Institute of Astronomy

Funding for Ph.D. Students

Completing the University Application Form and requesting funding support

While the decision regarding an offer of a Ph.D. place is made on academic grounds, including an assessment of a student’s application and the availability of suitable projects/supervisors, for the majority of students the question of funding for the Ph.D. is also key.

The sources of funding for students depends on the University-fee and UK-residence category of the applicant. There are, therefore, significant differences in how the University Application Form must be completed, depending on whether a student is a) UK-resident or EU-resident in the UK, b) EU not resident in the UK or c) Overseas. The requirements for the University Application Form and funding information for each of the three cases are described below.

a) UK residents or EU-nationals resident in the UK for three years (including as undergraduate students)

In the Research section of the application form applicants should select 'no' when asked 'Do you have any research information to add'. When you reach the Course Specific Questions section applicants should state the general areas of research in which they are interested, e.g. "primarily theoretical", "observational", "extragalactic", "planet or star formation", in the Statement of Interest box.  Names of potential supervisors may also be included but are not required.

Funding for students is via our allocation of STFC Doctoral Training Partnership places (which cover all fees and maintenance costs). We have had at least eight such awards in recent years. It is likely that we will also have additional STFC awards for four-year `Data Science’ positions.

All students who are eligible will be considered for STFC awards automatically. Applicants should NOT complete any of the University funding requests or sections on the Application Form.

b) EU nationals who are not resident in the UK

In order to be nominated by the Institute of Astronomy for University, Cambridge Trust and Gates Scholarships it is necessary for a research project and supervisor to be identified before the nomination deadline in early February.

If you have not already established contact with a potential supervisor, in the Research section of the application form applicants should select 'no' when asked 'Do you have any research information to add'.  When you reach the Course Specific Questions section applicants should state the general areas of research in which they are interested, e.g. "primarily theoretical", "observational", "extragalactic", "planet or star formation", in the Statement of Interest box. Applicants should also specify the names of up to three potential supervisors .

Alternatively, if you have already established contact with a potential supervisors and secured her/his agreement to act as the supervisor for a specific project, in the Research section of the application form applicants should select 'yes' when asked 'Do you have any research information to add'. Then complete the Research title, Research summary and Research Supervisor fields (Research experience is optional). When you reach the Course Specific Questions section applicants should write “see research summary” in the Statement of interest field.

When completing the University Application Form applicants should check the “Apply for University/Trust funding” box and, if appropriate, the “Gates Scholarship” funding box. Note, that to apply for Gates funding applicants must also complete the “Gates Personal Statement” which will need to include significant content relating to the “leadership” and “helping others” criteria of the Gates Scholarship. Gates applications also requires students to submit a two page research proposal.

In addition, all eligible students will be considered automatically for STFC-fee awards and Isaac Newton Studentship (to provide support for maintenance costs).

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.

 

c) Overseas nationals

In order to be nominated by the Institute of Astronomy for University, Cambridge Trust and Gates Scholarships it is necessary for a research project and supervisor to be identified before the nomination deadline in early February. 

If you have not already established contact with a potential supervisor, in the Research section of the application form applicants should select 'no' when asked 'Do you have any research information to add'.  When you reach the Course Specific Questions section applicants should state the general areas of research in which they are interested, e.g. "primarily theoretical", "observational", "extragalactic", "planet or star formation", in the Statement of Interest box. Applicants should also specify the names of up to three potential supervisors .

Alternatively, if you have already established contact with a potential supervisors and secured her/his agreement to act as the supervisor for a specific project, in the Research section of the application form applicants should select 'yes' when asked 'Do you have any research information to add'. Then complete the Research title, Research summary and Research Supervisor fields (Research experience is optional). When you reach the Course Specific Questions section applicants should write “see research summary” in the Statement of interest field.

When completing the University Application Form applicants should check the “Apply for University/Trust funding” box and, if appropriate, the “Gates Scholarship” funding box. Note, that to apply for Gates funding applicants must also complete the “Gates Personal Statement” which will need to include significant content relating to the “leadership” and “helping others” criteria of the Gates Scholarship. Gates applications also requires students to submit a two page research proposal.

 

In addition, all eligible students will be considered automatically for the 2019 Boustany Foundation Scholarship (fees) and the Isaac Newton Studentship (to provide support for maintenance costs).

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: 4 October 2018 at 12:30