of the period of supervised study, regardless of when payments are made.

Preparing your application

  • All applications should provide clear costings, in GBP (£).
  • Applicants should provide a clear and well-justified case for the monies, which could be understood by an intelligent but uninformed audience – you should not suppose the reviewer will have a detailed knowledge of your research or subject area.
  • Applications must be accompanied by a statement of support from the award holder’s supervisor. This should be presented in the form of a formal letter, email, or any other form of correspondence. The statement of support should confirm that the proposed activity or expenditure will inform or develop the research being undertaken by the applicant and that the applicant is making good progress with their PhD research.

Application Form

Download the NINE DTP Additional Funding application form here

Application Form


  • Any equipment purchased over the value of £200 must be returned to the DTP once the award-holder has completed their project of work;
  • The DTP will not provide laptops for users, except in exceptional circumstances; however, we can consider applications for software, and can contribute should the student require a particularly high specification machine owing to the research they are undertaking;
  • Attendance at conferences outside of Europe will only be considered for funding if the applicant is contributing to the conference in some facility (presenting, displaying a poster, etc.)
  • Applications for books will be considered if, and only if, the applicant has already applied for the materials to be procured via their institutional library;
  • Retrospective claims will not be considered except in exceptional circumstances; no funds should be spent or committed until such time as NINE have given final approval on the application.

ESRC Postgraduate Funding Guidelines

Check the ESRC Postgraduate funding guidelines for further information

ESRC Guidlines