8 Ways To Get A PhD Scholarship In The UK

If you aspire to pursue a PhD in the UK, you’ll be glad to know that there are numerous funding opportunities available for international students. From scholarships to grants, the options are diverse and can greatly assist in financing your doctoral studies. In this article, we will explore eight effective ways to secure a PhD scholarship in the UK and provide you with valuable tips to enhance your chances of success.

Key Takeaways:

  • PhD scholarships in the UK offer valuable financial support for international students.
  • Studentships, grants, and scholarships are common funding options for PhD studies.
  • Research proposal, strong academic performance, and English language proficiency are key factors in securing scholarships.
  • Commonwealth PhD scholarships, Newton Fund PhD scholarships, and university-specific funding are some of the available options.
  • Explore country-specific funding and external sources for additional financial assistance.

Studentships: A Competitive and Fully Funded PhD Funding Option

When it comes to funding your PhD studies, studentships are an excellent option to consider. These competitive and fully funded opportunities not only cover your tuition expenses but also provide financial support for your living expenses. Studentships are highly sought after by both UK and international students pursuing a PhD in various fields, including STEM and humanities.

So, what exactly are studentships? Studentships are funding packages that are awarded to exceptional students who have demonstrated academic excellence and research potential. These funding packages are typically offered by government agencies, universities, and charitable organizations to support promising doctoral candidates.

One of the major funders of studentships in the UK is the UK Institute of Research and Innovation (UKRI), which encompasses various research councils. These research councils provide substantial funding for PhD studentships, making them highly competitive and prestigious opportunities. International students also have the opportunity to benefit from these funding schemes, as international PhD students receive about 30% of the UKRI’s studentship funding.

To increase your chances of securing a studentship, it’s important to have excellent academic grades, a compelling research proposal, and a strong command of the English language. These factors are crucial in demonstrating your potential as a researcher and your ability to contribute to the academic community.

“Studentships provide a unique opportunity for doctoral candidates to focus on their research without the financial burden of tuition and living expenses.”

By obtaining a studentship, you can fully dedicate your time and energy to your research, knowing that your financial needs are taken care of. This funding option allows you to immerse yourself in your studies and make significant contributions to your chosen field.


In summary, studentships are a competitive and fully funded option for financing your PhD studies. These funding packages cover both your tuition fees and living expenses, allowing you to focus on your research without financial worries. Whether you’re pursuing a PhD in STEM or humanities, studentships offered by government agencies, universities, and charitable organizations provide invaluable support for your academic journey.

Commonwealth PhD Scholarships: Funding for Citizens of Eligible Commonwealth Countries

Commonwealth PhD Scholarships

Commonwealth PhD scholarships are a valuable funding opportunity for citizens of eligible Commonwealth countries who wish to pursue their doctoral studies in the UK. These scholarships are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and provide financial support to talented individuals from various Commonwealth nations.

Applicants from eligible countries can receive a Commonwealth PhD scholarship that covers their tuition fees, monthly maintenance stipend, approved travel expenses, and even a family allowance for dependents. This comprehensive funding package ensures that students can focus on their research and academic pursuits without the burden of financial constraints.

To be considered for a Commonwealth PhD scholarship, applicants are required to provide a completed application form, a supporting statement from a potential supervisor in the UK, and at least two references from professionals in the education field. These documents play a crucial role in the selection process, highlighting the applicant’s capabilities and potential for research excellence.

With the Commonwealth PhD scholarships, students from eligible countries can not only access world-class education in the UK but also benefit from the rich academic and cultural experiences that the country has to offer. This scholarship program creates opportunities for individuals to contribute to their respective fields of study and make a positive impact in their home countries upon completion of their PhD.

Expenses Covered Description
Monthly maintenance stipend A stipend provided to cover living expenses during the duration of the PhD.
Tuition fees Coverage of the full tuition fees for the PhD program.
Approved travel expenses Funding for travel required for research purposes or attendance at academic conferences and seminars.
Family allowance for dependents An allowance provided to support the living costs of dependents accompanying the scholarship recipient.

With the Commonwealth PhD scholarships, students from eligible countries can pursue their research aspirations in the UK, benefiting from world-class education and exposure to a vibrant academic community. This funding opportunity allows individuals to contribute to the advancement of knowledge and cultivate meaningful international collaborations.

