Our PhD Bursary Awards

Since 2008, the Charity provided a Bursary of £18,000 every year to enable an ICAEW member to study for a PhD at a UK university in an accountancy related subject, with a view to taking up an academic career. After extensive discussions within the Company and with ICAEW members who are leading academics, the practice is now to award up to two candidates an annual bursary.


The annual bursary is for up to £5,000, to run for four years (subject to satisfactory annual progress reports from the students’ supervisors). An increased annual budget of £40,000 thus supports up to eight students.

Sam Hart was our second PhD Bursary award winner and was awarded her Doctorate at the end of the 2015-16 academic year. She was selected from a short list of three excellent candidates by our distinguished Panel chaired by Professor Christopher Humphrey. Her work programme followed the standard format of one year of research and three years of execution of the academic work leading to her doctorate thesis.

The Trustees received regular updates from her supervising professor. Several Trustees and Court members kindly volunteered to help her with the necessary data collection to be included in her analysis section. Now completed, an original copy of her published thesis is held at the ICAEW Library in Chartered Accountants’ Hall.

PhD award

Two candidates were selected to receive a £5,000 PhD Bursary Award each year for four years from 2016-17; Alistair Marsden and Tracey Wilson, who continue to receive similar bursary awards following satisfactory supervisors’ reports.  A further bursary was awarded in 2017/18 to Catherine Guest and in 2018/19 to Mohit Dar and Debbie Jones.  All these PhD students, all at different stages of their PhD studies, are currently being supported by the charity.

Members of our Institute are poorly represented in universities and financial colleges, largely due to the greater rewards available in commerce. The Trustees hope that this PhD initiative will continue to encourage ICAEW Members to pursue careers as accountancy academics at our nation’s universities and colleges.

How to Apply for a PhD Bursary

To apply for a PhD Bursary please contact Gillian Knight at the ICAEW Gillian.Knight@nullicaew.com who will send you a Form of Application and Guidance Notes for you to complete and return to her. The bursaries are only available to ICAEW members or persons who have gained the equivalent recognised qualification, including from abroad – Gillian Knight can advise on recognised qualifications. Applications must be received by mid-May annually and interviews of short-listed candidates are normally conducted in June by a distinguished panel of three academics, together with our own Trustee, Andrew Pianca, chaired by Professor and Honorary Liveryman Chris Humphrey.