Doctoral School

Overseas Fieldwork Funding

SeNSS students undertaking Overseas fieldwork can apply for support with the costs.

In order to apply for Overseas fieldwork funding you must meet the following criteria:

  • You must have indicated on your original SeNSS application that you might want to do fieldwork overseas
  • You are a full-time student in the doctoral element of your award.  Part-time students will need to transfer to full-time for the period of their fieldwork.
 Before you apply
  • You should first discuss your interest in applying for OFW funding with your supervisor.  You will need their support.
  • Consider your timetable.  You must apply for funding at least 3 months before you intend to travel.  Retrospective claims will not be approved.
  • Fieldwork would normally be approved for up to 12 months.  If you are on fieldwork for 9 months or more, you should arrange a face-to-face meeting with your supervisor.  Don’t forget to include the costs of this in your application.
  • Research your costs.  You will need to submit a well thought-out and reasonable budget with your application.   There is a cap of £6000 on the funding you can apply for.
  • You may only submit one application for OFW funding during your studentship, so ensure you have considered all the trips you will need to make, and include them on your application.
  • Consider how you will keep track of your expenditure.  You will be required to supply evidence of how the funding was spent.  Keep your receipts!
  • Complete the Sussex processes!  Your research outline and ethical clearance must have been approved, and you must have completed the Research Student Administration Office application for Fieldwork approval.  The form for this can be found on the RSAO website.

Your funding application will not be considered until these processes are complete.

What can be funded

You can apply for costs that incurred as a direct result of your fieldwork, such as:

-          Return flights to the country of fieldwork

-          Visa costs

-          Vaccinations

-          Interpreter/Translation costs

-          Difficult language training – if this is not available in the UK.

You will continue to receive your stipend payment during your fieldwork and are expected to use this money to help meet your living costs.

Please note, as OFW funds are limited, it may not be possible for SeNSS to award the full amount of funding applied for.

How to apply

The  OFW funding application is available from the SeNSS VLE.  SeNSS will have the final say on how much OFW funding you will be awarded.

If you are awarded funding you will be required to submit proof of your expenditure, including receipts, within 4 weeks of returning to the UK.  Any unspent funds must be returned to SeNSS. 

Please note, under ESRC rules, SeNSS is obliged to recover some or all of the OFW funding if you abandon your fieldwork, or it is unsuccessful and you return to the UK early.

Travel Insurance

Before you commence your fieldwork, you must ensure you have completed the University's Travel Insurance Application.

Further information

You can read the full SeNSS policy on Overseas fieldwork funding here.

You can also contact Mrs Simone Robinson at

Doctoral School