Other UK PhD Scholarships: Funding from Charities and Trusts

other uk phd scholarships

In addition to Commonwealth PhD scholarships, international students pursuing a PhD in the UK have access to several other funding opportunities. These scholarships are funded by various charities and trusts, providing financial support for students from different backgrounds.

These scholarships enable international students to overcome financial barriers and pursue their research ambitions in the UK. By offering financial assistance, charities and trusts contribute to the academic and cultural enrichment of the UK’s higher education system.

These scholarships cover a wide range of disciplines and fields of study, allowing students to explore diverse academic interests and contribute to cutting-edge research. Whether you are studying in STEM fields, humanities, or social sciences, there are scholarships available to support your journey.

Each scholarship has its own eligibility criteria and application process, so it’s important to carefully review the requirements before applying. Some scholarships may prioritize certain nationalities, while others are open to all international students.

Examples of Other UK PhD Scholarships

Here are some examples of scholarships funded by charities and trusts in the UK:

  1. Fulbright scholarships: These scholarships are funded by the Fulbright Commission and support exchange programs between the UK and the United States.
  2. Wellcome Trust scholarships: The Wellcome Trust offers scholarships for students pursuing research in the field of health and medical sciences.
  3. Rotary Foundation scholarships: Rotary Foundation scholarships are available for international students who are passionate about community service and wish to make a positive impact through their research.

These are just a few examples of the many scholarships funded by charities and trusts in the UK. Each scholarship has its own unique benefits and requirements, so it’s important to explore all available options and find the right fit for your academic and financial needs.

By taking advantage of these scholarships, international students can access the necessary funding to pursue their PhD studies in the UK and contribute to the advancement of knowledge in their chosen fields.

Newton Fund PhD Scholarships: Funding for Students from Partner Countries

newton fund phd scholarships

International students from partner countries have the opportunity to apply for Newton Fund PhD Scholarships, which are funded by the British Council. These scholarships are primarily available in STEM fields and provide funding for tuition, living expenses, and other expenses such as visa fees.

Newton Fund PhD scholarships are aimed at promoting international collaboration and research excellence in partner countries. By offering financial support to students, the British Council aims to strengthen research capabilities and foster innovation in various scientific disciplines.

Students from partner countries who are interested in applying for Newton Fund PhD scholarships should check for the specific Newton scheme linked to their country. Each scheme may have different application requirements and deadlines, so it is important to thoroughly research the application process.

With the Newton Fund PhD scholarships, international students can pursue their PhD studies in the UK without the burden of financial constraints. By covering tuition fees, living expenses, and visa fees, these scholarships enable students to fully focus on their research and academic pursuits.

Below is a table highlighting the benefits of Newton Fund PhD scholarships:

Tuition Fees Living Expenses Visa Fees
Covered Covered Covered

With the support of Newton Fund PhD scholarships, students have the opportunity to contribute to cutting-edge research and innovation in their respective fields. By collaborating with UK universities and institutions, students can gain valuable international experience and enhance their academic and professional prospects.

Applying for Newton Fund PhD scholarships is a significant step towards pursuing a research career in the UK. By providing funding for tuition, living expenses, and visa fees, these scholarships alleviate the financial burden on international students and enable them to focus on their academic and research endeavors.

Carnegie PhD Scholarships: Funding for PhD Research in Scottish Universities

Carnegie PhD Scholarships

The Carnegie Trust offers PhD scholarships for research at universities in Scotland. These prestigious scholarships are available to students from abroad who have completed their undergraduate studies at a Scottish university with honors. The Carnegie PhD scholarships provide a comprehensive funding package that includes a living stipend, UK home-rate tuition fees, and a research allowance.

PhD research is a crucial part of academic and scientific advancement, and Scottish universities are renowned for their excellence in various fields of study. The Carnegie Trust recognizes the importance of supporting aspiring researchers and scholars from around the world, enabling them to contribute to the global knowledge base through their innovative research.

“The Carnegie PhD scholarships have been instrumental in facilitating ground-breaking research and fostering international collaborations within the academic community. These scholarships have provided students with the financial support needed to pursue their research projects and make significant contributions to their respective fields.”

Scottish universities are known for their vibrant research environment, world-class faculty, and state-of-the-art facilities. By offering international students the opportunity to pursue their PhD studies in Scotland, the Carnegie Trust aims to create a diverse and inclusive academic community that promotes cross-cultural collaboration and knowledge exchange.

