LMB Phd logo


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).

The UK government has confirmed that EU students starting courses in England in the academic year 2020/21 will continue to be eligible for home fees, bursaries and loans. (https://www.gov.uk/government/news/eu-student-funding-continued-for-202021).

EU nationals will remain eligible for research council studentships for the 2020/21 academic year on the same basis as is available at present (04 July 2019).

Updates from the University on Brexit: Analysis and FAQs

All applicants for the LMB PhD programme are asked to apply using the University of Cambridge Applicant Portal regardless of their source of funding.

During the application process you will automatically be considered for the appropriate LMB funding:

  • MRC Studentships for UK and eligible EU graduates
  • César Milstein Studentship for Argentinian Nationals

You will also be able to indicate in your application whether you:

  • Wish to apply for LMB Cambridge Scholarships (for other graduates from the EU, the Commonwealth and other overseas countries)
  • 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)

LMB funding

Approximately three quarters of LMB students receive full or partial funding from the LMB, through full and fees-only MRC studentships, the LMB Cambridge Scholarship scheme and other funds administered by the LMB (all of which provide funding for 3-4 years).

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 2019 we received 212 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).

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).

Funding for international students

International students applying to the LMB PhD program will be considered for full LMB Cambridge Scholarships administered by the Cambridge Trust. To be considered, please indicate that you wish to be considered for Cambridge Trust funding in the application portal.

LMB Cambridge Scholarships (for Commonwealth and Overseas residents)

Cambridge Trust logoIn collaboration with the Cambridge Commonwealth European and International Trust, the LMB offers up to four scholarships to outstanding international graduates 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 the last round we received 71 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 a single student.

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 the César Milstein Studentship. There is one award per year tenable 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 César Milstein Studentship Committee, Dr Julian Sale, with a letter of interest and CV: jes@mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk. Application deadline: 1 March each year.

Neuberger Studentship

In memory of Michael Neuberger and his contributions to science, the Max Perutz Fund in collaboration with Trinity College established a studentship based at the LMB, 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

There are a large number of scholarships and sources of financial aid available to prospective LMB graduate students. (NB: Over a third of our graduate students secure competitive external funding such as Gates or Boehringer Ingelheim Scholarships or studentships from their home country.) When you apply for the LMB PhD programme, the Applicant Portal 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:

Early application is recommended.  Deadline dates for applications for the LMB International PhD Programme 2020 are as follows:

  • US Gates Scholarship (US applicants only) – 9th October 2019
  • General applications (UK, EU and overseas applicants) – 3rd December 2019

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 the year of study and “new course” in the type of funding, “biological sciences” in the list of “Disciplines” and scroll through the list under “Department, Faculty or Institution” to select “MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology”.