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Department of Mathematics

Funding for postgraduate research

There are a variety of funding options for postgraduate research programmes in the Department of Mathematics.

All PhD projects are eligible for funding via a variety of scholarships.

The scholarships listed are awarded competitively among the eligible applicants by the relevant postgraduate funding committees.

Please note that academics regularly apply for research grants and may therefore be able to offer funding for specific projects without requiring approval from these committees.

Explore how you can make the next steps towards your academic or industry career by exploring the postgraduate funding options below.

UK PhD students

The arrangements for supporting postgraduate study are completely different from those for undergraduates. Typically, finance for grants comes from the Government, via the Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) or via one of the other Research Councils. These grants are called studentships and are not means tested. Each research council studentship covers all course fees of £4,712 per annum (2023/24) and provides a stipend for maintenance of £18,622 per annum (2023/24). Studentships are awarded for three and a half years, subject to satisfactory progress.

The financing of EPSRC doctoral training studentships is now administered by the Departments. In order to be awarded such a studentship an applicant will typically need to have a first class honours degree or possibly a good upper second. It is not necessary to make a separate application for these studentships. All UK students who apply for admission to a PhD programme in the Department will automatically be considered for such funding. Applicants awarded EPSRC funds are required by EPSRC to satisfy certain formal UK/EU residence criteria.

We also have a number of Department scholarships available to UK and overseas students which cover course fees and, for UK students, a stipend of £18,622 per annum (2023/24) to cover living costs. These scholarships are awarded for three and a half years, subject to satisfactory progress.

Doctoral loans

Doctoral loans are available for those studying PhDs (and equivalent doctoral programmes). The amount you'll get isn't based on you or your family's income (Non-means tested) and is available for all types of doctoral study (eg PhD, as well as all professional doctorates such as DBA, EdD). The loan is paid directly to you in three instalments across each year of the course and can be used for course fees and living costs.

For more information, to check your eligibility and find out how to apply, visit our postgraduate loans for doctoral students page, email or visit the GOV.UK website.

EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) in Mathematical Sciences

Our EPSRC DTP Studentships enable exceptional postgraduate research candidates to typically undertake a 3.5-year research project in the field of mathematical sciences. Each year we have a number of studentships (fees plus standard UKRI stipend) available for application. Overseas applicants are eligible for these studentships. 

How to apply

All applicants who do not have their own funding are automatically considered for all funding schemes they are eligible for.


Our Graduate Development Training Programme is designed to provide research and transferable skills linked to academic progression, personal development and future employability.

The training programme includes discipline-focused training as well as essential workshops addressing areas such as research integrity, research conduct and intellectual property. We also offer a range of transferrable skills courses to support your development as a researcher. All training is provided on a needs-based model.

Early career researchers undertake an annual skills audit to identify gaps in their skills appropriate to their stage of study. They can then be directed to the appropriate training programme to address their needs.

Student support

Students benefit from a wide range of support initiatives ensuring that both their academic and pastoral needs are addressed. PGR Life helps you to make the most of your time as a postgraduate researcher, supporting your research and planning for your future.


For queries regarding the PhD application process, available projects and eligibility please contact:

EU PhD students

View the latest information for prospective students from the EU.

We have a number of Departmental scholarships available which EU students can apply for, these cover all course fees and provide a stipend of £18,622 per annum (23/24) for living costs. These scholarships are awarded for three and a half years, subject to satisfactory progress.

Heilbronn Doctoral Partnership (HDP)

The Heilbronn Doctoral Partnership (HDP) is a partnership of the Universities of Bristol, Manchester and Oxford with the Heilbronn Institute for Mathematical Research (HIMR). It funds PhD studentships in Discrete Mathematics, interpreted in its broadest sense, which includes most areas of Pure Mathematics, Computational Statistics, Data Science, Probability and Quantum Information.

In addition to undertaking cutting-edge research in one of the partner universities, students on this programme will have the opportunity to spend nine weeks each summer (in years 1-3) at the HIMR, where they will contribute to the classified research activities of the Institute. However, working at HIMR is not a requirement of the HDP programme. Successful candidates who wish to work at HIMR must satisfy security vetting; UK nationals will normally be able to meet this condition.

Students from traditionally under-represented groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

To apply, please submit a standard PhD application in a relevant area, indicating that you wish to be considered for HDP funding.

International PhD students

Annually, we often can allocate a number of Overseas Department Scholarship Awards. These awards normally constitute tuition fees (£26,500 per annum for 2023/24) and are awarded competitively. These scholarships are awarded for three years or three and a half years, subject to satisfactory progress.

Chinese students may be eligible for the China Scholarship Council awards.

Faculty of Science and Engineering funding

The Faculty of Science and Engineering also offer a number of awards and scholarships to support postgraduate researchers:

President's Doctoral Scholar (PDS) Award

The President’s Doctoral Scholar (PDS) Award is the University’s flagship funding initiative, and is strongly supported by the University's President and Vice Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell.

The award is open to all nationalities and supports students of the highest calibre, who have the commitment and desire to work on challenging research projects in world-leading research environments.

For further information, please visit the PDS website.

Dean's Doctoral Scholarship

The Dean's Doctoral Scholarship also supports researchers of the highest calibre from any country. It provides researchers with the chance to make a difference and become part of an innovative community whose work changes lives

For further information, please visit the Dean's Doctoral Scholarship page.

Postgraduate Research Teaching Associate (PGRTA) Scholarship

The PGRTA Scholarship is open to UK researchers and allows students to tackle areas of key research, whilst developing teaching experience and earning a combined teaching salary and stipend.

For further information, please visit the PGRTA page.

In addition to these three awards, there is other postgraduate research funding available at faculty level which can be found on the Faculty of Science and Engineering funding page.

Alternative sources of funding

Students who are not offered EPSRC or Department funding but who still wish to study here may choose to support themselves. Many students choose to do this and support may be available from a variety of sources, for example by taking out a career development loan.

Alternative funding sources are also available. The University has a subscription to The Alternative Guide to PG Funding. This published guide and online resource provides a comprehensive overview of how to find and apply to alternative sources of funding, particularly charities, that make awards to current and prospective postgraduate students.