UCL Financial Assistance Fund for Postgraduate Research Students (FAF-PGR)

The Financial Assistance Fund for Postgraduate Research Students (FAF-PGR) aims to support research students who are in unexpected financial need.


Before you apply

The Financial Assistance Fund supports students who are in financial hardship. Support is available for living costs only.

We particularly encourage applications from those with caring responsibilities, students estranged from their family, care-experienced students, and those in hardship due to the current cost of living crisis.

About the fund

The UCL Financial Assistance Fund (FAF) supports students who have encountered unexpected circumstances that put them into financial difficulty. This can include an inability to meet essential costs such as rent, food and utility bills – along with unexpected one-off events. 

Before submitting an application, you must have applied for all Government funding that is available to you (such as Student Finance England Loans and/or NHS Bursaries).

Once we receive your completed application, we will assess your expected income and reasonable expenditure. Where we identify you have a shortfall of funding a non-repayable grant can be awarded.


The fund is open to all Postgraduate Research students currently enrolled on a UCL research programme and paying tuition fees to UCL (with the exception of postgraduate research students on ‘completing research status (CRS)’ who are not normally eligible but may be considered on a discretionary basis depending on their circumstances).

Non PGR students should apply for the Fund using the application form on the general Financial Assistance Fund page.

All students must be able to demonstrate that they have made reasonable and realistic provision at the start of their programme of study to fund both their tuition fees and living costs.

Applicants that have outstanding tuition fee debt to the university are not eligible to apply for the fund.

Priority students

UCL gives priority to the following groups of students when deciding how to allocate available funding:

  • students with children, particularly single parents
  • students with disabilities
  • students who are self-payers (paying their own tuition fee and living costs without a full scholarship or loan)

Applicants do not need to be in one of the above groups to make an application, but students in these groups are prioritised for support.

How much is available

Awards are for living costs only and will vary depending on individual circumstances and availability of funds. We are able to award funds up to the following amounts:

 Students without dependantsStudents with dependants
Full-time students£2,500£3,000
Part-time students£1,250£1,500

When can I apply?

There is no deadline, but please note that funding is subject to availability and the Fund may close at short notice if the funds are exhausted.  We therefore encourage you not to delay your application if you are in financial difficulty. 

To make an application

Step 1.

Read the Guidance Notes

Step 2.

Complete and collect the following:

  • financial statements for each bank account you hold covering the last 3 months in full, including annotations explaining debits and credits over £200. Printouts from online banking are accepted.
  • tenancy agreement/s showing rent/mortgage costs for entire academic year
  • evidence of any unexpected costs
  • proof of your income for the academic year (such as savings or a studentship/stipend). If you are receiving funds from your family, please attach a letter from your family showing the level of their contribution to you over the course of the academic year. 

Step 3.

Provide your bank details for payment of possible award.

To do so you will need to go Portico, to the “My Money” section and select the “View/update your bank details” option and enter them under the “Studentship Stipend” heading. Please ensure that a reference is entered; the reference is for your information only and is the wording that will appear on your bank statement when the award is paid in.

Note that you can only enter details of a UK bank account. In exceptional circumstances, payment can be made into an overseas bank account, but please note that funds can take several weeks to reach the account. If you would like to receive payment this way, please state this in your application form and we will provide further instructions if your application is successful. 

Step 4.

Submit the above along with any relevant evidence (as described on pages 1 and 2 of the application form) to the Student Funding team.

To do this, log into askUCL, select Log an Enquiry and choose Financial Assistance Fund (FAF) from the categories. Attach all of the relevant documents to the enquiry and put your student number in the subject line.

When a decision will be made

Applications normally take 3 working weeks to be assessed from the point at which the full application with all necessary evidence is submitted. 

There may be delays if you have not submitted all the required evidence, or if your application is not clear for any reason.

You will be informed of the outcome of your application by email (to your UCL email account). If successful, you should normally expect to receive payment within 10 days of the notification of your award.

Re-applying and appeals

More than one application per academic year is not normally permitted.

You may only apply more than once during an academic year if your circumstances have changed significantly since your original application and you did not receive the maximum award amount in your first application. 

You will need to provide all relevant evidence to demonstrate this change in your circumstances.

All decisions are final and appeals cannot be considered.