Financial Support from the Department
In 2011/2012, the Department received £260,000 from the School for disbursement as support for research students. The Department added approximately £180,000 to this from its own resources, largely deriving from profits of the Summer School. Over 60 applications for support in the 2011/2012 academic session were received. Of these, the departmental was able to provide funding to over 50% of the applicants.
However, there are also numerous other ways, detailed below, that students can earn income from the Department. These include teaching undergraduate classes, teaching on the Summer School and acting as a research assistant either for individual members of staff or in one of the research centres, or carrying out other ancillary tasks for staff members.
Departmental Funding. Because support funds are strictly limited, you should think of the Department as acting only as a 'funder of last resort'. In order to be considered for all funding opportunities in the School or the Department, you should complete an application form for a Postgraduate Research Scholarship, as detailed in the Financial Support from the School section below. All funding applications will be considered carefully by the Department. Whilst we can give no guarantees, preference will generally given to students who have performed exceptionally well in their examinations, i.e. achieved an overall Distinction with a high set of marks in their MSc exams or performed similarly well in their MRes exams or research. However, preference will also be given to students suffering particular hardship. Note that:
Students are expected to make every effort to raise funds from external sources wherever possible. You should be able to show substantive written evidence that you have applied for alternative funding, i.e. copies of applications, letters of notification or rejection letters. You should not expect to receive support from the Department if you have not tried to help yourself.
If you are successful at raising money from outside but it is not enough to cover your fees and living expenses, then you may be eligible for 'top-up' funds from the Department. However, you are expected to inform us of any such outside funds. The Department takes a dim view of students who receive support from the Department as well as generous funds from outside and do not inform us; any students discovered to be acting in this fashion will be denied access to Departmental support altogether.
For 2012/2013, awards for a new student starting the programme typically covered the cost of tuition fees ONLY. For some exceptional students an additional award as a contribution towards living costs was also made. Some of these higher awards were linked to working as a class teacher, typically for three - five hours a week during term-time. Provided satisfactory progress is made the department will continue to support your studies into your 2nd and 3rd years. However, we cannot guarantee that this support will remain at the same level. You will still need to show evidence that you have applied for funding from elsewhere. Failure to do so may result in the withdrawal or a reduction in the value of any award made.
Class Teaching - for useful information and instructions on applying to become a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) in the Department. GTAs rather than Faculty teach most undergraduate classes in economics. Since many of you will become academics this represents useful professional training. Even for students not expecting to pursue an academic career, the experience of giving public presentations will stand you in good stead.
Summer School Teaching- for useful information and instructions on applying to become a Summer School class teacher.
Research Assistants. All of the research centres connected with the Department recruit students to act as occasional research assistants (ORAs) to work on their research projects. Typically an ORA will work about six hours a week throughout the year. Occasionally the centres may wish to hire RAs to work more than this, typically 20 hours/week; rates of pay are higher for these jobs although they obviously leave less time for your own work.
Being an ORA usually entitles you to a desk and access to good computer facilities. It also allows you to learn how to do research by working with a senior academic. As far as possible the research centres try to assign ORAs to projects that fit with the student's own research interests. However, you cannot pick and choose what you work on. If you take a major role in formulating and executing a project you are entitled to make that part of your thesis. ORAs often choose to do some undergraduate class teaching as well. Students interested in being attached to a research centre should contact the administrator of the centre in question.
Research Training Support Grant. The Department will provide financial support up to a maximum of £300 for the duration of your studies for research related expenses such as attendance at conferences. For more details and to make an expenses claim, please contact the MRes/PhD Programme Administrator in the first instance. This grant does not apply to students holding an ESRC Studentship as there is a separate grant of £750 per annum connected to the studentship. The annual amount does not need to be spent in full each year but can be carried forward from year to year. Again, the MRes/PhD Programme Administrator can advise.
Financial Support from the School
The School, via its Financial Support Office offers a variety of student support schemes. The most important from an economics perspective is:
LSE Research Studentship Scheme Information for current students and information for prospective students: generally covers the cost of tuition fees. In exceptional circumstances an additional contribution towards living expenses may also be awarded. Closing date for applications is around the middle of June.
Other means of support worth considering are:
S C Tsiang Scholarship: this scholarship is worth around £3000 and is awarded by the Graduate Studies Committee solely on the grounds of academic merit to a 2nd or 3rd year student writing a dissertation in the field of monetary economics. The award is tenable for one year in the first instance but may be renewed for a second year subject to satisfactory progress.
External Scholarships and Fellowships
UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Studentships. These are open to UK and EU students and cover the cost of tuition fees and/or living expenses (around £17,500 per year), and other expenses depending on circumstances. The department receives a quota of around 10 awards each year. Students are selected for nomination for a studentship by the Department at the point of admission based on previous academic performance and research potential. The funding is for 3 or 4 years depending to which programme the student is admitted. Further information is available from the ESRC website.
European Commission. The European Union, via the Commission, runs a number of schemes for training researchers, although often these require the institutions concerned to be part of a network. Examples include Marie Curie Fellowships.
In addition many foreign governments and charitable foundations are sources of funds for students of particular nationalities. Non-UK students should make every effort to tap into these. The Graduate School Prospectus lists some of these, and LSE Financial Support Office can provide more details and assistance.
Finally keep an eye on the sixth floor notice boards in the St Clement's Building where notices of scholarship possibilities are posted.
Other Earning Possibilities
Other opportunities for earning money, either inside or outside the school, sometimes come to the notice of faculty. Such information will be posted on the notice boards outside the Departmental Offices on the sixth floor of St. Clement's Building. The School's Careers Service may also be a useful source of information.
Temporary Teaching Fellowships
Sometimes the Department needs to hire Temporary Teaching Fellows to cover for staff who are absent on leave. See Teaching Fellowships for further information and instructions on applying.
Postgraduate Travel Fund
The Postgraduate Travel Fund is open to PhD students attending conferences related to their research degrees, who have been invited to give a paper at the conference. Other types of students are not eligible to apply.
Royal Economic Society Grants and Fellowships
The Royal Economic Society offers various grants and fellowships to members, including Junior Fellowships and the Conference Grant Scheme.