I am a second year PhD student in Australia in the field of preclinical medicine.
It has always been the norm for my PhD that I myself apply for grants/stipends for my salary so that I can afford to live whilst doing the PhD. Last year I had two scholarships which just about covered the cost of living for me and my family. This year it looks like I've lost half of that, possibly coronavirus-related, which means I am likely to be losing about $20K AUD a year on my outgoing cost of living, but I will still have the other grant money coming in. I could also work part time but that would be detrimental to the PhD.
My supervisor has always been very supportive in me applying for grants and he is extremely forthcoming with money for any consumables, expenses or project costs at all, but never directly for salary. For salary I am expected to just apply for grants as I go and as and when they come up. Sometimes I get them, sometimes I don't. I have one from a funding body which is potentially for the whole of my PhD but not 100% secure after year 2 and not enough on its own.
I was also instrumental in writing and winning a $100K AUD grant for my supervisor which was a project (not salary) grant, as stipulated by the funding body. My supervisor is great in many ways but I do feel that he is getting a lot out of me being his PhD student.
Is it normal to be applying for the money you need to live off 'on the fly' like this as you go through your PhD?
If I end up with a deficit because I could not get funding for a certain period of my PhD, is it legitimate to ask my supervisor to pay me some salary funding out of his funds for the project, which seem to be fairly extensive. He does not have to pay his own salary because he is on a permanent contract with the university who pay it directly.