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).
You need to apply using the University of Cambridge Applicant Portal regardless of the source of your funding.
During the application process you will automatically be considered for the appropriate LMB funding:
- MRC Studentships for UK and international students (a limited number are available)
- César Milstein Studentship for Argentinian Nationals
You will also be able to indicate in your application whether you:
- Wish to apply for LMB Cambridge Trust Scholarships (for international 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, and other Cambridge Home and Overseas 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)
Approximately three quarters of LMB students receive full or partial funding from the LMB, through MRC studentships, the LMB Cambridge Scholarship scheme and other funds administered by the LMB (all of which provide funding for up to 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 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.
The following LMB funding is available through open competition to prospective PhD students:
We offer up to 17 fully funded MRC Studentships.
The full MRC studentships cover all University fees and provide an annual maintenance allowance (£21,350 tax-free).
A limited number of LMB awarded MRC studentships are available to international candidates. This will cover the annual maintenance allowance for (£21,350 tax-free) and University fees at the home level. The remaining fees will be covered from alternative funding.
LMB Cambridge Trust Scholarships
In 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.
To be eligible, applicants must meet the University of Cambridge entrance requirements and specify that they wish to apply for Cambridge Trust funding in the online application.
However, please be aware that competition for LMB Cambridge Scholarships is particularly high. 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 have an advantage.
These Scholarships, tenable for four years, provide full University fees and a maintenance allowance (£20,250 tax-free) for a single student. The Scholarship also covers visa costs, health surcharge and initial travel costs (subject to conditions).
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 PNAC division. Candidates should be of Argentinian nationality and hold a first degree (Hons) in science.
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 candidate will be registered with the University of Cambridge and Trinity College.
The studentship is tenable for 4 years and provides an annual maintenance allowance for a single student. University fees are also fully funded. (The Neuberger studentship is not available every year. Please contact enquiries() for more information.)
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:
- Gates Cambridge Trust – (for international students – except UK)
- Cambridge Trust
- Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarships
University of Cambridge funds are also available for particular projects or nationals. For example Cambridge Africa offers advice and funding for postgraduates from Africa applying for courses at Cambridge.
Early application is recommended. Deadline dates for applications for the LMB International PhD Programme starting in October 2024 are as follows:
- US Gates Scholarship (US applicants only) – 11th October 2023
- General applications (UK, EU and overseas applicants) – 5th December 2023
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 postgraduate 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.