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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 Postgraduate 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 Postgraduate 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 Postgraduate Admissions website. You must apply by whichever deadline comes first.


Opportunities for PostPostgraduate Research and Training in the Department of Plant Sciences

The Department embraces a highly active postPostgraduate community, which currently comprises over 90 Postgraduates registered through the Department, including several in collaboration with our partner organisations, Sainsbury Laboratory at University of Cambridge (SLCU), National Institute for Agricultural Botany (NIAB) and British Antarctic Survey (BAS). The Department recognises the importance of Postgraduate training and research, providing an inclusive and supportive environment for Postgraduates from diverse backgrounds (

Opportunities exist for Postgraduate training at both Masters (MPhil by research) and PhD levels, both of which, in addition to the research project, provide an integrated combination of essential research skills and a range of other courses, such as statistics, entrepreneurship, research ethics or bioinformatics. Funding is available from several sources depending on the specific research area. For entry in October 2020, these are:

We also welcome applications from international applicants seeking national Government scholarships or local awards. In all cases, we ask that potential applicants identify an appropriate Research Group leader and agree a joint area of research before submitting a full application via the centralised University Postgraduate Admissions. Our Departmental Postgraduate Administrator will respond directly to any enquiries (

Please check relevant funding deadlines very carefully.

The deadline for the Postgraduate Funding Competition (including Cambridge Trust and Gates Cambridge) is 7th January 2020 at 12:00pm (midday UK time).


University funding

The Postgraduate 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 Postgraduate 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 Postgraduate 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.


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.  We are also happy to devise a project with you if you have suitable research interests that we share in phycology. Please contact a prospective supervisor to develop a project proposal before applying.

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 postPostgraduate study by the University’s Postgraduate Funding Competition deadline. Applicants need to select Downing College as their first choice College when making an application.

We are also happy to devise a project with you if you have suitable research interests that we share in phycology. Please contact a prospective supervisor to develop a project proposal before applying.


The Department has carried out a comprehensive COVID-19 risk assessment process and has opened to allow research work to take place. To ensure the safety of our staff, a range of measures to reduce building occupancy and allow strict social distancing have been introduced, including increased cleaning and hygiene regimes. We are currently not accepting visitors so please continue to contact us by email until further notice.