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Funding a PhD

There are a number of sources of funding available for PhD students. For 2016 entry these include a significant package of competitive Queen Mary Postgraduate Research Studentships and UK Research Council Doctoral Training Studentships in a wide range of areas.

The deadline for most Queen Mary Studentships is 31st January 2016, but some subjects in the Sciences may have deadlines later in the Spring, please check individual school websites for full details.

In addition, there are external sources of support to consider including employer sponsorship and, for some, overseas scholarship schemes. Please be aware that identifying and securing sufficient funding to complete the research and writing up process within the normal time period (three years) is a key part of the overall PhD application process.

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Queen Mary and UK Research Council Postgraduate Research Studentships

Queen Mary offers postgraduate research studentships which are tenable for up to three years. The studentships cover tuition fees and provide maintenance at the basic research council level (£15,590).

For more information on these studentships as well as those available via the UK Research Council Doctoral Training Partnerships, please see our list of Postgraduate Research Studentships.

Overseas sources of funding

Each year, QMUL receives doctoral applications from sponsored overseas students and is proud to host scholars from over 50 different international funding bodies at present.

For example, we are one of the largest recipients of China Scholarship Council scholars in the UK and work in collaboration with a number of other overseas scholarship programmes including the HEC of Pakistan, Dikti, VIED Project 911, The Marshall Aid Commemoration Commission, and Science without Borders (Ciência sem Fronteiras). You can find further details on the funding bodies specific to your home country by referring to the country pages of our website.

There are also funding schemes open to students from a range of nationalities. These include:

Wellcome Trust and National Institutes of Health PhD Studentships

The Wellcome Trust and National Institutes of Health joint scheme provides opportunities for the most promising postgraduate students to undertake international, collaborative four-year PhD training based in both the UK and the National Institutes of Health at Bethesda (Maryland, USA). Students will be co-mentored by supervisors and spend time in both locations.

You should discuss your application with a potential supervisor at QMUL to ensure he/she is willing to co-supervise you with a colleague at the NIH.

For more information please vist the Wellcome Trust website.

Deadline: 02 November 2015

Employer sponsorship

Many employers are willing to sponsor their employees on either a full-time or part-time basis as part of their career development. If you are in employment you should consider asking your employers whether they can assist with the funding of postgraduate study.

UK Government Loans

In recognition of the contribution postgraduate research makes to the UK economy and jobs market, the UK government is actively considering establishing a scheme of loans in order to support students wishing to study for a PhD.

We expect these loans to be available to support research in any subject area, to contribute up to £25,000 towards the costs of completing a PhD, and to be repayable after graduation, contingent upon income. There has, as yet, been no confirmation of the exact scope of the eligibility for these loans, nor any indication of when they will be implemented; however we hope to learn further details about the scheme in the Budget next month. Please check back here for further details in due course

Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding

QMUL subscribes to the Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding. This guide details how to find and apply to alternative sources of funding – especially charities – which make awards to current and postgraduate students. Charities are an under-rated funding resource, and often make awards to students of any subject and any nationality.

The Guide was written by two postgraduate students who between them have won over £45,000 from 55 different charity awards. It is published independently by GradFunding.

Current QMUL staff and students can access the information via the AGO Gateway by entering their QMUL username and password when prompted.

If you are a prospective postgraduate student and would like to make use of this resource, please contact Jo Cordy ( in order to gain receive QMUL’s login details.

All others can find more information on accessing the guide here: The Alternative Guide to Postgraduate Funding.

School and institute contacts

For more detailed information on the various funding opportunities available in your chosen school or institute, you may find it helpful to contact the relevant Postgraduate Research team.

Biological and Chemical ScienceElisa
Business and ManagementLiselot
English and DramaPostgraduate
Economics and FinancePostgraduate
Electronic Engineering and Computer ScienceMelissa
Engineering and Materials ScienceResearch Support
Languages, Linguistics and FilmPostgraduate
Mathematical SciencePostgraduate
Medicine and DentistryPostgraduate
Physics and AstronomyKaren
Politics and International RelationsPostgraduate
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