Due to such scant external sources of funding available many researchers struggle to find the funding they need to enrich their research, deepen their understanding and ultimately reach their true potential.

The additional costs incurred to complete their research can often be overwhelming, stretching them too far financially and having a detrimental impact on their focus and wellbeing. The University is committed to developing a unified, interdisciplinary community of researchers with a vibrant body of PhD students at its heart.

“Having the funds to organise a research symposium, really raised my profile in the sector. I have been in email contact with prominent scholars and have had lots of social media engagement. Having the opportunity and resources to build a website, market the event, and manage the budget. I have also improved skills that will serve me well in any career once I graduate. It's been a real confidence boost and I felt very proud to tell people that my university values researcher development in this way.” - Rosie Reynolds, PhD Humanities

We typically have in the region of 450 doctoral researchers who are contributing their expertise across subject boundaries and, through innovative ways of working, are ensuring that their knowledge, expertise, passion and energy contributes to global debates and new solutions. In memory of the late Professor Geoffrey Petts, former Vice-Chancellor and President of the University, we’ve established this fund to recognise the distinguished contributions Geoffrey made to interdisciplinary river science research and his belief that all students, regardless of their financial situation, should have the opportunity to succeed.