Institute of Astronomy

Funding for Ph.D. Students

A significant number of students are funded via STFC Quota awards for which qualifying UK and EU residents are eligible to apply. STFC grants cover all University and College fees, but living expenses are included only for UK and certain EU residents. A number of overseas Ph.D. students are also admitted each year financed from other sources, including funding bodies in their own country and scholarships available to University of Cambridge applicants.

European Union Residents

Applicants from the European Union (EU), whose completed application reaches the Institute of Astronomy by 14 February 2015, will automatically be considered for one of our STFC Quota Studentships. EU students who have been resident in the UK for at least three years, whether purely for the purpose of studying or not, are now eligible for full funding (fees and maintenance). EU students who have been resident in the UK for less than three years, or who are applying from another EU country, are eligible for a STFC award which covers only the University and College fees and it is necessary to identify another source to fund the minimum sum necessary to cover living costs each year. Currently, the minimum sum required by the University is approximately £12,530 per year (equivalent to almost 15,862 euros at present exchange rates (September 2014)) but note that UK STFC equivalent grants are nearer to 17,545 euros and the University's requirement should be considered a bare minimum.

Applicants completing the funding/scholarship part, including the personal statement, of the University GRADSAF form will be considered automatically for an award from the Gates Scholarships. Submission of the GRADSAF application before the scholarship deadline (New US applicants: 14 October 2014 and Rest of the World: 2 December 2014) is essential.

Applicants completing the funding/scholarship part of the University GRADSAF form by 9 January 2015 will be considered automatically for a scholarship award as part of the University Cambridge Home and European Scholarship Scheme (CHESS) competition. However, the relatively late date for announcement of awards can present difficulties for students who must respond to offers of funding from other universities by an earlier date.

The only Cambridge astronomy-specific scholarship is the Isaac Newton Studentship, for which all eligible applicants will be considered automatically, it is not necessary to make a separate application. Some Cambridge Colleges offer scholarships and there are some country-specific and subject -specific awards which can be found using the CamFunds database linked from this funding page

Applications to funds, administered by the EU, or from within your own country, for study abroad are definitely worth exploring. Your own current university should have information about the range of options available. For well-qualified candidates we can supply some assistance in completing application forms that require information relating to research projects and potential supervisors.

Overseas Residents

Applicants completing the funding/scholarship part of the University GRADSAF form will be considered automatically for a scholarship award from the Cambridge International Scholarships (CISS) scheme, the Gates Scholarships and Cambridge Commonwealth and Overseas Trust scholarships. Submission of the GRADSAF application before the scholarship deadline (New USA applicants: 14 October 2014; other Overseas and EU applicants: 2 December 2014) is essential.

The only Cambridge astronomy-specific scholarship is the Isaac Newton Studentship, for which all eligible applicants will be considered automatically, it is not necessary to make a separate application. Some Cambridge Colleges offer scholarships and there are some country-specific and subject -specific awards which can be found using the CamFunds database linked from this funding page

Applications to funds administered from within your own country, for study abroad are definitely worth exploring. Your own current university should have information about the range of options available and the British Council may also be able to assist in identifying awards for which students are eligible. For well-qualified candidates we can supply some assistance in completing application forms that require information relating to research projects and potential supervisors.

Page last updated: 1 September 2014 at 09:37