I started my PhD in 2020 and I was the recipient of a department bursary (of around £5,000) that acted as a fee waiver. This bursary was awarded for one year, subject to the availability of College funds and satisfactory performance . However, in the past year there have been government cuts to Arts education resulting in cuts in my university and department. This has resulted in me not having a bursary for this year and there are no other avenues for me to get funding within Goldsmiths as a second year PhD student.
I did apply for support through the Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE). However, after being put-forward by my department to the Graduate School at Goldsmiths, I did not make the final round of our internal selection process, so my application did not get sent through to CHASE. I was disappointed but not altogether surprised at this result due to the national statistics on Black PhD students accessing research council funding. In 2019, Leading Routes published a report called The Broken Pipeline – Barriers to Black PhD Students Accessing Research Council Funding . The report highlights a disconcerting figure: over a three year period just 1.2% of the 19,868 studentships awarded by all UKRI research councils went to Black or Black Mixed students. The mainstream media tends to portray that lots of money is being poured into decolonial work in universities and the arts. But in reality, projects like mine lead by people of colour are rarely funded.
In order to keep up with living costs, I work part-time as a Community Officer at Arts Emergency, sell artwork via my shop , and I also receive a maintenance loan from Student Finance. This doesn’t cover the additional costs of doing field work or buying art and research materials, which is why I also created a Patreon. I’ve come to the point where I cannot work more hours than I already am while completing a full-time PhD. Throughout my higher education, I’ve had to work and study whilst navigating academia as a working-class disabled person and I would now finally like to be able to study without having to worry about money.
The tuition fees for my PhD are £4,500 per year, and I have two years left.
I really want to finish my research. Not only for myself, but for all artists of colour. I think that I can make a great contribution to curatorial studies and practices and help those who really care about building an anti-racist present and future for the contemporary art sector.
So! If you can spare any £££, please help me fund my PhD!
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