GrantDoctor: Can I get funds to support a second degree in veterinary science? How can I get postdoctoral fellowships to work in France?


Can I get funds to support a second degree in veterinary science?

How can I get postdoctoral fellowships to work in France?

Dear GrantDoctor,

How can I find funding to help me do veterinary science as a second degree in the U.K., with respect that the fees are between £12,000 to £14,000 per year. I would very much appreciate your help as all my research seems to be coming to an end with no results. Help me realise my dream.

Yours sincerely,


Dear Patricia,

Full-time students taking degree and other courses are eligible for awards to cover the costs of fees, but financial requests for second undergraduate degrees are disapproved and not granted.

Because it is pretty tough to get government funding for a second undergraduate degree in the U.K. (if that is what you mean by "second degree"), your most direct option, unfortunately, may be to secure a loan.

There are alternative sources of financial aid, but they may not necessarily lower the fees you will have to pay: The Student's Loan Company is a nondepartmental government body and "the sole administrator of publicly financed loans for students." They will be able to advise you as to your financial options. They do not accept e-mail, but they have a list of contact phone numbers on their Web site that you can call.

The Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) is an excellent source of information regarding financial aid. I got in touch with them and asked the Student Support Division of the DfEE what the official educational guidelines are on financing a second undergraduate degree.

In their very swift e-mail response back to me, they say that "previous attendance on a full-time higher education course at a publicly funded institution in the United Kingdom will usually mean that a student is not eligible for support for fees for another course. Previous attendance at a non-publicly funded institution will also usually debar them, if any support from public funds toward their fees was available to them."

However, these regulations do not affect a student's eligibility to maintenance support, which includes loans and supplementary grants, provided the student meets the general eligibility criteria for such support. Check out their Higher Education Student Support pages for details.

Have you considered taking the plunge and doing a graduate degree, such as a Masters or Ph.D.? Studentships and fellowships are available for these courses and if you do have to pay a fee, it certainly won't be in the range you mention.

For example, the Institute for Animal Health in Berkshire, England, has a number of postgraduate and research initiatives. It is the largest research institute in the United Kingdom dedicated to the health of farm animals.

The British Veterinary Nursing Association also advises those wishing to pursue a veterinary career. They hold veterinary training programs and provide a pre-veterinary nursing course "designed to prepare students for a career in Animal Care."

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) also provides such training opportunities, as do a number of universities around the U.K. A few of these universities are:

Some veterinary schools in the U.K.:

There are many ways to realize your dreams--don't be discouraged by lack of funds!

-- The GrantDoctor

Dear GrantDoctor,

Where can I find current information regarding fellowships for U.S. postdocs performing life science research abroad. I am a U.S. citizen and just received my Ph.D. in biochemistry. I accepted a postdoc position in France and would like to find supplemental fellowships to aid my research while abroad. Thank you, Amy

Dear Amy,

First of all congratulations on getting your doctorate and landing a postdoc position abroad! Well done. There are a number of ways a U.S. citizen can apply for funding to work in a lab overseas.

The Council for International Exchange of Scholars, which is affiliated with the Institute of International Education, helps administer the Fulbright Scholars Program--funding over 4000 new grants a year.

They do fund scientists going to France, but the award deadline to apply for the 2000/2001 starting date is now closed. However, it is still worthwhile making contact with them to find out about other options.

The Human Frontier Science Program sponsors postdoctoral research in a number of countries, including France, too. Unfortunately, you also missed their only receipt date--September 1st. They provide long-term postdoctoral fellowships (2 years) that comes with roughly US$40,000 and includes research expenses and travel. I'd advise you to get in touch with them also.

The United States Information Agency is a good source for U.S. scientists looking for financial support abroad. They also include information on the Fulbright Program as well as information regarding visas, work permits, and the legalities of working abroad.

The French Embassy's Office of Science and Technology in Washington, D.C., lists a number of programs, scholarships, and fellowships in their Exchanges Web page.

The Division of International Programs (INT) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) is accepting grant applications for scientists for a 15 June 2000 deadline in cooperation with the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). Rose Gombay is the program officer at NSF responsible for grant awards made to scientists traveling to Western Europe. Her section, which also deals specifically with U.S.-French research programs, can be reached by phone at (703) 306-1702--but first check out their INT Web site.

NSF also sponsors the International Research Fellow Awards Program that funds projects in any of NSF's science or engineering disciplines. You're in luck--they are taking proposals until November 1st. You must submit your plan using NSF's FastLane electronic grants system (see this issue's article on the NSF Review Process in the Career Development Center for information on FastLane). The award is for 1 year and the stipend, approximately US$38,000, is open to U.S. scientists taking up positions in any number of foreign labs.

These are just a few of the organizations and programs out there. The network of information that you can access through these listed sites should provide you with a number of opportunities to support you during this stage of your science career--good luck!

-- The GrantDoctor

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