About the award
Level: Masters, PhD
Course: PhD or Masters study in any subject*. *Masters courses in the School of Medicine and Dentistry will not be discounted for CONACyT scholars.
Value: CONACYT provide 300,000MX Pesos towards tuition fees and £880 (or £1,073 for married scholars) per month towards living costs. Queen Mary discounts tuition fees by 30% for CONACyT funded students for all Masters and PhDs except those in Medicine and Dentistry.
No. of awards: Variable
Deadline: Several CONACyT and Sener funding calls- check their websites.
Queen Mary has been a proud partner of CONACyT since 2012 and welcomes a diverse cohort of Masters and PhD students every year. We also admit a number of SENER-funded students onto our energy and sustainability-related courses.
We are pleased to offer Master's students, who are successful in receiving CONACyT funding, a 30% discount on tuition fees. This discount will be applied to students studying courses in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science and the Faculty of Science and Engineering. There is no discount for those pursuing a Master's degree in the School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Queen Mary is pleased to offer CONACyT-funded PhD students a variable fee discount to meet the CONACyT maximum contribution. CONACyT will contribute 300,000MX Pesos towards your fees each year and Queen Mary will waive the remaining fee*.
Upon applying for the PhD, applicants must inform their supervisor and department that they are applying for CONACyT funding. CONACyT will pay scholars a stipend towards living costs to its scholars. This may be supplemented by funding from Fiderh or Funed as it is not enough to meet UKVI requirements. PhD students can often earn money from lab demonstrating, marking and tuition. However, this should not be replied upon for funding.
*For some areas of research in the School of Medicine and Dentistry, extremely high research costs may prevent the School from covering the remaining fees. For this reason, it is especially important that applicants discuss this with their supervisor and department upon applying to Queen Mary.
Students must apply to CONACyT for the scholarship and Queen MAry for admission to their chosen course. Upon applying to Queen Mary, applicants should state that they are applying for CONACyT funding. There are multiple CONACyT calls each spring and summer and they vary by state. Please check the CONACyT webpages regularly for updates.
Our academic Schools are aware of CONACyT funding and will support you through you application. However, if you require further guidance please contact the International Office contact below.
Meet Our Scholars
Jorge Luis Fuentes Venegas, PhD Astronomy
Jorge is currently working towards his PhD in Cosmology within the Astronomy Unit in Queen Mary’s School of Physics and Astronomy. Jorge was first attracted to Queen Mary because of the international reputation of his supervisors, who are well known in the field of Cosmological Perturbation Theory. He hopes that this international PhD experience, funded by CONACyT, will help him to build a successful career in academia.
Before coming to Queen Mary, he earned a Bachelor’s in Mathematical Physics, followed by a Master’s in Physical Sciences at the Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo in Michoacán. Jorge advises future applicants to Queen Mary and CONACyT to “be patient and to have all the paperwork at hand, read carefully all the application, even the small print, because "the devil is in the detail" so you need to provide everything they are asking for. Again, be patient, it is a long and tedious process but it is definitely worth it.”
Tania Robledo Retana, PhD Biological Sciences
Tania is using her CONACyT funding to investigate the protein structure of an allergen produced by privet hedge pollen that is a respiratory allergen in Mexico City. She hopes that her research will lead to the development of new medication.
Tania’s previous degrees in Biology and research work on allergens in the Chapultepec Forest set her up well for the PhD culture in the UK. She also has experience in teaching as she lectured on Cellular Biology at the Universidad Anáhuac del Norte.
She knows that gaining a PhD from the UK will help further her academic career in Mexico as most of the national institutes require international experience before offering you a permanent position. The academic development training courses, offered free of charge to all Queen Mary PhD students, will also strengthen Tania’s CV. Her advice to applicants is to budget well, “try to save some money before you come over and apply for student discounts on transportation, there are always perks for being a student, take advantage of them!”
Ana Cecilia Hijar Islas, MSc Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Ana was a professor of biology at the propaedeutic program of Health Sciences at Universidad Anahuac Mexico, in Mexico City before coming to Queen Mary. She has previously studied at Universidad de las Américas Puebla (UDLAP) and is now specialising at Master’s level thanks to a CONACyT scholarship.
