What is a studentship?
The meaning of studentship has varied over time, but nowadays it generally refers places on postgraduate programmes that come complete with funding via scholarships and grants (partial or complete) attached. Studentships are highly competitive as they often offer big financial rewards, so be prepared to go through a grueling application process with little chance of success (its just like that!).
Its important to note that in the United States a studentship is similar to a scholarship but involves summer work on a research project. The amount paid to the recipient is normally tax-free, but the recipient is required to fulfill work requirements. Types of studentships vary among universities and countries. Studentships are sometimes known as teaching and research assistantships. Studentships are almost exclusively awarded to research students, preferably at the Ph.D. level.
In the UK, a ‘studentship’ is a common name for a PhD scholarship. At Christ Church, Oxford, however, the term Studentship has the same meaning as the term Fellowship has at other colleges, i.e. the office of a Student or the duration thereof, or the Students collectively (sourced from Wikipedia).
Pros and cons of studentships
The pros are rather obvious in that you are given free money that you can spend on either your tuition or your living costs. However studentships aren’t always perfect. Many studentships will demand that you spend the money in very specific ways, for example just on tuition or on books. While this can be good and help you budget, it can also be difficult if you receive four studentships to cover books but have no money to spend on your living costs.
Check out what the conditions are on your potential studentships before applying. Although it is less usual than with scholarships, studentships often also have conditions based on the applicants. They may be, for example, limited to people from a certain country or of a certain ethic origin. Be sure that you are eligible for a studentship before going through the rigmarole of applying. –
Teaching for your studentship
Some studentships require that as part of the conditions for your funding, you teach or tutor undergraduates at your university. While some of you may relish this opportunity to get some experience teaching and working with young people, it can also be a drain on your time and resources. If your studentship involves a teaching element then ensure that teaching or tutoring is something that you are completely happy to do and that it will not affect your work in any way.
Looking for funding for postgraduate studies? Check out the exclusive bursaries on offer from our Scholarship Solutions Centre.