Research council PhD studentships, University of Exeter, UK 

Who is eligible? Home/EU students with outstanding academic records

Fellowship:  Full tuition fees and a generous living allowance (approximate total £18,000 per year)

Research Council-funded PhD studentships generally pay your tuition fees (usually in the region of £4,000 to £5,000 per year) as well as providing a generous living allowance (approximately £13,000 to £14,000 per year) enabling you to concentrate fully on your research full-time. Because of this, Research Council studentships are very desirable and highly competitive.

Fellowships details

There are seven research councils in the UK which distribute government funding for research. They are presided over by Research Councils UK, and each one faces a different area of research. In alphabetical order, they are:

  1. Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
  2. Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
  3. Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
  4. Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  5. Medical Research Council (MRC)
  6. Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
  7. Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

Types of award

Research Council scholarships generally come in three kinds: open awards; thematic awards; and project awards. Awards given in the humanities and social sciences are usually open or thematic, meaning they are open to any pitch relevant to the specific funding council, or else are tied to a specific research area within the funding council – for instance the medical humanities.

Awards given in the sciences are usually project-based, and can be highly specific; rather than applying for funding to research your own idea, you are essentially applying for a place working on a pre-defined research project, such as genome sequencing a specific organism.


There are two aspects to eligibility: residential and academic.

The residential criteria is about applicants having a relevant connection with the UK. To be eligible for a full award a student must have:

  1. A settled status in the UK
  2. Been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for three years prior to the start of the studentship. This means you must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences);
  3. Not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education

For the academic criteria, applicants should have a first or 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. Equivalence may be demonstrated by qualifications gained outside of the UK or an undergraduate degree plus relevant postgraduate study, or experience in their chosen field.

Quick Overview————-
Organization University of Exeter
Country UK
Fellowship Level Doctoral
Subject areas All Disciplines
Eligibility Open to all nationalities
Deadline Not mentioned

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