I need to visit a researcher overseas but I don’t have funding for travel……

This is the thing I hear most often. It can be tough for PhD students to stay above the poverty line– travel can seem way out of reach. There are several ways around the funding problem, but make sure you give yourself plenty of time. It may take time to apply for funding and then to get a positive response.

Start by finding out what your faculty offers by way of support; you may need to plan in advance if there are conditions you need to meet (for example, you may need to have moved from provisional to full registration before applying). Try outside your university for other grant money which might be targeted at researchers with special interests, such as the Breakout database or the Community of Science database or simply do a Google search.

For some examples of what is currently available check out the latest Scholarships e-Newsletter in particular the:

  • Claude McCarthy Fellowships (particularly category A), closing date 1 August;
  • Postgraduate Field Research Awards- New Zealand Aid Programme (Universities NZ), closing date 1 October;
  • Churchill Fellowships closing date 31 July

Your supervisor may be able to organise some funds which will supplement any other money you get and don’t forget that your host supervisor or University may well have funds for visiting researchers. The most likely way to get there is to combine all these options.

If you are going overseas anyway, incorporate the visit at either end or the beginning and save travel costs. If you go for a few months, you may also be able to arrange to sublet your flat or even do a house swap – there is even a service, called Sabbatical Homes, just for this purpose and it includes house sitting and short term arrangements and is available in dozens of countries. Often all you need to do is feed the cat and water the garden.

About Graduate Research School (Auckland University of Technology)

The Auckland University of Technology Graduate Research School offers support and resources to all postgraduate students at AUT. Come and visit us on the 5th floor of the WU building.

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