Finance - Fellowships

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.

Award finance

As part of a fellowship, Chevening covers a number of costs including flights, visa costs and accommodation. Your final award letter will confirm all financial elements of your award, and they may include some or all of the following:

Arrival allowance

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 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.

Stipend

Your living 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 will study and on the inclusions built into your programme. The stipend is calculated to cover your own basic expenses only, such as accommodation, meals, personal expenses, phone bills, 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 stipend 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 or bank holiday, 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 following month, you should contact your fellowships officer immediately who will look into the matter on your behalf.

You will not receive any payments on your cash card before you arrive in the UK and the first payment will be made for your scheduled UK arrival 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 fellowship terms and conditions, or if you do not return compulsory documentation to the Secretariat.
  • you elect to return home early and submit your work from overseas.

Research grant

You may also be entitled to receive a research allowance as a contribution towards the cost of producing a thesis/dissertation in cases where this is required for the course, or for conducting any research associated with your programme. This will be confirmed to you in your Final Award Letter. The allowance is intended to help cover costs such as printing, copying, binding, etc and other research costs. Where you are entitled to this allowance, 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.

Visa fees

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.

Managing your finances while you are in the UK

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 receive the card prior to your departure from your local British embassy or high commission. 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 before 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 visitors to open bank accounts when they are in the UK for less than six months.

Living costs

The cost of living in the UK varies according to where in the UK you live. London and other big cities are more expensive than other areas. You should ask your university for more detailed local costs of living. You can read further detailed information about the costs of living in the UK here.

Travel insurance

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 Immigration Health Surcharge as part of your visa requirements. If your visa does not require you to pay the Immigration 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.