Graduate School


A Building Experience and Skill Travel Scholarship (BESTS) is a chance to broaden your experience and your network of contacts by giving you the opportunity for a fully funded visit (up to £3,000) of up to two months duration at a host organisation anywhere in the world.

The host organisation can be just about any type of organisation that will give you the chance to broaden and deepen your understanding of the skills and attitudes you need to make a success of your career in whatever sector you choose to move into, e.g. a university, a business, a government department, a charity, or a non-governmental organisation. 

Female student in laboratory (Ningbo)


BESTS is NOT a scheme to fund conference attendance or short research visits to centres of excellence.

If you are looking for funding to attend a conference or centre of excellence, please refer to the Graduate School Travel Prize (research student) or to the Research Staff Travel Prize.


You are eligible to bid for funds if you are a doctoral research student (e.g. PhD, DHSci, DM, etc) or a research-only staff member (Level 4 or equivalent) based on the UK campus.

Deadlines and travel window

The funding round you apply to is determined by your travel dates, please carefully check the funding deadline before you apply. If you apply to the incorrect funding round, your application will be rejected.

Funding rounds
Round  Deadline  Travel from  Travel to
 Oct '17 CLOSED 5 Oct 2017 6 Nov 2017  6 Oct 2018
 Mar '18 CLOSED

7 Mar 2018

2 Apr 2018  1 Mar 2019
 Jul' 18 CLOSED  5 Jul 2018  6 Aug 2018  1 Jul 2019


Application guidance  

Before you apply you must:

  • read the funding guidance notes to check this is the correct funding scheme for you and your visit
  • find a host and secure the agreement of your intended host for your visit before completing the application
  • predict the benefits you will gain from the visit
  • agree the nature of the activities you will be involved in
  • estimate the costs you will incur during the visit, remember you will only receive a maximum of £3,000 from a successful application
  • fill in an application from and submit it by the deadline  

Application form

There are three application deadlines each calendar year. See the timetable above to check that you are applying for the correct round of funding.

Applications are made through Moodle. Click on the link below to access the application form and detailed applicant and supervisor/line manager guidance notes.

Apply Here

Potential applicants are welcome to contact the BESTS team in the Graduate School about their application.

Contact us


Support for bids

If you would like to discuss your proposed trip and the application form before applying, please contact to request a 20 minute appointment with a Researcher Training and Development Manager from the Graduate School.


The idea behind this initiative was developed by the Schools of Chemistry, Physics and the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering. 

The Graduate School

The University of Nottingham
A floor, Highfield House
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

Tel: +44 (0) 115 846 8400

Text: 07786209140 Email:

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