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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 £4,327 per annum (2019/20) and provides a stipend for maintenance of £15,009 per annum (2019/20 figures). 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. However applicants are advised to apply early because the Department has certain additional funds available which make it possible to make definite offers to strong candidates in some cases prior to July. 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/EU students which cover all course fees and will provide a stipend for maintenance of around £15,009 per annum (19/20). These scholarships are awarded for three and a half years, subject to satisfactory progress.

Doctoral loans

The UK government has confirmed that new doctoral loans will be available for those studying PhDs (and equivalent doctoral programmes) from 2018/19.  The loan is a maximum of £25,000 over the duration of the course of study.  The amount you'll get isn't based on you or your family's income (Non-means tested).The loans are available for all types of doctoral study (eg PhD, as well as all professional doctorates such as DBA, EdD), at all UK universities. The loan is paid directly to students in three instalments across each year of the course and can be used for course fees and living costs.

UK and EU nationals who are ordinarily resident in England, aged 59 or under, who are not already receiving funding via a UK Research Council, are eligible to apply. For further information on eligibility criteria please visit the GOV.UK website.

For additional information on eligibility, how to apply and whom to contact for support, please visit Student Support funding opportunities or email

EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) in Mathematical Sciences

Our EPSRC DTP Studentships enable exceptional postgraduate research candidates to undertake a 4-year research project in the field of mathematical sciences. We have 14 x 4-year studentships (fees plus standard UKRI stipend) available for application. Overseas applicants are eligible for these studentships. 

How to apply

Applicants for funding should have a postgraduate research studies offer in place, and have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second class UK honours degree, or the overseas equivalent, in an appropriate discipline area.

Applicants for postgraduate research studies may select a pre-approved advertised project or devise their own project in collaboration with a potential supervisor. Candidates are invited for interview as part of the selection process. Further information about the application process can be found on our "How to apply" page.


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.

EPSRC DTP undergraduate summer research internships

This Mathematical Sciences EPSRC DTP will also support 6 internships over the next 2 years. Internships will be funded at the equivalent (pro-rata) of a PhD stipend at UKRI level and interns are encouraged to consider applying to our PhD programme in the future. Applicants should apply to undertake the internship in the final summer of their undergraduate course (typically in the summer between their 3rd and 4th years). For further information please contact:


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 also have a number of Departmental scholarships available to UK/EU students which cover all course fees and will provide a stipend for maintenance of around £15,009 per annum (19/20). 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

We have a number of Overseas Department Scholarship Awards. These awards normally constitute the tuition fees (£23,000 per annum for 2019/20) and are awarded competitively. These scholarships are awarded for three years, subject to satisfactory progress. Please indicate on your application form if you wish to be considered for this funding.

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

President's Doctoral Scholar Award and the Dean's award

President's Doctoral Scholar 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 scheme offers over 100 elite postgraduate research studentships per year and is open to students of all nationalities and across all research areas.

Successful PDS award candidates receive funding for their doctoral studies, as well as an additional £1,000 enhancement to their stipend. PDS award holders are 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 award

The Dean's award also offers funding for strong students. Currently, the Dean’s Award is for the payment of fees (home or international) and stipend (RCUK rate) for 3 years, plus £1,000 per year per student for student travel and consumables.

For further information, please visit the Faculty website.

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.