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You may be entitled to additional financial support from the University or from other funding bodies depending on your circumstances.

Crowther Fund

If you are an OU honours graduate, you can apply for funding to the Crowther Fund. This fund can be used for payment towards fees or study related costs such as books or travel. The funding available is normally between £100 and £800 per student and very rarely more than £1000.

For further information email The closing date for grant applications is in late February each year. The awards are made in May each year.

Dependants’ Fund

The University has established a scheme to help full-time students who have financial dependants. To be eligible, students need to have financial dependants, a household income of below £18,000 per annum and be resident in the UK. Information about the Dependants’ Fund is available from the Research Degrees Team. Phone +44 (0)1908 654882, or email.

Disabled Students’ Allowances (UK students only)

Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) are grants to help disabled students in higher education with the extra study costs incurred because of a disability, a health issue or specific learning difficulty. If you think you might need help, please tell us on your application form or at your interview.

You should apply as early as possible as support can take some time to set up. Contact the Disabled Student's Allowance Office at the University as soon as possible.

  • If you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland, call 01908 654136 (voice telephone), on 01908 659955 (textphone), email.
  • If you live in Scotland, call our Disability and Additional Requirements Team on 0131 226 3851, or email.

Financial Support for Research Students

The Financial Assistance Fund provides financial support for students who are experiencing hardship. The money is provided from voluntary donations by the trustees of the Open University Development Fund.

You can apply for support towards living expenses and unfunded study costs. This fund has no citizenship restriction: both UK and non-UK citizens are eligible to apply as long as they are resident in the UK. The amount of support depends on individual applications and on demand; no awards can be given once the annual fund has been exhausted. Members of university staff who have been granted a staff fee waiver may not apply to the fund.

Awards are usually more than £25 and less than £200 and you may not apply for financial support for expenditure already incurred.  Awards are usually assessed annually but if you are in financial difficulty and you think your studies may be affected, contact the Research Degrees Office straight away for advice on the financial support available.

Further information and application forms are available from the Forms and Guidance notes page.

Research Teaching Support Grant

All research council-funded students receive a Research Teaching Support Grant (RTSG) which can be used, subject to agreement with supervisors, to support the student’s research training. These funds can be used to support attendance at external workshops and conferences.

Some research council-funded students can also obtain additional support for overseas fieldwork from the Research Council, providing that the fieldwork was included in the original proposal.