Mobile menu icon
Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Mobile menu icon Search iconSearch
Search type

Department of Physics and Astronomy

Funding for postgraduate research

We provide a range of funding options to help our researchers fulfil their potential.

Explore the funding options available for doctoral candidates in science and engineering and learn more about the University's flagship funding scheme for outstanding doctoral candidates.

Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund

Applications are now open for the Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund.

The Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund (the Fund) aims to encourage greater diversity in physics by supporting students from groups currently under-represented in physics who wish to study for a doctoral degree.

The Fund was made possible thanks to the generosity of Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, who won the prestigious Breakthrough Prize for physics in 2018 for her role in the discovery of pulsars. Dame Jocelyn chose to donate her £2.3m prize award to the Institute of Physics (IOP) in order to set up the Fund.

Global Challenges Research Fund

The Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) is a £1.5 billion fund announced by the government to support cutting-edge research that addresses the challenges faced by developing countries.

GCRF forms part of the UK's Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitment. ODA-funded activity focuses on outcomes that promote the long-term sustainable growth of countries on the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) list. 

The University of Manchester is offering fully funded four year PhD studentships with an integrated teaching certificate. For a list of available projects and further details about the funding please see the University website.

Global Doctoral Research Network Partnerships

The University of Manchester has collaborations with a number of international partners.  As an extension of this joint research, we are developing dual-award PhD programmes to allow postgraduate research students access to world-class facilities, expertise and field environments. Visit the University website for more information about the Dual-awards via the Global Doctoral Research Network.


Each year, around twelve fully-funded studentships are awarded through the EPSRC-funded Centre for Doctoral Training in Science and Applications of Graphene and Related Nanomaterials (Graphene NOWNANO).

Applications are welcome from any students who have obtained a first or upper second class undergraduate honours degree in science, engineering or biomedical sciences.

The studentships are available to UK and EU nationals who have been resident in the UK for a minimum of three years. There are also a small number of funded places for EU nationals who do not currently reside in the UK.

Manchester Master's Bursary

The University of Manchester offers 100 bursaries for master's students, each worth £3,000, to UK and EU students. The bursaries are awarded each September to coincide with the start of study, and applications usually open in the spring of the year prior to study. To find out more about the bursaries and how to apply, please visit the Manchester Master's Bursary page.

Postgraduate loans

If you’re coming to Manchester this year to begin postgraduate study, you could qualify for a loan from the UK government. To find out more, please visit the central University funding pages.

President's Doctoral Scholar Awards

The President's Doctoral Scholar Award is a flagship funding scheme supported by the University's President and Vice Chancellor, Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell. It offers the most outstanding home and international students the chance to win one of 100 elite studentships each year. Successful students will be awarded funding for their doctoral studies as well as a further £1000 towards their living costs. Through the award you will also be invited to take part in extra-curricular activities that support and enhance your work here at the University.

To find out more about the awards on the President's Doctoral Scholar Award website. Information on how to apply can be found on the Faculty of Science and Engineering website.

Research Council Awards

Research Council Awards are funded by the government Research Councils including: the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Typically the awards cover the university fees for a 42-month PhD and maintenance costs and are applied for directly through the councils themselves. They are open for applications by British and European nationals resident in the UK, where British nationals qualify for funding to cover university fees and maintenance and European nationals for university fees only.

Research scholar awards for European nationals

The Department offers four bursaries that cover fees and up to £7,500 per annum for maintenance costs.