Finance - Fellowships
The funding you receive through your Chevening Fellowship is intended to support costs related to your participation in the programme. Your Chevening Fellowship will usually cover academic/programme fees, return economy travel and a living stipend. The funding amounts may vary per programme as they will be adjusted to account for inclusions built in as part of the fellowship programme structure. The UK has a reputation for being expensive, especially if you live in London. While many of the costs you will incur in the UK may be covered by your fellowship, some things won’t be. The information below will give you some tips on expected costs, how to budget and ways of making the most of your money.
As part of a fellowship, Chevening covers a number of costs including flights and accommodation. Your final award letter will confirm all financial elements of your award, and they may include some or all of the following:
Your arrival allowance is intended to cover expenses related to your initial arrival in the UK. This may include set up costs for housing, transport, books, stationary and suitable clothing (in cases of winter arrival). You will receive this allowance on almost immediantly on arrival into the UK, and will usually be paid to you via a cash card. You may also use this allowance to cover any excess baggage requirements you may have on your flight to the UK (otherwise you should travel within airline limits where possible) along with the cost of getting from the airport to your university and the police registration fee if required.
Your monthly living/maintenance allowance (called a stipend) is only intended to cover reasonable living costs while you are in the UK.
The stipend is calculated based on the region in which you study and on the inclusions built you’re your programme. Maintenance allowance is calculated to cover your own basic expenses only, such as accommodation, meals, personal expenses, phone bill, daily travel and any required course resources. You should also use your stipend to cover the cost of NHS charges for prescriptions, dental treatment and opticians.
Your living allowance will be paid as per the fellowship dates listed in your final award letter.
Dates of payment
If your fellowship programme is for three months or less, you will received one lump sum payment which includes all three months’ stipend, plus any additional allowances as outlined in your final award letter. If your programme is for more than three months, your first payment will include your first two months stipends along with your arrival allowance.
Your stipend will be paid by the 21st of each month. If the 21st falls on a weekend, it will be paid to you on the next working day. If you have not received a stipend payment due to you by the 1st of the month, you should contact your fellowships officer immediately who will look into the matter on your behalf.
Payments on your cash card are made for your arrival in the UK and will not appear until this date.
Suspension of stipend
In some instances the Secretariat may suspend your stipend. Your stipend may be suspended if you do not comply with any of the terms and conditions of your fellowship, or if you do not return compulsory documentation to the Secretariat. You will not receive stipend when you are absent from the UK for longer than 30 days. If you do not notify your fellowship officer of your return, it will be assumed that you are still out of the UK. Your stipend may also be stopped early where you elect to return home early and submit your dissertation from overseas.
You may also be entitled to receive a thesis allowance as a contribution towards the cost of producing a thesis/dissertation in cases where such a document is required for their degree. This will be confirmed to you in your final award letter. The thesis grant is intended to help defray such costs as printing, copying, binding, etc. Where you are entitled to a thesis grant, this will be included in your award letter and the amount will be listed there. Where you are entitled to this allowance, it will be paid directly into your bank account or cash card. This allowance cannot be advanced to you.
Study travel grant
Study travel grants are sometimes available to fellows who wish to pursue activities related to their field of studies/expertise which are not built into their fellowship, and is determined to enhance their experience in the UK. The study travel grant is a maximum amount to £200 over the duration of your fellowship and must be approved by your fellowship supervisor to confirm their support and that the activity does not conflict with mandatory activities scheduled for your fellowship.
The study travel grant form is available from your fellowship officer and you should apply for the grant a minimum of 2 weeks prior to the start of the activity date. No study travel grant will be paid in retrospect. Fellows are advised that evidence of costs/payments (including receipts/invoices) are required for all grant applications.
Your fellowship award package includes reimbursement of your UK visa application fee. This will be paid to you on arrival to the UK and will be the advertised fee as listed on the UK Visa and Immigration website at the time of the issuance of visa guidance.
Fellows who follow alternative advice to that provided by the Welfare and immigration team will forfeit this reimbursement.
Living in the UK can be quite expensive, particularly if you are not used to the high prices. The information below is designed to help you manage your money as effectively as possible, ensuring that you have a memorable experience in the UK.
Receiving your stipend
If you are receiving your allowances via a cash card, you may have received this card prior to your departure by the British embassy or high commission. If you have not received this prior to your departure, you will receive it shortly after your arrival to the UK from the Chevening Secretariat.
If your fellowship programme is for three months or less, you will receive one lump sum payment which includes all three months’ stipend, plus any additional allowances as outlined in your final award letter.
If your programme is for more than three months, your first payment will include your first two months stipends along with your arrival allowance. Payments on your cash card are made for your arrival in the UK and will not appear until this date.
Instructions on activating your cash card will be provided directly to fellows by the Chevening Fellowships team.
Alternatively, your stipend may be paid to your university, who will then distribute it to you. This is due to most UK banks not allowing international students to open bank accounts when they are in the UK for less than six months.
The cost of living in the UK varies according to where in the UK you live. Further detailed information can be found here.
We recommend that you buy travel insurance before you leave home, to cover your journey and your stay in the UK. Depending on your visa, you may be required to pay the NHS health surcharge as part of your visa requirements. If your visa does not require you to pay the NHS health surcharge, you are strongly recommended to purchase travel insurance. A pro-rated contribution of up to £200 will be provided to assist with the cost of either the NHS health surcharge or travel insurance.
For information about using healthcare services in the UK, please visit the health and the NHS page.