Medical Research Scotland PhD studentships

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  • ScotlandScotland


Medical Research Scotland, Scotland’s largest funder of PhD studentships, has now closed applications for 2020 doctoral training funding. We hope to announce awards in February 2020 – further information will be provided in due course to PhD supervisors who have applied this year.

Each year we look to fund at least 15 four-year studentships with collaborations between universities and external partners to provide inspiring research and training experiences.

Funded students will receive a generous four-year stipend, up to £35,000 research costs, travel costs and university fees paid.

Applications must be:

  • For a defined research project addressing a question of relevance to human health or disease
  • An academically stimulating PhD project as well as work based experience.
  • The student must undertake the PhD training programme offered by the University or Research institution, alongside training experiences delivered by an External Partner Organisation. Full guidance notes and additional information can be found here.

Eligibility and Requirements

To be eligible, the Administering Institution must be a recognised Scottish University or Research Institution in which the student will be matriculated and which will award the PhD degree. There is no geographical requirement or restriction for the External Partner Organisation.

There is no requirement or restriction on the subject or nature of the research, provided it addresses a question relevant to human health – the causation, prevention, diagnosis or treatment of illness or the development of medical or surgical appliances.

At least three supervisors are required per PhD Studentship, including a Principal and a Second Supervisor from the Administering Institution and an External Partner Organisation Supervisor.

A Principal Supervisor can only hold one active Medical Research Scotland PhD Studentship, though they can apply as Principal Supervisor for a subsequent PhD Studentship to commence after the completion date of their current one. A Second Supervisor can be supervisor on one or more PhD Studentships.

The External Partner Organisation is expected to make a valuable and meaningful contribution to the proposed research project, the specific nature of which will depend on the proposed project. It must provide an appropriate training programme and work experience for the student. It is anticipated that this will be delivered at an operational base of the External Partner Organisation, though the extent of placements at, and remote interactions with, the external partner organisation should be tailored to the nature of the project and collaboration. The arrangement should be to maximise the benefit to both the student and project.

The external partner organisation must provide the following financial contribution to the Studentship:

  • An annual cash contribution of £2,500, paid to the Administering Institution, to top up the student stipend provided by Medical Research Scotland
  • Additional laboratory costs that may be required over and above the consumables allowance provided by Medical Research Scotland
  • Essential travel and accommodation expenses, including expenses incurred in connection with placements at and visits to the external partner organisation location(s)

The PhD Studentship Standard Conditions, to which applicants and awardees must agree, can be downloaded here

Applications should be for a defined research project, by a Scottish University/recognised Research Institution, together with a trading company involved in medically-relevant life sciences research, and NOT by prospective students. See the PhD FAQ for answers to our most frequently-asked questions about these awards.

Please see the website for application forms.

Trust Secretaries
Turcan Connell
Princes Exchange
1 Earl Grey Street
Edinburgh EH3 9EE
Tel: +44 (0)131 659 8800
Fax: +44 (0)131 228 8118

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If your enquiry is in connection with Applications for any of our awards

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