Funding for students applying to the University of Cambridge
To carry out a three year PhD with the University of Cambridge, you will need sufficient funds to cover the University fee (your course costs) and your College fee, as well as funds for your “maintenance” – that is, your accommodation, meals, books, travel, clothes and any other expenses that you incur while you study (see fees and costs).
All applicants for the LMB PhD programme are asked to apply using the University of Cambridge online GRADSAF (Graduate Admission and Scholarship Application Form) regardless of their source of funding.
During the application process you will be able to indicate whether you:
- Wish to be considered for LMB-funded studentship (MRC Studentship, LMB Cambridge Scholarship or Cesar Milstein Studentship)
- Wish to apply for University-wide funding competitions (e.g. Gates, Cambridge Overseas & Commonwealth Trusts, Cambridge Home and EU Scholarships, etc.)
- Wish to apply for a College studentship (from a University of Cambridge college)
- Have an external scholarship
- Have your own funding
If you have not already secured your own funding, we recommend that – before making an online application – you explore your eligibility for:
- LMB funding
- University of Cambridge sources of funding
- Studentships from your home country (if you are applying from overseas)
All LMB PhD students also receive a training and conference travel allowance provided by the LMB (this is in addition to any fee and maintenance funding they may be receiving).
Applicants to the LMB PhD programme who have not already secured their own funding will automatically be considered for the appropriate LMB student funding (through the GRADSAF process). However, please be aware that competition for the available funding is very high: in 2011 we received 170 applications for the available fully funded places.
The following LMB funding is available through open competition to prospective PhD students:
MRC Studentships (for UK and EU/EAA applicants who satisfy eligibility requirements)
We offer up to 12 fully funded MRC Studentships to UK and EU nationals who satisfy the MRC eligibility requirements, plus fees-only MRC Studentships for EU nationals who do not have UK migrant worker status, or have not been resident in the UK for three years.
The full MRC studentships provide full University and College fees and a maintenance allowance (£15,275 tax-free for 2012/13).
Funding for students from the EU/EAA
In addition to MRC fees-only studentships available to EU/EAA students (see above), the LMB is also able to provide maintenance allowances for a limited number of EU/EAA students (£15,275 tax-free for 2012/13).
LMB Cambridge Scholarships (for Commonwealth and Overseas residents)
In collaboration with the Cambridge Commonwealth and Cambridge Overseas Trusts, the LMB offers up to four scholarships to outstanding graduates from Commonwealth and Overseas countries to pursue a course of research leading to a PhD in Molecular Biology at the University of Cambridge.
Applicants must meet the University of Cambridge entrance requirements to be eligible. However, please be aware that competition for LMB Cambridge Scholarships is particularly high: in 2011 we received 69 applications for the four available places. Due to this high level of competition, candidates who also have a first class Master’s degree, or its equivalent, and/or considerable laboratory experience may be given preference.
These Scholarships, tenable for three years, provide full University and College fees and a maintenance allowance (£15,275 tax-free for 2012/13) for a single student, plus a discretionary contribution towards airfare by the cheapest available route.
César Milstein Studentships (for Argentinian nationals)
In memory of César Milstein and his contributions to science, Professors Kenneth and Noreen Murray, at the Darwin Trust in Edinburgh, established a César Milstein studentship. There is only one award per year and this studentship only applies in the LMB’s Division of Protein and Nucleic Acid Chemistry (PNAC), where César carried out most of his research work. César conducted many seminal studies in molecular immunology – the pinnacle being his invention of the method for monoclonal antibody isolation. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 1984 for this work.
The fellowship is in the form of a graduate studentship for three years, to allow the recipient to carry out research in the field of molecular immunology or cancer biology.
Candidates should be of Argentinian nationality and hold a first degree (Hons) in science. A small selection committee, comprised of LMB members plus César’s widow, Celia Milstein, will meet short-listed candidates for interview in Cambridge in the first half of 2013 (expenses will be paid to the short-listed candidates to travel to the UK for interview).
To apply please contact Michael Neuberger (Head of PNAC Division) directly with a letter of interest and CV: email@example.com
University of Cambridge sources of funding
When you apply for the LMB PhD programme, the GRADSAF form will give you the opportunity to indicate that you want to be considered for a number of major scholarships from the University of Cambridge and elsewhere. These are:
Gates Cambridge Trust (for students from the EEA − except UK − and overseas)
Deadline to submit GRADSAF online: 16 October 2012 for US applicants and 4 December 2012 for all other nationalities
Cambridge International Scholarship Scheme – CISS (For students from outside the EEA)
Deadline to submit GRADSAF online: 4 December 2012
Cambridge Home and European Scholarship Scheme − CHESS (for students from the UK and EEA)
Deadline to submit GRADSAF online: 11 January 2013
For the schemes above, the deadlines shown are the dates by which your GRADSAF must be submitted online. You then have a further two weeks to send supporting documents before you receive a warning.
Please note that these are not the only sources of funding you can apply for. Before beginning the application process, we recommend that you explore the full range of funds available. Helpful information on funding for prospective students is available on the University of Cambridge’s graduate admissions website.
The University also provides a useful Cambridge University CamFunds Search facility, which allows you to explore the hundreds of other sources of student funding administered by offices, departments, faculties, institutions, NUIs (Non-University Institutions) or colleges of the University of Cambridge. The search results link directly to relevant scholarship webpages containing full information about eligibility and how to apply.
The LMB’s Graduate Student Association also provides a shortlist of sources of funding on its Insiders Guide website - written by students, for students.
NB: When you use the CamFunds search facility select “biological sciences” in the list of “Disciplines” and scroll through the list under “Department, Faculty or Institution” to select “MRC Molecular Biology”.
Open University sources of Funding
Please click here for further information on Open University sources of funding.