Funding is a key challenge for many PhD students. Most scholarships are awarded to high-achieving students - contact potential supervisors as early as possible to present the strongest application.
What scholarships are available?
Most scholarships available from UCL are offered in open competitions. See the UCL scholarships page for details. Other scholarships occasionally become available from projects, and students are recruited for these through an open recruitment process.
A range of scholarships are awarded by UCL each year:
- UCL Graduate Research Scholarships (GRS), which pay home fees and a maintenance grant, and UCL Overseas Research Scholarships (ORS), which pay the difference between home and international fees. Students can apply for both GRS+ORS, or just for an ORS if they already have a scholarship paying home fees.
- UCL CSC scholarships, for Chinese students who are currently Chinese residents.
- UKRI EPSRC studentships, on any science and engineering subject.
- UKRI studentships for our two departmental doctoral training centres: in Social and Policy Studies of Energy and the Environment (ESRC) and Energy Resilience and the Built Environment (EPSRC).
- Bartlett Promise scholarships, from the Bartlett Faculty for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Students with these scholarships usually commence their studies at the start of the academic year in September. The application deadline for each scheme is usually between January and April each year. Some scholarships require applicants to have been offered a place to study at UCL prior to applying, and this process can take up to 10 weeks once all of the information is provided, so we strongly recommend contacting potential supervisors in the autumn if you are interested in one of these scholarships.
How are the scholarships allocated?
The criteria for awarding scholarships is different for each scheme. Most scholarships require academic excellence to be demonstrated by achievements at undergraduate and master’s level, including dissertation marks. Some scholarships also consider the quality of the proposed PhD research project. Bartlett Promise scholarships are allocated purely on need: as long as applicants have been offered a place to study at UCL, academic excellence and the proposed project are not considered.
Most of these scholarships are highly competitive. Recipients of the UCL GRS/ORS, CSC and EPSRC scholarships typically have first class degrees and distinctions, or the equivalent, and have in many cases been awarded prizes.
Are international students eligible for these scholarships?
International students are eligible for UCL GRS/ORS, CSC (Chinese only), and for a proportion of EPSRC studentships. International scholarships are particularly competitive and most are allocated to students who were at the top of their class.
How can I obtain one of these scholarships?
The first key step is to identify a potential principal supervisor within ISR. You should approach supervisors informally and explain to them why you believe you would be competitive for the scholarship that interests you. You will need to either propose a project or choose one of the projects that we have advertised.
Once you have agreed a supervisory team in principle, you can apply to study at UCL and apply for scholarships when the various schemes open for applications. You would do this in conjunction with your supervisors.
Note: we occasionally advertise scholarships on our website for particular doctoral research projects. For these, you would apply as directed in the advertisement and then apply to study at UCL only if you are chosen as the preferred candidate.
Scholarships currently offered by ISR
We have no scholarships available at present. Scholarships offered at UCL can be found here.
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