With a Carnegie PhD scholarship, students not only receive financial support but also gain access to a vibrant academic network and research community. This helps them forge connections with leading experts in their field and enhances their opportunities for future collaborations and career advancement.

By providing a living stipend, the Carnegie Trust ensures that students can focus on their research without the burden of financial constraints. This allows them to fully immerse themselves in their chosen field, conduct extensive research, and produce high-quality scholarly work that contributes to the advancement of knowledge.

The UK home-rate tuition fees provided by the Carnegie PhD scholarships make pursuing a PhD in Scotland more accessible and affordable for international students. This financial support helps remove one of the main barriers faced by students seeking higher education abroad, enabling them to pursue their academic goals in a supportive and nurturing environment.

In addition, the research allowance offered by the Carnegie Trust empowers students to conduct fieldwork, attend conferences, workshops, and other academic events, and access vital resources necessary for their research. This allowance plays a crucial role in facilitating impactful and comprehensive research projects and supports students in their pursuit of academic excellence.

Benefits of Carnegie PhD Scholarships:

  • Comprehensive funding package.
  • Financial support for living expenses.
  • UK home-rate tuition fees.
  • Research allowance for fieldwork and academic events.
  • Networking opportunities with leading experts.
  • Access to vibrant research communities.
  • Promotes cross-cultural collaboration and knowledge exchange.

For international students aspiring to pursue a PhD at a Scottish university, the Carnegie PhD scholarships present a unique opportunity to receive substantial financial support and engage in groundbreaking research in a world-class academic setting.

Gen Foundation Grants: Funding for Food Science and Technology Students

Gen Foundation Grants: Funding for Food Science and Technology Students

As part of its mission to promote an international exchange of cultures, the Gen Foundation offers grants to students studying food science and technology. These grants provide financial support to students pursuing their studies in this field and are open to students of all nationalities.

The Gen Foundation grants aim to foster collaboration and knowledge-sharing between Japan and other countries, enabling students to gain insights into different culinary traditions and food technologies.

To be eligible for a Gen Foundation grant, students must be enrolled in a program that focuses on food science or technology. The foundation recognizes the importance of these fields in addressing global food challenges, such as sustainability, nutrition, and food safety.

Committed to supporting students in their academic pursuits, the Gen Foundation offers grant amounts that vary depending on the specific application. Typically, the grant amount falls between £500 and £5,000. Successful applicants can use this funding to cover expenses such as research materials, conference attendance, and travel costs associated with international collaborations.

The Gen Foundation grant allows students to explore the fascinating intersection of food, culture, and technology, fostering innovation and cross-cultural understanding.

Key Features of Gen Foundation Grants:

  • Open to students from all nationalities
  • Available to students studying food science or technology
  • Grant amount varies, typically ranging from £500 to £5,000

By providing critical financial support, the Gen Foundation strives to empower students in the field of food science and technology, facilitating the exchange of ideas and knowledge across borders.

Country-Specific Funding: Scholarships for Students from Specific Nationalities

country-specific funding

International students pursuing a PhD in the UK have the opportunity to access a range of funding options tailored to their specific nationalities. These country-specific scholarships provide financial support to students from particular countries, ensuring that they can pursue their doctoral studies successfully. By exploring the scholarships available to their country of residence, students can find the appropriate funding to support their academic journey.

Examples of Country-Specific Scholarships

One notable example is the Australia Day Foundation grants, which aim to support Australian citizens studying in the UK. These grants provide financial assistance to Australian students pursuing their PhDs, ensuring that they have the necessary resources to excel in their research.

By accessing country-specific funding opportunities, students can enhance their chances of securing financial support for their PhD studies in the UK.

Scholarship Eligible Nationalities Funding Details
Australia Day Foundation grants Australian citizens Financial support for Australian students pursuing a PhD in the UK

University-Specific Funding: Scholarships Offered by Specific UK Universities

university-specific funding

When it comes to pursuing a PhD in the UK, some scholarships and grants are exclusively available to students who have been accepted to specific universities. These university-specific funding options can provide significant financial support for international students. These scholarships may be funded by the universities themselves or external charities.

One notable example is the Saïd Foundation scholarships, which offer full scholarships to citizens of Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, or Syria who are pursuing a PhD at prestigious universities like Cambridge or Oxford.

These university-specific scholarships are highly competitive and sought after, offering not only financial assistance but also the opportunity to study at renowned institutions. They are designed to attract and support talented individuals from specific regions or backgrounds, helping them achieve their academic goals in the UK.

