I just finished my master's degree in a university, and I got accepted at a university for a PhD about a certain topic, starting from September (meaning I am "officially" not a student of any of the two until then)

My future supervisor brought to my attention a workshop that is taking place in the last week of July and the first week of August that is exactly about my research topic. Moreover, most of the "big names" in that area are going to be there. He actually told me that if I am able to go there, it would be

The problem is that the workshop is in a rather expensive country, and it lasts two weeks. I did the math (lol) and between travel and accomodation it would cost me about a month's stipend. Now, as I am sure you all know, the economic situation of a Ph.D student isn't exactly marvellous, so I am rather hesitant to spend this amount of money on any thing.

I have, therefore, two questions for you:
a) Would it be appropriate to ask one (or both) the universities for any amount of funding they may get me?
b) Is there any external way, like some small scholarship, some organization or I don't know (wanting to go to an unfunded conference should happen quite often), that may help me with the expenses? c) Would it make sense to spend my money on this and start my PhD life abroad with basically no savings?

One last thing: if it helps, I am an EU citizen, and all this is taking place in EU.

Ps: to answer the most common questions: the registration period is over (but I may get in anyway if my supervisor sends an email), and there was no planned funding in the first place (so no chance of getting any later)

  • 2
    I don't know how funding works in the EU, but at my university, if the supervisor says you should go to a workshop, there's usually an expectation that they'll pay for it (especially if you're presenting). That being said - have you checked with the workshop to see if they have students scholarships available? Alternatively - you could email the dean's office and ask if they have a list of funding opportunities.
    – tonysdg
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 3:08
  • Usually it's like this in the EU, but in this case the "problem" is that I'm not a student of the university until september (for instance, I will sign the contract on august). By the way I am of course not presenting, since my research hasn't even started! Do you think it would be appropriate emailing the dean's office in my situation? Commented May 26, 2016 at 8:45
  • 2
    What does your future advisor say? He probably has a better idea of what kind of funding is available for your particular situation.
    – user9646
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 11:13
  • He told me he would look into that, but that it would probably be a good idea for me to start looking on my own Commented May 26, 2016 at 12:16

1 Answer 1


Edit: Just noticed this was 3 years old. Hope the answer is useful to others.

I had a similar issue (though I finished my undergraduate at the same university(UK) I was given my PhD position.)

I had submitted a poster and was accepted at a conference. However, the conference was in September a month prior to my start as a PhD student and 2-3 months after I ceased to be a student. Technically as I was no longer a student at the university they had no responsibility to pay for me, but never forget if you are even a future PhD student they want you to do well.

Together with my future supervisor we contacted the person in charge of the budget for conferences and explained the situation, along with all the relevant costings for attendance.

It was accepted.

My answer to you is:

  • First you need to do your second question. In my field of Computer Science the websites offer "early bird" attendance rates, rates for students, and in some cases of large conferences offers on payment of accommodation etc if you fall into certain categories (for example if you want to volunteer to help). Once you know the true cost you can do the second point.
  • With your supervisor(they will know who is who) contact the budget holder for conference attendance at the University you are going to do your PhD at. As above, state what is going on, why it is important and how it will help with your future as a PhD student at that University.

Hope you get your workshop approved!

  • I... did not go to that one. But I've been to dozens of others, and I've got my PhD now so... it all worked out in the end :D Commented Dec 17, 2020 at 0:05

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