Research and Innovation Services


European Union and overseas students

Find information and guidance on EU and overseas studentships.

UKRI flexibility 2021 academic year onwards

This is a change in the criteria and will come into force for the start of the 2021 academic year.

Full details are contained in the updated guidance on EU and international eligibility. The institution will need to complete the equalities impact assessment form (docx).

Any prospective doctoral student wishing to study at a UK research organisation, including prospective international students, can apply for a UKRI studentship.

All UKRI-funded doctoral students will be eligible for the full award – both the stipend to support living costs, and fees at the UK research organisation rate.

There are no Fees only awards.

European Postgraduate Research students

These conditions remain in force for the studentships recruited prior to the Academic year 2021 for the duration of the studentship funding.

To be fully funded by the UK Research Councils (Stipend and Fees) a student from the EU (non-UK) must usually meet set criteria to establish their "ordinary residence":

  • they are an EU/EEA national, or the family member of someone who is
  • they have lived in the UK for three years or more before the course starts
  • they will be living in the UK on the first day of the academic year in which the course starts
  • following the Bidar Judgement of 2005, EU nationals who have been resident in the UK for 3 years immediately preceding the date of an award, including for the purpose of full time education, are now eligible for a full grant (i.e. both stipend and fees)
  • however, if they break this residency, other than on a temporary basis, (i.e. returning to their home country for holidays), then they would be required to fully re-establish residency. In which case they would be entitled to a fees only award
  • if they are a Migrant worker from the EU/EEA and their current employment is relevant to both past and intended training (e.g. a research assistant post in the same field as which they wish to conduct a PhD) then they qualify for funding from the Research Council, and do not have to meet the residency criteria. There is no lower time limit for the length of employment. They should discuss with the relevant host department staff
  • Research Council Centres of Doctoral Training (CDT) are able to offer 10% of their annual intake to EU students who do not meet the "ordinary residence" criteria, but usually these exceptions are only granted in cases where the research that the student intends to pursue is related to one of the "strategic priority" areas of the Research Council in question. You should contact the CDT staff at the host institution to discuss this possibility.

EPSRC 10% Flexibility for Recruitment of Students from EU and Overseas

The key parameters for delivering this objective are as follows. The current eligibility/ residency legislation will be relaxed only with regards to these circumstances;

  • It will apply to new student starts from October 2011 onwards (i.e. third CDT cohort; 2011 DTP and ICASE allocations) and should be used to target only the very best prospective students wherever they may come from.
  • Up to 10% of the total student starts (DTP/ CDT/ ICASE) reported back by the institution each year can be supported through this route. However as the 10% maximum threshold is determined at the organisation level, departments and/or supervisors should liaise with the BEAMS Doctoral Training Manager (emma.grant@ucl.ac.uk ) regarding allocation of the flexibility.
  • To ensure effective monitoring, the institution will be required to identify and report these individuals back to EPSRC through Je-S Student Data Portal as 'International Doctoral Scholars (IDS grant)' by selecting:
  1. Council: 'EPSRC'
  2. Document type: 'Studentship Details'
  3. Scheme: 'EPSRC International Doctoral Scholars- IDS Grant'
  • No additional international fees will be allowed in relation to these students
  • EPSRC will only pay the UK level fees.
  • Students supported through this route must receive a full award (stipend and fees) from the respective DTP/ CDT/ ICASE funding mechanism (i.e. both fees at the UK level and stipend are charged to the relevant training grant).

Costs will need to be reconciled against DTP/ CDT/ ICASE grants as normal.

The driver behind this change is to enable universities greater flexibility in attracting, recruiting and training the very best students wherever they are from. 

You should apply through the BEAMS Doctoral Training Manager if you wish to be considered for an allocation when they put out the call for this annually