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You will be required to demonstrate that you are able to meet the minimum financial commitment of your course.  For information on course cost see the Graduate Admissions website.

There are many funding opportunities at Cambridge from a wide variety of sources including the Cambridge Trust, Gates Cambridge, Colleges, departments, Research Councils and central University funds. Full details can be found on the Graduate Admissions website.

Funding opportunities are very competitive. Applicants are strongly advised to apply for all sources of funding for which they might be eligible, both internal and external to the University.

Please note that funding deadlines often differ to course application deadlines and you should check relevant deadlines very carefully. For full details please see the Graduate Admissions website. You must apply by whichever deadline comes first.


University funding

The Graduate Funding Competition co-ordinates funding from a wide variety of sources including the Cambridge Trust and Gates Cambridge. More details can be found here.  Applicants can apply by completing the funding section of the Graduate Application Form via the Applicant Portal.

Prospective students can also use the Cambridge Funding Search page to find out which type of funding they might be eligible for, and how and when to apply.

The deadline for the Graduate Funding Competition for courses starting in Michaelmas Term 2020, Lent Term 2021 and Easter Term 2021 is January 2020 at 12:00pm (midday UK time).

For US citizens resident in the USA, who want to be considered for Gates funding, the deadline is 9 October 2019 at 12:00pm (midday UK time).

Applications must be complete by the deadline; this includes providing all supporting documents and references. Incomplete applications will be withdrawn. 


College funding

Many of the Colleges also run funding competitions. Please consult individual College websites for details, including how to apply and deadlines.


Research Council Funding

Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership (BBSRC DTP) Programme

The University of Cambridge offers BBSRC-funded studentships, providing four-year fully funded studentships leading to the degree of PhD (subject to eligibility).  

The BBSRC Programme has four separate Research Themes addressing the strategic research priorities of the BBSRC:

  • Agriculture and Food Security
  • Industrial Biotechnology and Bioenergy
  • Bioscience for Health
  • World-Class Underpinning Bioscience

Studentships are divided into three main types, Standard, Targeted and iCASE. 

For full information, including how to apply, eligibility criteria and application deadline, please see

The Cambridge NERC Doctoral Training Partnerships

From 2019 onwards the University of Cambridge will offer 3.5 year NERC-funded PhD studentships through the Cambridge Climate, Life, Earth, Atmospheric and Climate (C-CLEAR) DTP each year, to start the following October.

The Cambridge Earth System Sciences (ESS, 2014-2018 intakes) and Climate, Life and Earth (C-CLEAR, 2019 intake-onward) NERC Doctoral Training Partnerships provide PhD training across NERC science. Embedded in the outstanding research environments of the University of Cambridge and the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), the Cambridge NERC DTPs are organised around three major research themes: Solid Earth and Geological Hazards, Climate Change and Environmental Processes, and Biology and Conservation.

For full information, including how to apply, eligibility criteria and application deadline, please see


Departmental Studentships

For details of studentships associated with a particular project and/or a named supervisor, (for example funded by the Research Councils, industrial partners, or specific Trust funds) please see the List of available projects page.


Ralph Lewin - F E Fritsch Prize Studentship

The Ralph Lewin - F E Fritsch Prize Studentship in the field of Phycology is available to UK and EU citizens. The Department of Plant Sciences, in conjunction with Downing College, is offering a range of projects in the field of phycology. Candidates are encouraged to review the projects on the Department's website and to contact potential supervisors directly for further details.

The studentship is typically tenable for up to three years and includes the University Composition Fee, a contribution towards research expenses and a living allowance at the standard UK Research Council Doctoral stipend levels (£15,009 2019/20 rate). The award is conditional upon the recipient becoming a member of Downing College for the duration of the studentship and being registered for a PhD at the University of Cambridge.

Applicants are automatically considered when applying for postgraduate study by the University’s Graduate Funding Competition deadline. Applicants need to select Downing College as their first choice College when making an application.