Here is an example of a table showcasing university-specific scholarships offered by specific UK universities:

University Scholarship Eligibility Criteria Benefits
Cambridge Saïd Foundation scholarships Citizens of Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, or Syria Full scholarship covering tuition, living expenses, and other costs
Oxford Saïd Foundation scholarships Citizens of Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, or Syria Full scholarship covering tuition, living expenses, and other costs

Eligibility Criteria

  • Citizenship from specific countries or regions
  • Acceptance to the specific university
  • Meeting the academic and language requirements

These university-specific scholarships are highly competitive, and applicants need to meet stringent eligibility criteria and demonstrate exceptional academic achievements. However, if successfully awarded, these scholarships can provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to pursue a PhD at some of the top universities in the UK.

External Funding Options for PhD Students

external funding options

In addition to scholarships and grants, there are other external funding options available for PhD students. These options can provide additional financial support for international students pursuing a PhD in the UK. Some of the external funding options include government funding, scholarship funding, and funding from charities and trusts.

Government funding: Government agencies often offer funding opportunities for PhD students. These funding options can vary depending on the country of residence and the specific government programs.

Scholarship funding: Scholarships are another external funding option for PhD students. Scholarships can be provided by various organizations, including universities, foundations, and private companies. These scholarships can cover tuition fees, living expenses, or both.

Funding from charities and trusts: Charitable organizations and trusts also provide funding options for PhD students. These organizations aim to support academic research in various fields. Funding from charities and trusts can be in the form of grants or scholarships.

Exploring these external funding options can help PhD students secure the necessary financial support to pursue their research. The availability and eligibility criteria of these funding options may vary, so it’s important for students to thoroughly research and apply for the funding opportunities that align with their academic goals and personal circumstances.

External Funding Option Description
Government Funding Funding opportunities provided by government agencies.
Scholarship Funding Funding provided by universities, foundations, and private companies.
Funding from Charities and Trusts Funding options from charitable organizations and trusts.


Securing a PhD scholarship in the UK is an achievable goal, thanks to the various funding options available to international students. By exploring fully funded PhD studentships, scholarships offered by the UK government or private charities, and other funding opportunities, students can finance their doctoral studies in the UK.

To maximize their chances of success, it is crucial for international students to carefully review the eligibility criteria for each scholarship and ensure that they meet all requirements. Additionally, submitting a strong and compelling application, including a well-crafted research proposal and excellent academic achievements, can significantly enhance the likelihood of securing a PhD scholarship.

Whether students opt for highly competitive studentships, Commonwealth PhD scholarships, country-specific funding, or university-specific scholarships, the UK offers a wide range of options to suit different needs and backgrounds. By capitalizing on these opportunities, international students can overcome financial barriers and pursue their PhD dreams in the UK.

Also Refer : Top 10 Scholarships For Studying In Canada


Q: What are university scholarships and how can they help with getting a PhD in the UK?

A: University scholarships are financial awards given to students to help cover the cost of their studies. They can be a great way to fund your PhD in the UK, as they provide financial support that doesn’t need to be repaid.

Q: How can research councils assist in obtaining a PhD scholarship in the UK?

A: Research councils in the UK offer funding opportunities for PhD students in various fields. By applying for a PhD project that aligns with the research council’s priorities, you may be eligible for fully funded PhD scholarships 2023.

Q: What is a fully funded PhD and how can I get one in the UK?

A: A fully funded PhD covers tuition fees and provides a stipend for living expenses. To secure one in the UK, you can apply for PhD studentships, scholarships, or research projects that offer full funding.

Q: How do I apply for a PhD in the UK?

A: To apply for a PhD in the UK research, you typically need to find a PhD project or opportunity that interests you, meet the entry requirements, and submit an application to the university or institution offering the program.

Q: What are some ways to fund a PhD in the UK for international students?

A: International students looking to fund a PhD in the UK can explore options such as scholarships, grants, research council funding, and institutional funding opportunities specifically designed for overseas students.

Q: What is the role of a PhD supervisor in the UK and how can they support students?

A: A PhD supervisor in the UK provides guidance and mentorship to PhD students throughout their research. They offer support in developing the research project, navigating challenges, and completing the PhD successfully.

Q: What are some potential sources of funding available for PhD students in the UK?

A: Funding for PhD students in the UK can come from various sources such as research councils, universities, government grants, charities, industry partners, and international organizations that support doctoral research.

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