skip to content
Photo by Andre Taissin on Unsplash

PhD studentships



Please note that there are firm deadlines for applying for funding opportunities, any application received after the stated funding deadline will not be eligible for consideration for an award.

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 Postgraduate 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. 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 Postgraduate Admissions website



You can find full information about course fees on the Postgraduate 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.