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 “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 Application Portal regardless of their source of funding.
During the application process you will automatically be considered for the appropriate LMB funding:
- Full MRC Studentships for UK and eligible EU graduates
- Full Scholarships for other graduates from the EU, the Commonwealth and other overseas countries
- César Milstein Studentship for Argentinian Nationals
You will also be able to indicate in your application whether you:
- 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 or competitively awarded 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 Application Portal application process). However, please be aware that competition for the available funding is very high: in 2017 we received 200 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 15 fully funded MRC Studentships to UK and EU nationals who satisfy the MRC eligibility requirements.
The full MRC studentships cover all University fees and provide an annual maintenance allowance (£18,000 tax-free for 2017/18).
Funding for students from the EU/EAA
Fees-only MRC Studentships are available for EU nationals who have not been resident in the UK for three years.
In addition to these MRC fees-only studentships, a limited number of LMB awarded scholarships are available to cover the annual maintenance allowance for EU/EAA students (£18,000 tax-free for 2017/18).
LMB Cambridge Scholarships (for Commonwealth and Overseas residents)
In collaboration with the Cambridge Commonwealth European and International Trust, 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 2017 we received 92 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 fees and a maintenance allowance (£18,000 tax-free for 2017/18) 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 one award per year and this studentship only applies in the LMB’s Division of Protein and Nucleic Acid Chemistry (PNAC), where Milstein carried out most of his research work. Milstein 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 four 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.
To apply please contact the Chair of the Cesar Milstein Studentship Committee, Dr Julian Sale, with a letter of interest and CV: firstname.lastname@example.org
In memory of Michael Neuberger and his contributions to science, the Max Perutz Fund in collaboration with Trinity College has established a named studentship based at the LMB, which will be awarded to outstanding PhD candidates of any nationality. The successful candidates will be registered with the University of Cambridge and Trinity College.
The studentship, tenable for 3 years, provides an annual maintenance allowance for a single student. University fees are also fully funded.
University of Cambridge sources of funding
- Gates Cambridge Trust (for students from the EEA − except UK − and overseas)
- Cambridge International Scholarship Scheme – CISS (For students from outside the EEA)
- Cambridge Home and European Scholarship Scheme − CHESS (for students from the UK and EEA)
Early application is recommended. Deadline dates for applications for the LMB International PhD Programme 2018 are as follows:
- US Gates Scholarship (US applicants only) – 11 October 2017
- General applications (UK, EU and overseas applicants) – 6 December 2017
All supporting documents and references must be received by the above dates.
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 Funding 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.
NB: When you use the ‘Cambridge Funding 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”.