UCL Scholarships and funding


Overseas Research Scholarships

The UCL Overseas Research Scholarships (UCL-ORS) aim to attract high-quality international students to UCL to undertake research.


Key information

Value: The difference between UK and Overseas tution rate fees
Available to: Prospective and current students
Selection criteria: Academic merit
Eligible fee status: Overseas
Eligible programmes: Full- or part-time research degrees
Additional eligibility criteria: At least 2:1 at undergraduate (or equivalent)
Results: This scholarship is now closed for academic year 2022/23. The successful candidates have been notified.


In order to APPLY, you must:

  • have submitted an application to, or currently be registered on, a full- or part-time research degree programme at UCL by the scholarship deadline;
  • holding or expected to achieve at least an upper second-class Honours UK undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification;
  • be liable to pay tuition fees at the overseas rate (Overseas fee status).

In order to be AWARDED IF SELECTED, you must:

  • be in receipt of an offer of admission to, or currently be registered on, a full- or part-time research degree programme at UCL.

You may apply if you are a current student, but if you are entering your third year of research you will normally only be considered for funding in exceptional circumstances.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are an Online, Non-resident PhDs and Professional Doctorate student, you are not currently eligible for this scholarship programme.

Value, benefits, and duration

The scholarships consist of fee funding to cover the difference between Overseas and UK tuition fees.

UCL-ORS recipients who do not have any other fee funding will receive additional UCL funding to cover the UK tuition fees for the duration of the ORS award.

The award does not cover the Additional Fee Element (AFE) of your programme (if applicable) unless you are also awarded a UCL GRS award.

Awards are tenable for years 1, 2, and 3 of a full-time MPhil/PhD/EngD degree programme (or years 1 to 5 of a part-time programme), subject to annual review and renewal.

Where students are undertaking integrated four-year doctoral programmes the award will be extended to their final year of study.

If granted, funding begins at the start of the next academic year.

Applicants are advised to secure additional funding to cover living costs. ORS awards may be held in conjunction with UCL Graduate Research Scholarships (GRS) and other non-fee awards. It can also be held in conjunction with a fee award if it covers the Home fee rate only.


There is a combined selection by UCL academics for the research schemes. This selection panel will make the final decision on successful candidates based on academic excellence and research potential. Financial circumstances are not taken into account.

How to apply

In order to apply for ORS, you must complete the following steps:

Step 1 - apply for admission to UCL

The following instructions apply to prospective students – current students already enrolled on their research degrees can proceed directly to Step 2. 

You must submit a complete application for admission onto a research degree programme by the specified deadline. You do not need to have secured an offer of a place at UCL in order to apply for the scholarship, but you must have submitted your admission application.

Step 2 - submit your scholarship application documents to your department

The following instructions apply to both prospective and current students.

You must contact your academic department/institute/division/unit to notify them that you would like to be considered for an ORS and must submit the below documents to them. Please use our list of administrative contacts page to find where to submit your application materials. If the relevant contact for your department is not listed, please check directly with the administrative staff in your departmental office for guidance on where to submit your application materials.

The mandatory documents are as follows:

  • CV – Please make sure your CV is up to date and lists all publications, past/current prizes, awards, and scholarships.
  • A lay summary of your research proposal, on a Word or PDF document (max. 200 words).  When writing your research proposal/outline please note that the selection panel members are not likely to be specialists in your subject. Please describe clearly – in language which can be understood by academics from any discipline – the aim of your research, the methodology you will use and the potential significance of this study to your discipline. It is extremely important that you pay attention to this summary and write in as clear language as possible as it may significantly affect the outcome of your application. The proposal should be written by you, not your supervisor or any other member of academic department staff.
  • Academic transcripts - Please ensure that each academic transcript submitted includes clarification on the grading scale/range of grades possible for that degree.
  • 2 References Reference number 1 should relate to your most recently completed university programme/degree (or the one you intend to complete, if applicable) and can be the same referee who submitted a reference as part of your admission application. Please use this . Reference number 2 should relate to your current or intended research programme/project, for which you are seeking funding. This reference MUST be provided by your research supervisor at UCL. If you are a prospective student and your supervisor has not yet been allocated, please contact your department to confirm who your UCL supervisor will be. Please use this .

Please find below our PDF of guidance for referees. We suggest you provide your referee with a copy of this document when asking for an academic reference. References can be submitted along with your application or supplied directly to the department by your referee.


All applicants for the ORS who have an overseas fee status will automatically be considered for a UCL Graduate Research Scholarships (GRS) and, if applicable, the UCL-CSC (China Scholarships Council) Scholarships.

You must apply for admission and submit the additional information to your department no later than Friday, 14 January 2022. Please be aware that some academic departments set their own deadlines which may be earlier than this date, so make sure you check with them directly.

Information for departments: Task Library: Nominate a research scholarship applicant

Important note

Potential candidates must ensure that they submit all scholarship application materials by the deadline irrespective of whether an offer of admission has reached them or not. The UCL Student Funding Office will check UCL systems at a later date to confirm whether the scholarship applicant holds an offer of admission and on what date that offer was made.


The successful candidates and candidates who have been chosen for the reserve list have now been contacted by email.  If you have not heard from us, you may assume that your application has unfortunately been unsuccessful.