Sources of External Funding for Conference Attendance

There are lots of opportunities to fund conference travel for postgraduate and doctoral students but no large overarching funding streams covering all disciplines. This means that to identify funds, it is best to search on a disciplinary basis to find opportunities that are of interest to your research area. The majority of funders offering small amounts for conferences are learned societies or foundations, offering funding to support attendance at their own conferences, or those in their disciplinary interest area, in the UK and overseas. Some funding opportunities are only open to society members but, student subscriptions are usually available at a substantially reduced rate. 

Finding funding

Research Professional

Have a look at Research Professional. This is a subscription based service that the University has an account for and it contains a database of searchable funding opportunities that can be filtered by type of award and discipline. You can access it from University and register for an account so you can log in off site. Use the advance search function to tailor your search to your specific interest.


This is a search tool that combines EU and British Council funds. It also incorporates funds available through the Newton Fund which is a fund supporting research collaboration with a selection of OECD countries. You can use this to identify opportunities filtered on the basis of ‘Postgraduate level’. There are some opportunities available but “read the small print”. Many are offered as part of a larger grant or scheme, rather than for individual student applications outside of this or, they conflate the eligibility criteria of postgraduate and postdoctoral. 

A sample of opportunities available is detailed below:

Institution of Engineering and Technology, GB

Travel awards (Membership required) Up to £500

European Central Bank, EU Conference grants These enable authors of accepted papers to attend a conference on fiscal policy during and after the crisis, to be held on 10 and 11 November 2016 at the ECB.
British Society for Immunology, GB Travel awards (membership required) Up to £1000 These enable members to attend scientific meetings or visit laboratories for specific short-term activities, such as collaborative research or to learn new techniques.
Genetics Society, GB Conference grants
(membership required) Up to £750
Graduate students and postdoctoral scientists within three years of their PhD at the time of application, may apply. Applicants must have been members of the society for at least one year, with the exception of PhD and undergraduate students who may apply as soon as they join.
Women in German Studies, GB Funding to present at conferences (up to £100)

Awards are available to attend conferences in the field of German studies, in the UK, Ireland or German-speaking areas, at which the applicant is presenting a paper.

German History Society, GB Small grants
Up to £750
Applicants must be members of the society and include any students registered for a higher degree at a university in the UK or Republic of Ireland.
London Mathematical Society LMS-AMMSI conference grants to postgraduates (Up to £2,000) These enable postgraduate students to attend a conference organised or supported by AMMSI. Students must hold a mathematical degree. Applications are open to institutions or organisations.
Royal Historical Society, GB Conference travel grants (Up to £500) These enable early-career researchers or postgraduate students to present papers at specialist conferences within and outside the UK.
Royal Economic Society, GB Conference grant scheme £500 This supports members presenting a paper or acting as a principal discussant at a conference related to economics.
Association for the History of Glass, GB Research grants (Up to £500) These contribute towards educational or research activities in any area of glass studies. Supported activities include: attendance at a conference to present lectures or posters, and travel for study purposes
Musica Britannica, GB Louise Dyer awards (Up to £1,000) The applicant’s programme of study must be wholly or mainly concerned with British music. Preference is normally given to those working for a doctorate.
Foundation for the Sociology of Health and Illness, GB Postgraduate international conference travel grants (Up to £600) These enable postgraduate students and early-career researchers to present or co-present a medical sociology or sociology of health and illness paper at an international conference outside the UK.
Pasold Research Fund, GB PhD bursaries for textile history These support postgraduates conducting research in any area or period of textile history.
UK eInformation Group, GB Student or early-career professional conference grant (up to £1000)  

These enable students and early-career professionals to attend conferences relevant to their professional studies or career.

British Ecological Society, GB Training and travel grants (Up to £1,000)  

These enable students and postgraduate research assistants to meet the costs of specialist field training courses, and to network and publicise their research by presenting their work at workshops and conferences.