Ana ultimately aims to do a PhD but is taking the MSc first to gain more experience in scientific research and fieldwork, and to meet potential supervisors. The MSc Ecology and Evolutionary Biology appealed to her because of the tropical ecology field trip to Borneo, Malaysia, where you can learn a lot about field techniques for studying lots of different organisms. She writes, that “the course is amazing! I have gained a lot of experience in scientific writing and statistical analyses for ecological research. The lecturers come from all over the world to talk about their research work, and the subjects available for doing a dissertation project are fascinating. Professors are very friendly and accessible.”
Ana says the programme has built her confidence to apply for a PhD. This area of knowledge is very important for Mexico. “Mexico needs more scientists who are specialised in the areas of ecology and evolutionary biology to understand how ecosystems work and to protect our natural resources.” She advises applicants for scholarships to “always have in mind what you want to achieve by studying the chosen programme, and to justify it very well while writing the statement of purpose. Always be congruent with what you have done in the past and what you want to achieve in the future.”
Esteban Ortega-Hernandez, PhD Medical Engineering
Esteban is using his CONACyT scholarship to develop new cardiovascular therapies by using biomaterials and exosomes derived from stem cells. He has previously studied at both UNAM (Physician Surgeon, M.D.) and Queen Mary (MSc Regenerative Medicine) before coming to start his PhD in 2018. He also has experience working at National Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition “Salvador Zubiran” (INCMNSZ) Transplants Department in Mexico where he studied Immunogenetics.
He applied for the PhD in order to gain international experience in medical research and Regenerative Medicine. He knew from his time studying an MSc at Queen Mary that it’s an extremely multi-cultural and friendly environment in which to study. His PhD experience will benefit from the expertise in two parts of Queen Mary as he has supervisors both in the William Harvey Research Institute and School of Engineering and Materials Sciences.
Esteban’s top tip for applicants for CONACyT is to keep an eye on the timings and deadlines. The process can take up to 6 months so it’s important to be organised and don’t be discouraged easily. It’s also important to stress the benefits of your work to Mexico. Esteban’s work will consolidate preliminary work he did on 3D printing years ago. He writes that “we will explore more in deep about the applications of biomaterials, stem cells and the application of bio-printing along the different medical specialities. This will help to move forward faster the scientific development about stem cells and bio-fabrication in Mexico.”
Rebeca Martinez Carrillo, PhD Astronomy
Rebeca is researching the initial conditions for cosmological simulations (N-body codes) in the School of Physics and Astronomy, under the supervision of Dr Karim Malik. She previously studied Physics at Universidad Autónoma de Zacatecas and Universidad de Guanajuato in Mexico. After gaining this valuable international research experience, she plans to go back and find a permanent research position in her home country.
Whilst at Queen Mary, Rebeca is making the most of the research development opportunities. She entered the scientific poster competition in her department and she regularly assists with teaching and demonstrating in undergraduate classes. Developing the ability to explain complex theories at a range of levels and in your second language is a great challenge that will surely help Rebeca’s career prospects.
She recommends that those thinking of applying to PhD in Astronomy or for a CONACyT scholarship try to talk to those currently studying to get some tips. Rebeca also stresses the important of reading all the application requirements very carefully as it’s worth it to make sure you make a high quality application. Finally, the most important thing is to try and contact your preferred supervisor before applying. She met Dr Malik at a Cosmology summer school in Mexico and they were able to offer useful advice about finding funding, the application process and details of the course content.
Perla Roman Torres, PhD Biological Sciences and MSc Freshwater and Marine Ecology
Perla is currently studying the effect of global change on the movement, dynamics and evolution of sea turtles, under the supervision of Dr Christophe Eizaguirre. She also has a Biology degree and research experience at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM) where she interned in the Restoration Ecology Laboratory.
She met her supervisor and started to design her PhD project whilst studying her MSc at Queen Mary. The MSc Freshwater and Marine Ecology programme attracted Perla because it uniquely integrated practice and theory. She says “I really enjoyed the master course, it was challenging and I learnt more than I was expecting and that's why I decided to continue with the PhD.”
Perla can see how the PhD project and all the researcher training available will help her future career and the country of Mexico. She writes, “I´m being formed as a research ecologist, developing diverse abilities like math modelling, experiments designing, critical thinking, as well as communication skills which are necessary to develop and manage successful projects.”
“Mexico is in a critical point where is needed the scientific knowledge to take decisions concerning conservation and resources management, therefore it needs scientists capable to generate analysis, predictive models and management programmes beneficial for nature and the progress of the country.”
When applying for funding Perla has the following advice: “I would suggest being really careful with the course you are choosing, think about how it can be beneficial to Mexico and to you and to work hard to reach your dreams.”
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