Funding & Eligibility

Please ensure you read these eligibility criteria before making an application.

Academic Eligibility 

As a minimum, applicants should hold a first class, or high upper second-class Honours degree (or equivalent) in an area relevant to the available MRC DTP specific research projects. 

Where an applicant does not meet this requirement (they hold a lower second class undergraduate degree, for example), they may be eligible to apply if they also hold a Master's degree with an awarded distinction or equivalent (in an area relevant to their proposed PhD) and are able to provide an award certificate and transcript for both qualifications. Unfortunately, we are unable to consider Masters qualifications that have not yet been awarded. 

Studentships awarded based on predicted grades will be conditional upon final results. 

We seek applications from a broad range of backgrounds including life sciences, medicine, mathematics, public health, health economics, and social sciences. The studentships will be awarded based on academic excellence and performance at interview. Applicants should hold a first or a upper second class Honours degree (or equivalent) in an area relevant to the available research projects and in line with LSTM’s four research departments and themes and topics and from the CHICAS and MPS research groups at Lancaster University. 

Exemption from MRes 

There may be exceptional circumstances whereby a student can demonstrate that they have previously completed a relevant Master’s qualification – in which case they may request permission to request exemption from the MRes year, and be ‘fast-tracked’ to join the previous year’s cohort on a 0 + 3 basis (3-year PhD) = 3-year PhD. 

In order to be considered for direct entry to the PhD year, you should contact in the first instance. An outcome of your request will be communicated within a reasonable time frame, or you may be required to justify your request at interview if you reach this admission stage. 

Residence Requirements 

As detailed in the residence eligibility requirements of the MRC website, to be eligible for: 

A full award (fees and stipend) – normally UK residents 

Candidates must be able to demonstrate: 

  • Settled status in the UK, meaning they have no restrictions on how long they can stay; 
  • ‘Ordinary residence’ in the UK for three years prior to the start of the studentship. This means that they have been exercising a normal right of residence in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absence) 
  • That their residence in the UK has not been wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. This does not apply to UK or EU nationals. 

Students will receive an award equivalent to the Research Councils Doctoral Stipend and Indicative Fee Level for their year of entry. Although information relating to stipend and fee level for 20/21 are not available at date of advert, the following levels are applicable to the 19/20 year:

  • National Minimum Doctoral Stipend Level of £15,009
  • Indicative Programme Fee Level of £4,327

Students will also receive a contribution to bench fees during their MRes project rotations, and PhD project. 

MRC DTP/CASE students can also benefit from access to supplementary funding for the purpose of additional skill development and high cost/exceptional training, engaging in internship/placement opportunities, and pursuing activities related to transition from PhD. No additional funding is available for travel between the Lancaster and LSTM sites.

Fees-only award

Students from EU countries other than the UK are generally eligible for a fees-only award. To demonstrate eligibility for a fee-only award, a candidate must be able to demonstrate that they are an ‘ordinary resident’ in a member state of the EU, in the same way as a UK candidate must be ordinarily resident in the UK. 

The fees only award covers the cost of programme and bench fees, and provides access to the supplementary funding, but does not include the monthly stipend. 

International (non-UK / EU) students 

The MRC restricts the use of funding to support international candidates. For this reason we are unable to accept applications from students that do not meet any of the above residence requirements for this call.