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Fees and Funding

POLIS PhD Studentships


Many PhD students in POLIS are successful at obtaining scholarship funding. The department offers a number of scholarships for applicants from the UK/EU, funded by YouGov and unrestricted by topic. POLIS applicants who have research interests in public policy are also eligible for PhD funding from the Bennett Institute for Public Policy.

The University coordinates the majority of funding for students, from a range of funders, meaning that students of all nationalities and circumstances are eligible for funding and encouraged to apply.

Before you apply:

Within your application, you will be invited to select which funding sources and other scholarships for which you wish to be considered. These include scholarships from Gates Cambridge, the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) and the Cambridge Trusts. Some of these funding routes have restrictions by subject or the nationality of the applicant, and it is worthwhile to check for which you will be eligible. Further details about these funding sources and further possible sources are available on the Graduate Admissions funding webpages, including a search for funding page, which is available here Cambridge Funding search

POLIS participates in the ESRC doctoral training partnership, and information on studentships available through that route is available here. The Cambridge ESRC DTP is organised into inter-disciplinary clusters whose themes may be engaged in your research proposal.

Information about applying for AHRC funding, which involves a separate application form, is available here.

Gates Cambridge offers funding in two rounds: the deadline for US citizens living in the USA is in October; applicants from all countries except the UK and US will be evaluated after the departmental deadline. 

In your application:

Make clear to which funding opportunities you would like to be considered, and how your proposal, preparation and background qualify you for these opportunities. Your application materials will be evaluated according to the funding criteria, all of which include a focus on the quality of the research proposal, its methodology and engagement of the relevant literatures, your academic background, fit with the department, and letters of recommendation. Some other funders also consider your record of public service and your future professional plans.

Timelines and Notification:

Admissions and funding decisions are, except in exceptional circumstances, announced separately. Please consult the Graduate Admissions web pages for timescales; this Timeline for Postgraduate funding applications may also be helpful.


You can find full information about course fees on the Graduate Admissions website.

As a graduate student at the University you are liable to pay a University Composition Fee (UCF) and you are also expected to have 'maintenance' funds to support your living costs whilst you are studying. The value of the UCF is dependent on your 'fee status', which is determined according to your nationality and place of permanent residence.

If you are made a conditional offer of admission to Cambridge, you will need to obtain sufficient funding for the full duration of your course. Evidence of funding is required before your admission to the University can be confirmed. This is known as a financial undertaking. 


RSS Feed Latest news

Fieldwork Photography Competition Winners

Jul 13, 2020

The department of POLIS is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 PhD Fieldwork Photography Competition.

PhD Academic Poster Competition Winner

Jul 10, 2020

The Department of POLIS is pleased to announce that the winner of the PhD Academic Poster competition 2020 is Engy Moussa. Congratulations Engy!

Winner of 2020 Bill Gates Sr. Prize announced

Jul 01, 2020

Congratulations to POLIS PhD student Alice Musabende who has been named this year's winner of the Bill Gates Sr. Prize, nominated by her peers.