The Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust provides grants of between £500 and £1,300 for postgraduate study in all fields for students over 24 years of age with demonstrable financial need.

Founded in 1919 by the businessman and philanthropist Sir Richard Stapley (1843-1920), the Trust supports the work of mature students of proven academic merit, and in financial need, who are pursuing further degree qualifications at an institution in the UK. Applications are open to students from all countries, but applicants must be resident in the UK at the time of applying, as well as during their course of study. 

At a glance

  • Funding valueBetween £500 and £1,300
  • Suitable for Applicants fromUK, EU, Rest of World
  • DeadlineOn going
  • Funding provider(s)The Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust

What it covers

All grants are made annually, and are normally between £500 and £1,300 to assist with the cost of postgraduate study.

Who can apply

In order to be eligible to apply for a grant, you must be:

  • Over the age of 24 on 1 October of the proposed year of study;
  • Either accepted on, or applying for, a place on a degree course in medicine, dentistry or veterinary studies taken as a second degree, or accepted on, or applying for, a full- or part-time place on a master's or doctoral degree programme in any discipline, at a UK university;
  • Already resident in the UK at the time of application, and resident in the UK during the course of study;
  • Be facing demonstrable financial need in the academic year for which funding is applied (details about how this is calculated are in the application pack). 

NB: if you are a postgraduate student, or applying for a place on a postgraduate degree course, you must hold a first or 2:1 degree from a UK institution (or its equivalent from a non-UK institution) or hold a master's degree from a UK institution, or its overseas equivalent.

If your first or subsequent degree was awarded by a university outside the UK, and you have not previously been awarded a grant from our Trust, then you MUST obtain and submit with your application a letter from the UK University at which you plan to study in 2021/22. This letter should confirm that the University considers your overseas degree to be equivalent to a UK First Class or Upper-Second Class degree with honours, or a master’s or doctoral degree. Applications which come without this letter will be rejected without further discussion. (If you have previously been awarded a grant from our Trust, you do not need to submit the letter from the UK University.) 


We do accept applications from final year BA/BSc students, but the awarding of any grant is contingent upon the outcome of their first degree.

Applicable courses

This funding opportunity is applicable to many courses, please see the 'Who can apply' section for more information.

Further information

Awards are competitive and made on the basis of academic merit and financial need.  All grants are awarded for a full year of academic study and for one year only.  Applicants for full time postgraduate degree courses may be supported for up to a maximum of four years, but new applications must be submitted each year. Part-time postgraduate courses can be funded for a maximum of seven years, but new applications have to be submitted each year. (Please note that from 2022 onwards, these maximum periods will revert to three years for full-timers and six years for part-timers)


Grants are normally from £500 to £1,300 in value. They are intended to cover the shortfall incurred by educational and subsistence expenses upon payment of tuition fees. Before award money can be released, applicants must confirm that their financial situation has not improved significantly and that they still have a financial shortfall.


Please visit the Trust website for more information.

How to apply

Application packs are usually available from the start of January each year. The Trust encourages electronic application submissions, an application can be downloaded from the Trust website and submitted by email to If you do not have regular access to the internet, you are still welcome to apply; please request a printed application pack from the following address:

Colin Nee
Clerk to the trustees
The Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust
PO Box 76132
London E8 9HE


The deadline for submissions is normally at the end of March each year, or the first 300 completed applications received, whichever comes first. Every year, the Trust receives many more applications than it can consider, so please apply early to avoid disappointment.