UKRI increases minimum PhD stipend by 10 per cent

Funder bows to pressure after postgraduate students said soaring inflation was making it ‘unfeasible’ to complete their studies

September 2, 2022
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UK Research and Innovation is increasing its minimum stipend for postgraduate research students by a further 10 per cent because of the cost of living crisis. 

The funder said that the payment will now be at least £17,668 full-time equivalent for those continuing their studies from 1 October.

It means that the minimum stipend level will increase by more than £2,000 in the 2022-23 financial year, compared with the previous 12 months. 

UKRI had been under increasing pressure from PhD students to raise the stipend after soaring inflation eroded its value. They said a previously announced increase of 2.9 per cent was making it increasing unfeasible to complete their studies

Melanie Welham, UKRI’s champion for people, culture and talent, said that the funder was “committed to further reviewing its funding offer as part of its current work on the new deal for postgraduate research”.

The announcement was welcomed by a spokesperson for the Russell Group who said they were “pleased to see UKRI taking the lead in helping the research community deal with the rising cost of living by increasing the minimum student stipend, which will provide much needed financial support to the next generation of researchers and innovators”.

They added that the group hoped the government, Office for Students and other funders could find more ways to help students “at this challenging time”, particularly given that many of the measures announced to deal the crisis would not benefit undergraduates.

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