skip to content

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 see here. You must apply by the earlier deadline.

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 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. These include:
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) for academic year 2023-2024 is 5th January 2023. Please note, for US citizens resident in the USA who want to be considered for Gates funding, the deadline is 12th October 2022.

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 2023, Lent Term 2024 and Easter Term 2024 is 5th January 2023.
For US citizens resident in the USA, who want to be considered for Gates funding, the deadline is 12th October 2022. For full details see here.
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.

Alexander Crummell Scholarships 2023

In collaboration with Queens’ College, Cambridge, the School of Biological Sciences is inviting applications for the Alexander Crummell PhD and MPhil Scholarships. These scholarships are aimed at UK-domiciled students with Black or Black-Mixed ethnicity, applying for a PhD degree in a science-based subject at the University of Cambridge. For further information please visit the Postgraduate School of Life Sciences website.
School of Biological Sciences BBSRC Doctoral Training Programme (BBSRC DTP)
Applicants seeking to join the SBS DTP Programme in 2022 should apply to the Department of Plant Sciences in the first instance, by the University’s Postgraduate Funding Competition deadline: 6th January 2022. 
Details of potential project titles and summaries have been compiled and there are several ways to search: 1) by broad theme; 2) by a list of available projects; 3) by staff member.
The Department will assess and select eligible applicants for this programme and submit for consideration, if an initial Departmental evaluation and interview are successful.
There are up to 14 fully funded four-year PhD studentships available across departments and institutes within the School of Biological Sciences. For full information see here.

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 here.

CTP Sustainable Agricultural Innovation Projects

The CTP SAI brings business, charities and research providers together in food security research to fund 4 year PhDs for UK students.

A list of available projects is here.

Applicants must apply to the CTP, not the University, in the first instance (various deadlines so please check individual projects).


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.