skip to content

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.

Department of Plant Sciences


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 Postgraduate Research and Training in the Department of Plant Sciences

The Department embraces a highly active Postgraduate 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 2021, 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 University Funds applications (including Cambridge Trust and Gates Cambridge) is 7th January 2021. Please note, for US citizens resident in the USA who want to be considered for Gates funding, the deadline is 14 October 2020.


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 2021, Lent Term 2022 and Easter Term 2022 is 7 January 2021.

For US citizens resident in the USA, who want to be considered for Gates funding, the deadline is 14 October 2020.

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.

The Alexander Crummell Scholarship will offer 13 new postgraduate scholarships, split between MPhil and PhD students at Queens College. The Scholarships are open to all students intending to commence a Master's or PhD in a science-based subject in October 2021. Apply by May 31st 2021. 


School of Biological Sciences Doctoral Training Programme (SBS DTP)

Applicants seeking to join the SBS DTP programme in 2021 should apply to the department of their choice in the first instance. Participating departments will assess and select eligible applicants for this programme. Further details concerning the number of studentships on offer and the departments and institutes which are participating will be available in due course. For full information see


Cambridge NERC Doctoral Training Partnerships

The University of Cambridge offers 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

Details of studentships associated with a particular project and/or a named supervisor, (for example the schemes including DTP awards, specific Trust awards, those involving industrial partners, or more general awards administered by the Cambridge Trusts)  are given here (