PhDs call for more support amid the cost-of-living crisis

PhD students in the United Kingdom have called for more action from funders and universities to address the cost-of-living crisis, writes Rachel Magee for Research Professional News.

In a letter to the journal Nature Human Behaviour, University College London PhD students Hannah Franklin and Emma Francis said stipends for doctoral students “remain insufficient and unsustainable” despite recent uplifts and that “more robust financial support” is needed. “Despite the severe impact of the cost-of-living crisis, universities and funders have failed to act promptly,” they wrote, adding that the government “is yet to provide any additional financial relief for PhD students specifically”.

Last year, national funder UK Research and Innovation announced it would increase the minimum stipend by 10% for 2022-23 to £17,668 (US$21,800), following a campaign led by students who were struggling to make ends meet during the cost-of-living crisis. Following the announcement, several other major funders and institutions promised similar uplifts, including the Royal Society, the Leverhulme Trust, Cancer Research UK, as well as universities.
Full report on the Research Professional News site