Doctoral School

Sussex Fund Doctoral Overseas Conference Grants

Apply for financial support to present your PhD research in person or virtually, at a conference outside the UK

Sussex Fund Doctoral Overseas Conference Grants support University of Sussex doctoral researchers who are presenting their work at a conference outside the UK. 

You can apply for a maximum of £1,100 during the period of your PhD registration, and can apply more than once up to the funding limit.

From November 2022, an additional £100 above the £1,100 maximum will be available to go towards visa costs, where you require a visa to travel. 

Given the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we strongly recommend that you check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice before you apply for funding. See the Health & Safety website under Travel for University Business -> Staff or PhD students for up-to-date guidance on research travel.

The DOC fund is administered by the Researcher Development team within the Doctoral School, who are able to offer this scheme thanks to a generous grant from the Sussex Fund.

Application form and guidance

Applicants must:

  • be registered for a doctoral degree at Sussex (including IDS)
  • be the main presenter of the research at the conference
  • make the application prior to submission of their thesis
  • be self-funded, or explain why research funding support such as an RTSG won't cover conference attendance

BSMS doctoral researchers should apply to the equivalent conference fund administered by the University of Brighton, and to the School's conference fund. Contact your Research & Enterprise Coordinator for further information.

Ensure you read the guidance notes and conditions of award carefully before submitting an application, to increase the likelihood of a successful award. 

Please ensure that you submit your application at least four weeks before the conference start date. Funding will not be granted retrospectively.

Award criteria and further information

Funding applications will be considered by a panel drawn from the Doctoral School, using the following criteria:

  • Funding status of applicant 
  • Quality of application 
  • Conference profile and suitability (including evidence that you are presenting at the conference)
  • Signed Supervisor’s supporting statement 
  • School approval to travel (OTSSRA form)

The proposed budget must be evidenced and reasonable, and as detailed as possible - see the guidance notes for further information. Payment is for:

  • conference fees
  • transport to and from the conference
  • accommodation for the duration of the conference
  • any Covid tests required for travel
  • up to £100 towards visa costs where applicable

The cost of travel insurance and expenses for membership fees, poster printing or subsistence are not included. 

Payment will be reimbursed after the conference. Documentary evidence, in the form of receipts, must be provided to Researcher Development in order for payment to be released, along with a 200-word statement detailing how the conference benefitted your research and development.

Travel during the pandemic

It is essential to purchase University travel insurance before you travel. The policy covers Covid-related medical expenses and cancellations or rearrangement costs if you test positive for Covid-19. See the University Travel Insurance webpage for more details.

Travel insurance may not cover the cost of delays or cancellation if they are caused by changes to Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FDCO) advice or government regulations/lockdowns in the UK or the host country, Covid-related or otherwise. The University is not liable for these costs. 

If the UK or the country you are travelling to requires you to take a Covid test before travel or during your stay, the DOC Fund will cover these. If you test positive for Covid-19 and are unable to travel, you will need to recoup costs through your insurance. The DOC will still cover conference fees if you present virtually.

If you have any queries, please email

Doctoral School