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UCL Scholarships and funding

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Research Excellence Scholarship

UCL’s Research Excellence Scholarship (UCL-RES) is our new prestigious scholarship which aims to attract outstanding scholars to undertake doctoral research at UCL.

We are offering up to 40 fully funded UCL Research Excellence Scholarships (RES) to exceptional applicants from any country. Both prospective and current UCL doctoral students can apply.

Key information

Value: Full fees (Home/Overseas); maintenance stipend for the standard length of the research portion of the programme of study, or remainder thereof; research costs
Available to: Prospective and current students
Selection criteria: Academic merit
Eligible fee status: UK, Overseas
Eligible programmes: Full-time or part-time MPhil/PhD and EngD (excluding distance learning and professional doctorates)
Additional eligibility criteria: At least 2:1 at undergraduate (or equivalent)
Deadline: Friday, 12 January 2024
Successful candidates notified: notification sent to successful students

Eligibility

In order to APPLY, you must:

  • have submitted a completed admission application to, or currently be registered on, an eligible** full- or part-time eligible 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.

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-time or part-time research degree programme at UCL.

** PLEASE NOTE Distance learning, non-resident PhD and professional doctorates (DClinPsy, DDent, DEdPsy (Brain Sciences), DOrth and DPsychotherapy) are not eligible for this scholarship. EngD are not considered Professional Doctorates here and are eligible to apply.


Value, benefits, and duration

The UCL-RES scholarship consists of full fees (either Home or Overseas) plus a maintenance stipend during the research portion of the prorgamme which increases each year with inflation. For 2023/24, the rate is £20,622 for full-time study (rates are calculated 'pro rata' for part-time students). For 2024/25, the rate is to be confirmed.

The scholarship also includes additional research costs of up to £1,200 per year for the stated duration of the research portion of the programme.

Awards are made for the normal length of the research portion of the programme of study. This is normally 3 years for a full-time MPhil/PhD/EngD degree programme (or 5 years for part-time study), subject to sufficient academic progress. Please note the funding does not cover CRS/writing up year(s).

Where students are undertaking integrated four-year doctoral programmes, the award will be extended to the 4th year of research.

The funding start date for the start of the academic year. For 2024/25 should be 23 September 2024 (TBC).


Selection

Candidates meeting or predicted to meet the eligibility criteria are reviewed by the Department to which they have applied. Departments select a ranked shortlist of candidates to present to the central UCL Selection Panel for consideration.

The final decisions are made by the UCL Selection Panel. The Pro-Vice-Provost, Doctoral School chairs the panel which includes members of academic staff in a range of disciplines from across UCL.

Candidates are assessed against the following criteria:

  • Academic excellence - as demonstrated by past academic results evidenced by transcripts, awards, and referees’ comments  
  • Research Potential - as demonstrated by the candidate’s research experience to date, their enthusiasm for research, the research plan and its originality and potential societal impact  

Financial circumstances are not considered for the purposes of this scholarship.


How to apply

In order to apply for the UCL-RES, you must complete the following steps: 

Step 1 - apply for admission to UCL

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

You must submit a complete application for admission onto an eligible 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 academic 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 a UCL-RES and must submit the below documents to them. Please use our list of administrative contacts page  to find where to submit your application materials.

The mandatory documents are as follows:

  1. Research Scholarships cover sheet - download the   *Using Firefox or Internet Explorer is recommended.
  2. CV – Please ensure your CV is up to date and lists all publications, past/current prizes, awards, and scholarships. 
  3. A lay summary of your research proposal, on a Word or PDF document (max. 200 words not including title).  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.
  4. Academic transcripts - Please ensure you submit transcripts from all undergraduate and postgraduate programmes you have attended and that each academic transcript submitted includes clarification on the grading scale/range of grades possible for that degree.
  5. 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 but this reference must be submitted on the Reference Form 1.

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 check the webpage of the relevant UCL department you wish to apply to and identify and contact a supervisor who has relevant expertise in your preferred field of interest.

Please note that Referee 1 and Referee 2 must be two different people. 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 UCL-RES, who have an overseas fee status and are permanent residents of the People’s Republic of China will automatically be considered for, if applicable, to the UCL-CSC (China Scholarships Council) Scholarships.  If you are a permanent resident of China and would not like to be considered for the UCL-CSC, please ensure you inform your academic department of this when submitting your UCL-RES application.

You must apply for admission and submit the additional information to your department no later than Friday, 12 January 2024. 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.

We also have the UCL's Research Excellence Scholarship for Cross-disciplinary Training (RXD) for current research students who wish to spend a year in another department acquiring new research skills.

Information for departments: Task Library: Nominate a research scholarship applicant (the Task Library will be updated once the guidance for departments is available for RES)

Important note

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


Results

We will inform successful applicants that they have been awarded the scholarship by March 2024.  If you have not yet heard from us by that time, you may assume that your application has been unsuccessful.