Funding & Eligibility

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

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

LSTM and Lancaster University are committed to promoting shared values of equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) by celebrating the diversity of members on our DTP and maximising the potential of our students by prioritising equality of treatment and opportunity.

We pledge to:

  • Provide a progressive, collaborative and healthy environment for our students
  • Offer an attractive and accessible admissions pathway for candidates from diverse career pathways, from all sections of the local and global community
  • Appoint candidates irrespective of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status
  • Provide equality of opportunity by removing barriers to development for students
  • Engage with our community
  • Ring-fence 1 studentship per year for a candidate that is a national of a low-middle-income country
  • Use data and student and stakeholder consultation to monitor, evaluate, and address impact of EDI approaches.

Academic Eligibility 

  • Applicants must hold at least a first class or high upper second-class Honours degree, or a degree of comparable standard awarded from outside the UK.
  •  A Masters degree (at merit or distinction preferable) is also welcomed, but not a pre-requisite.
  • We encourage applications from candidates of a wide range of academic disciplines, including but not limited to; medicinal chemistry, molecular and vector biology, parasitology, entomology, pharmacology, clinical specialties, epidemiology, statistics, health informatics, mathematics, economics, social and management science.

If predicted grades are not available for Honours or Master’s degree studies which are still in progress, a partial transcript providing details of Years 1 and 2 can be provided instead. Studentships awarded based on predicted grades will be conditional upon results.

  • Where an applicant does not meet the Honours degree requirement (e.g. they hold a lower second-class Honours degree), they may be eligible to apply if they also hold a Master’s degree with an awarded distinction in an area relevant to the MRC DTP. To be considered for this exemption, the qualification must be awarded at time of application and candidates must provide an award certificate and transcript for both qualifications. Unfortunately, we are unable to consider Master’s qualifications that have not yet been awarded for this purpose.

Residence Eligibility

Following an announcement by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), candidates of all nationalities are eligible to apply for an MRC DTP studentship (although limited studentship places are available for students that cannot demonstrate ‘Home’ status).

The DTP are pleased to announce that one studentship position per intake will be ring-fenced for an ‘Overseas’ candidate that is a national of a Low-Middle-Income Country

Candidate’s status as either ‘Home’ or ‘Overseas’ is determined using the UK Government Higher Education (Fee Limit Condition) (England) Regulations 2017 and Education (Fees and Awards) (England) Regulations 2007 (and any later amendments). In some cases, we may not be able to determine your fee status from the information provided at application and may request that you complete a ‘Fee Status Questionnaire’.

For all students starting courses from 1st August 2021, there have been significant amendments to Home fee status eligibility. Generally speaking, Non-Irish EU nationals, EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members will no longer qualify for home fee status, except where they have protected rights under one of the following agreements and meet the relevant residency conditions:

What is my fee status?

To be classified as having ‘home’ fee status, applicants usually should expect to be able to demonstrate ‘ordinary residence’ in the UK and evidence that they fit into one of the following categories as a holder of:

  • UK nationality
  • Settled status
  • Pre-settled status
  • Indefinite leave to remain/enter

A good place to start if you are unsure of your fee status is the UKCISA - Who pays 'Home' fees for higher education in England? as this document provides an accessible guide as to the requirements that must be met for students to fit the category of a ‘Home’ fee payer. If you do not fit into one of the categories, your fee status is most likely to be classified as ‘overseas’.

During stage one of the admissions process, if you do not hold any of the statuses listed above but think that you might meet ‘home’ fee status requirements another way, please contact to discuss this.

The DTP Funding Package

  • Payment of tuition/programme fees at ‘Home’ level.

For successful ‘Overseas’ candidates, top-up funding will be available, or a fee waiver of the difference between 'Home' and 'Overseas' fee level.

Please note no further funding is available for visa or travel support.

  • A tax-free maintenance/stipend award at the UKRI national doctoral rate (for 2023/24 the annual rate was set at £18,622) A research training support grant/bench fee of £5,000 per annum, managed by your supervisor(s) to support training and research project.

  • Opportunity to apply to our ‘Flexible Funding Supplement’ to further support your individual researcher training and development needs.

You can read more about the sorts of activities that our current students have used flexible funding awards to support here.


Can the English Language requirement for international applicants be waived?

*Majority English-speaking countries are currently defined by the UKVI as: Antigua and Barbuda; Australia; The Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Canada; Dominica; Grenada; Guyana; Ireland; Jamaica; Malta, New Zealand; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Trinidad and Tobago; United Kingdom; United States of America

In order to ensure that you are equipped with the skills to successfully pursue studies effectively and are able to participate in all aspects of academic life, you must provide evidence that you meet LSTM’s minimum English Language Requirements – a full list of accepted formats can be found here.

Please note the English Language Waiver Programme does not apply to this course. Successful applicants will be registered as an on-site student in the UK and international applicants will therefore be subject to visa rules by UK Visas and Immigration, UKVI.

Please note: If you are applying for a Lancaster based project, English language requirements at Lancaster University apply instead. If you are unsure whether you meet the Lancaster English language requirements, please discuss this with

Where will I register for my PhD?

Students that select a project by a LSTM based supervisor will register at LSTM, while students that select a project by a Lancaster based supervisor will register at Lancaster University.

The total supervision weighting can be split between staff at either institutions, you may be registered at LSTM with some supervision from Lancaster staff or vice versa. Some supervision from external supervisors is also permitted.

UKRI expects students to be located within a reasonable distance from their home institution. Their statement of expectations for postgraduate training can be found here.

Do I need to be in Lancaster at any stage if I am registered at LSTM?

All students will be expected to complete the core competency training modules of Year 1. These will take place at Lancaster University, largely between October-December and you will be expected to be on-site in Lancaster 2-5 days each week. The timetable will be confirmed in early October.  

You will also be asked to select one optional module that may run between January-April 2025 and may require on-site attendance. The timetable for these modules will be confirmed in early December.

Can you please provide a timeline for the optional modules that run between October-December?

Please note that this timeline is subject to change for the 24/25 admissions year you are applying for, please use the below as a rough guideline for when each module may run:

Programming for Health Data Science – Weeks 1 -7

 9th October – 24th November

Days at Lancaster: Monday and Friday

Statistical Methods and Models for Health Research - Weeks 4 – 8

 30th October-1st December

Days at Lancaster: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday

Introduction to Applied Epidemiology - Weeks 7-9

20th November – 8th December

Days at Lancaster: Tuesday and Wednesday

Do I need to arrange accommodation in Lancaster during the core modules?

During the core competency training modules, LSTM can financially support LSTM registered students’ travel to and from Lancaster University if required. LSTM can also cover any short-term accommodation costs and will agree with students in advance any reasonable reimbursement requests. We can offer support and guidance while looking for short-term accommodation if needed.

Lancaster registered students are expected to cover travel and accommodation costs to/from Lancaster during the taught modules and their PhD. Please keep this in mind when arranging your accommodation in/around Lancaster. If you need to visit LSTM, for example to meet with an LSTM based supervisor for training, you can claim back these travel costs.