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Department of Chemistry

Funding for postgraduate research

We're committed to attracting a range of funding for our research degrees, giving you opportunities to support your project and make strong industry connections.

We also promote a range of projects that you can search on our projects page.

BBSRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) Studentships

The University of Manchester is one of the largest and most successful centres for biological and biotechnological focused research and training in Europe. Researchers span the Faculty of Science and Engineering and Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health and receive more BBSRC funding than any other university in the UK. The University of Manchester is one of the 12 BBSRC funded Doctoral Training Partnerships. We are currently training over 100 PhD students in the DTP. The Manchester BBSRC DTP is looking to recruit between 20 and 25 students each academic year. These fully-funded studentships are available in a range of academic disciplines and provide funding for fees and stipend at the Research Council UK. Projects will be supervised by an inter-disciplinary team of academic staff.

  • Each year the Department advertises project on the BBSRC website.

CSC-University of Manchester Joint Scheme

The University of Manchester has a formal agreement in place with the China Scholarship Council (CSC) to develop research collaborations between the UK and Chinese universities/research institutions.   The University will cover the full tuition fees for the period of the relevant Programme as outlined in the formal offer letter (usually three years).  CSC will provide living allowances as prescribed from time to time by the Chinese Government, and will cover the round trip international airfare for students from China to the United Kingdom, via and passport application fees.  

Dual award between The University of Manchester and The University of Melbourne

The University of Manchester has existing, highly productive links with the University of Melbourne and now wish to extend this relationship to our Global Doctoral Research Network (GOLDEN) by establishing collaborative postgraduate research projects.

Up to ten fully-funded studentships are now available for applications to a defined list of projects.

Dual award PhD in Synthetic and Systems Biology

The first-of-its-kind dual award PhD programme in Synthetic and Systems Biology brings together two globally-renowned institutions at the forefront of research in this area: the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB) at The University of Manchester, and the Center for Synthetic and Systems Biology (CSSB) at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China.

Fees at both institutions are covered as part of the studentship package, and other funding opportunities include an annual stipend at the minimum Research Councils UK rate (around £15,609 for 2021 / 22) that will be paid to students while in Manchester, and a commensurate stipend while at Tsinghua.

For more information, please visit the Tsinghua PhD Partnership website.

Doctoral Loans

The UK government has confirmed that new doctoral loans will be available for those studying PhDs (and equivalent doctoral programmes) from 2018/19.

The loan will be for a maximum of £25,000 over the duration of the course.

UK nationals, who are ordinarily resident in England, aged 59 or under, who are not already receiving funding via a UK Research Council, will be eligible. The government is currently considering making EU students eligible.

The loans will be available for all types of doctoral study (eg PhD, as well as all professional doctorates such as DBA, EdD), at all UK universities.

Additional information will be published to this page once further information has been confirmed by the UK government. A summary of the main features of the loan is available on

EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) Studentships

The University continues to be successful in securing funding from the EPSRC. The Department awards between 7 and 12 studentships a year. These fully-funded studentships are available in a range of academic disciplines and provide funding for fees and stipend at the Research Council UK rates. Projects will be supervised by an inter-disciplinary team of academic staff.

Faculty PhD Studentships

The Faculty of Science and Engineering has historically made up to a further 10 PhD studentships (also known as Dean’s Awards) in previous years although this is not normally announced until around February time.

These awards are open to all nationalities and research areas within the Faculty. The awards have been allocated to outstanding applicants seeking PhD training opportunities, based on the academic track-record of applicants and evidence of research potential.

Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) PhD studentship programme

The University of Manchester has established funding through GCRF for studentships to build connections with countries that are overseas development assistance (OOA) recipients.

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5 billion fund announced by the government to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries. GCRF forms part of the UK's Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment. ODA-funded activity focuses on outcomes that promote the long-term sustainable growth of countries on the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list.

GCRF PhD programme

The GCRF PhD studentship programme is a four year programme with integrated teaching certificate and The University of Manchester has up to 12 studentships available. Applicants can apply for projects which will start in either April or September 2020.

MRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) Studentships

Our Medical Research Council (MRC) Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) encourages the pairing of novel multidisciplinary PhD research with the next generation of leaders in health and biomedical provision. We provide a framework of postgraduate research training that supports the development and career progression of MRC-funded PhD students. Through specialised training over three and half years, the MRC DTP equips early-career researchers across a range of disciplines to apply their expertise into unmet healthcare areas of UK and global importance. Research opportunities span the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health and the Faculty of Science and Engineering. We have existing studies in areas as diverse as neuroimmunity, circadian regulation and the effects of exercise on early psychosis. We have more than 50 students across our MRC DTP community at Manchester.

  • If you have any questions regarding the application process including how to apply please visit the MRC website.

Postgraduate loans (PGL) for taught and research master’s students

Postgraduate loans were introduced by the Department of Education and the first cohort commenced in September 2016.  The loans support up to £10,000 per student for the purpose of master's study. A PGL for master's study will be a contribution towards the cost of studies ie. it will be at the student’s discretion to use the loan towards tuition fees, maintenance cost or other costs.  It is non-means tested and is paid directly to the student.  

Further information can be found on the Student Finance England website.

President's Doctoral Scholar Award

The University of Manchester offers more than 100 studentships every year through the President’s Doctoral Scholar Award scheme, launched by Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell. These awards allocate full funding for doctoral study, as well as a £1,000 enhancement.

PDS Award holders will also be invited to attend a series of exclusive events where they will have the opportunity to meet the President and Vice-Chancellor, interact closely with the University’s academic community, and network with other PDS Award students. In addition, each PDS Award holder will receive a President’s Doctoral Scholar medal at graduation.