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Centre of Development Studies

 

The Centre of Development Studies announces a new hardship fund for its postgraduate students

Each year, some MPhil and PhD students within our two postgraduate programmes experience unexpected financial difficulties part way through their studies.

Thanks to a generous £5000 gift from Inés Garcia, the Centre has been able to establish a student hardship fund. Named in honour of her late husband, the Michael J Sharpston Hardship Fund will ensure students in financial need can reach their full potential.

Michael read Economics at Corpus Christi Cambridge (1965) and went on to obtain an MA in Development Economics at Corpus Christi, Oxford. After completing his studies, he lived and worked in Brazil and Ghana. He then joined the World Bank, where he spent the core of his career as a development economist.

Staff and students at the Centre offer their sincere thanks to Ms Garcia for this generous donation in memory of her late husband.

Details of the Hardship Fund and how to apply

Prior to starting their course, all postgraduate students are expected to have arranged sufficient funding for the duration of their studies. It is possible, however, that students will encounter unforeseen financial difficulties during their time here at Cambridge.

In such circumstances you should consult your College Tutor as soon as possible. They will talk with you about your financial situation and provide advice about appropriate sources of financial assistance. You may decide to apply for CDS' Michael J Sharpston Hardship Fund. This Fund has been established through the generous donation of £5000 from Inés Garcia, the widow of Michael J Sharpston, and aims to support our students who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of unexpected changes in their financial circumstances. Michael read Economics at Corpus Christi Cambridge (1965) and went on to obtain an MA in Development Economics at Corpus Christi, Oxford. After completing his studies, he lived and worked in Brazil and Ghana. He then joined the World Bank, where he spent the core of his career as a development economist.

Eligibility
Both MPhil and PhD in Development Studies are eligible to apply, in cases of acute hardship resulting from unforeseen circumstances (e.g. essential travel because of family illness or bereavement; funds needed to complete studies, although please note point 3 in the Constitution below).
Applicants must currently be in financial hardship (speculative applications are not permitted).
Students funded by the Cambridge Trust are expected to approach the Trust for further financial assistance before submitting an application to the Fund.

Application
1. Applicants must write a letter to the Centre Administrator, explaining their circumstances (including why the funding already arranged for their course cannot cover this case) and identifying the reason why funds are needed.
2. The letter must include a full and accurate breakdown of anticipated costs.
3. Applicants must confirm in the letter which other sources of funds have been applied for, if any (applicants should state no other sources of funds have been requested if that is the case), how much has been requested from those other sources, and when applicants are expected to hear the result of that application if they have not already.
4. Both the applicant's academic Supervisor and their College Tutor must write a letter confirming the applicant's need for funds and send it to the Centre Administrator.
5. All parts of the application must be with the Centre Administrator by the deadline of Friday 19 March.
6. The application will considered by the Centre's Executive Committee and applicants will be informed of the outcome by no later than Tuesday 20 April.

Amount
A typical award will be for any amount up to £700. The Centre's Executive Committee has authority to vary the upper limit in exceptional circumstances.

Constitution
1. The Michael J Sharpston Hardship Fund shall be considered as a standing item on the Centre's Executive Committee agenda. All applications and and awards will be recorded in the papers for Executive Committee meetings.
2. The availability of the Fund is published on the Centre of Development Studies' website and the Fund is available to all Centre of Development Studies MPhil and PhD students.
3. All awards are conditional upon confirmation that the funding will not be used to extend the period of time in which the student is expected to complete their programme of study.
4. Awards from the Fund cannot be used to pay University or College fees.
5. Applicants, Supervisors and College Tutors are expected to word process applications.

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