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Funding available from the University of Cambridge, Cambridge Trust, Gates Cambridge Trust, Colleges and related sources

A wide range of funding opportunities are offered through the Cambridge Trust, Gates Cambridge Trust, Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme, Colleges, UK charities and overseas governments.  Eligibility criteria for these opportunities can be specific to the course of study, and can depend on candidate nationality and other factors.  Candidates are encouraged to use the student funding search tool to determine their eligibility. Some of these scholarships require a separation application direct to the funder in addition of the University of Cambridge application.  Candidates should carefully review the eligibility criteria, funding level offered and application process. Some funding sources also offer partial scholarships, which can be used in conjunction with other awards and self-fund routes.

Students holding conditional offers of admission who have applied by the funding deadline for those of 1 December 2022 are automatically considered as candidates for those awards for which they are eligible.    

Research Council (UKRI) funding

The majority of our Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) studentships are provided by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).  In general, these meet the cost of the University Composition Fee (home rate) and a personal maintenance stipend at the minimum EPSRC rate.

Funding is available for both full-time and part-time study.  These awards are administered within the Departmet of Materials Science and are awarded on the basis of individual student academic excellence and potential for the course/project, contextual factors are considered during applicant assessment.  People from groups that are currently under-represented in STEM research are encouraged to indicate that they would like to be considered for an EPSRC studentship.

On occasion, a DTP studentship can benefit from a contribution of funding from industry, when it becomes an 'Industrial CASE conversion' and typically this provides an enhanced stipend, additional funding for laboratory expenses and unique training opportunities at the contributing organisation's premises.

An 'EPSRC Industrial CASE' award is similar, but the studentship is allocated to the industrial company concerned, with the studentship being administered through the Department, with all the additional benefits described above.

The majority of EPSRC DTP funding is available to students who are liable to pay 'home rate' fees.  However, an International Fee Bursary scheme is in operation for up to 30% of the total EPSRC studentships available.  Overseas candidates must apply by the deadline of 1 December 2022 to be considered as a candidate for an International Fee Bursary.  For more information, visit the EPSRC DTP pages.

We award our DTP studentships between February and July each year.

Other projects with allocated Departmental funding

Some of the projects available each year have funding that has already been secured. This includes projects funded from European Research Council grants, Goldsmiths’ company studentships and strategically allocated EPSRC funding such as the Industrial CASE award studentships mentioned above.  Candidates for these awards are NOT included in the annual competition (deadline 1 December 2022) and may be advertised at any time in the academic year.  It is, however, recommended that students of all backgrounds who are interested in pursuing PhD studies in Materials Science make an application before the funding deadline so that they can register their interest for any late funding opportunities in their area(s) of research interest, that become available in the Department.

Funding for PhD studentships are usually advertised on the Department of Materials Science website, University of Cambridge Jobs pages, University of Cambridge student funding search, and


Some students are in a position to self-fund their post-graduate study (fees and maintenance). Applicants considering this route should consult the University's fees and maintenance calculator.  Students must be aware that if, after they receive an offer, they provide a financial guarantee on which their admission to three years of study is confirmed, they will not be considered eligible for funding from any of the central funding schemes described above. 

Funding for research expenses

Funding for research expenses including conference attendance can come from multiple sources, including EPSRC DTP or Industrial CASE awards, or funds available from their prospective supervisor. Students may also be eligible to apply for specific travel funding to attend conferences and pump prime funding to access specific experimental facilities.  All students in Materials Science are guaranteed up to £5,000 in research funding expenses over the course of their PhD, although there are restrictions on expenditure eligibility. Students should discuss research expenses with their prospective supervisors, especially in the case of experimental projects.

EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training 

There are several EPSRC funded Centres for Doctoral (CDT) training offering PhD projects which can be undertaken within the Department following successful completion of the first year of the programme. The initial application must be made to the Department that supports the CDT concerned, and not to Materials Science.  Candidates for these programmes do not need to specify a prospective project supervisor or research theme at the time of application and the first year of the programme will usually offer candidates a broad range of experience in different research settings before a project is agreed upon between the candidate, prospective supervisors and programme directors. Applicants who would like undertake a PhD project within the Department of Materials Science might consider an application to the following programmes:

Further information on these Centres for Doctoral Training and on how to make an application is at training.