Overseas Fieldwork Expenses

The Wales DTP has limited funds which can contribute to overseas fieldwork expenses. If you are an ESRC Wales DTP funded student you can apply for funding towards part of your costs. Please submit your application at least three months before you begin your fieldwork.


You are eligible for this allowance if you are a full-time ESRC funded student in the doctoral element of your award. Part-time students are not eligible to claim overseas fieldwork expenses unless the host institution has agreed to a change of status to full-time for a fixed period.

  • You may make only one application for overseas fieldwork expenses in the life of your award. A second application cannot be made.
  • Your application must have support from your school and supervisor.
  • You can only apply for this funding if you are carrying out primary research overseas that is essential to your PhD. Applications will only be considered where your supervisor’s case for support provides sufficient evidence that the overseas fieldwork is essential to your research.
  • The proposed overseas fieldwork should either have been outlined in your original research application or at the end of the first year of a 1+3 award.
  • If you hold a doctoral studentship attached to your supervisor’s ESRC research grant any fieldwork will be funded from your supervisor’s grant, and you will not be eligible for this allowance.
  • Payment of any contribution towards the fieldwork costs will not be authorised if the Foreign and Commonwealth Office advises against visiting the country concerned. Further guidance can be found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s travel & living abroad page.

Retrospective claims for overseas fieldwork expenses will not be considered.

You must comply with your university’s policy on health and safety in fieldwork and undertake appropriate risk assessments, as required, prior to commencing any fieldwork. Please ask your school or graduate office for further information.

What does the allowance cover?

Overseas fieldwork visits will normally last less than 12 months. However, if a strong case for a visit longer than twelve months can be demonstrated, fieldwork of up to a maximum of 18 months may be considered. You will not be able to make retrospective claims for expenses or for extensions to the period of award or thesis submission date if you remain in the field for a period longer than has been formally agreed with your supervisor and University Finance Office.

Overseas fieldwork must be an integral part of your PhD and take place during the life of the award. The purpose of the visit should be to carry out primary research, such as archival research or fieldwork that is essential to the successful completion of your thesis. Studentships will not be extended to reflect periods in the field. Fieldwork should not be undertaken in the last three months of the award.

If approval is given for overseas fieldwork lasting more than nine months, it may be appropriate that either you make one return visit to the UK, or your supervisor makes one visit to you in the field. This visit should occur half way through the period of fieldwork research and must be financed within the allowance given. No further funding will be given. If you return to the UK to consult your supervisor, it is recommended the visit last for a maximum of 10 days. No extension to the fieldwork period can be given to compensate for time spent on a return visit to the UK.

The overseas allowance does not cover the expenses of any family member accompanying you.

The overseas allowance will not be increased to cover extra expenses incurred once you have commenced your fieldwork.

The overseas fieldwork allowance may be supplemented by your Research Training Support Grant.

Please note:

  • You must comply with your school/faculty auditing processes. Receipts must be provided on return from the overseas fieldwork visit. If the costs are more than the Wales DTP contribution agreed, any surplus expenditure beyond the sum approved would need to be covered from alternative sources.

How to apply

Due to the measures put in place to control the COVID19 pandemic, the Wales DTP is suspending the application process for overseas fieldwork until further notice. We are not able to consider any new applications, and this policy will be kept under review. See our COVID19 page for more on our response.

The overseas fieldwork application is for a contribution towards the cost of an overseas fieldwork visit. As there are only limited funds available, not all costs will necessarily be met. The actual allocation of funds for fieldwork is at our discretion and the Wales DTP Management Group will oversee the process.

You will need to complete the Wales DTP Overseas Fieldwork Application Form at the start of your PhD programme. Send the completed form via email to enquiries@walesdtp.ac.uk.

Please allow at least three months between submitting an application and commencing the overseas fieldwork. We normally expect to communicate funding decisions within two months of application.