UK/EU Prospective Research Students

female student examines slides on a microscope whilst a male student takes notes

Funding and Scholarships

UK/EU Prospective Research Students

Please check awards eligibility and criteria below.

List of EU Countries

You must apply for a place to be eligible to apply for funding.

Apply for a Place

Arts and Humanities Research Council Awards (AHRC)

Northern Bridge Doctoral Training Partnership

Northern Bridge Consortium is a Doctoral Training Partnership funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

It brings together the cutting-edge expertise and exceptional resources of Durham University, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Queen’s University Belfast, Sunderland University, Teesside University and Ulster University and their strategic partners.

We offer more than 60 fully funded studentships per year to outstanding postgraduate researchers across the full range of Arts and Humanities subjects, including Creative Practice disciplines.

Postgraduate Research applicants in the Arts and Humanities who are interested in applying to Queen’s for a AHRC studentship must have applied to Queen’s, via the online Direct Applications Portal, and submitted all required supporting documents by the closing date.  

There are two types of awards:

Standard PhD

Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA)

For full details about the studentship competition and how to apply at Queen’s please refer to

Prospective applicants are expected to read the full  Guidance Notes before proceeding with an application to the studentship competition, and to make themselves aware of the Timeline

The Northern Bridge 2019 Studentship Competition is now open.  The deadline for applications to the Northern Bridge studentship competition is 5:00pm, Wednesday 9 January 2019.

Department for the Economy (DFE)

The eligibility criteria are applicable to all DFE research awards: DFE research studentships and DFE CAST.

To apply for a DFE award, please complete an Online Combined Application for Admission and Award on the Queen’s University Postgraduate Applications Portal.

DFE Research Studentships

These are funded by the Department for the Economy (DFE), formerly Department for Employment and Learning (DEL), and are offered in most Schools for full time PhD research.  Please check the relevant School/Faculty website for details of potential projects and closing date.  The studentship may cover maintenance and fees for a maximum of three years.

  • UK residents: fees plus maintenance. 
  • Other EU residents: fees only. 
    For further details re eligibility criteria (including academic, citizenship and residency criteria) please click here.

DFE Co-operative Awards in Science and Technology (CAST)

DFE Co-operative Awards in Science and Technology (CAST) awards are for specific research projects in collaboration with an industrial sponsor in the following Schools / areas: Biomedical Sciences in School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences, School of Biological Sciences , School of Pharmacy , School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering , School of the Natural and Built Environment, School of Electronics, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science , School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and the School of Mathematics and Physics

Please check the School/Faculty website above for details concerning potential DFE CAST studentships.

Please note that to apply for this award you must use the Online Combined Admission and Award form and apply online via the Queen’s University Postgraduate Applications Portal.

Depending on eligibility a DFE CAST studentship may cover fees and a maintenance allowance.  In addition a CAST studentship may also include a contribution from the industrial collaborating body.

UK residents*: may be eligible for a Full award which covers tuition fees and maintenance.
EU residents*: may be eligible for a Fees only award which only covers tuition fees (there is no maintenance)
*NB there are also citizenship / nationality criteria applicable

Please note there is no separate allocation for DFE CAST awards.  The School may convert a DFE award into a DFE CAST award where industrial sponsorship is available.  The usual DFE terms and conditions are applicable.

For further details regarding eligibility criteria (including academic, citizenship and residency criteria) please click on here.

Further details about DfE funding is available here

School Funding Opportunities

Some Schools in Queen's may have studentships / bursaries available outside the centrally allocated awards.   Applicants should ensure that they check the relevant School website for details of available School funding.

North-South Postgraduate Scholarships

The aim of this scheme is to encourage outstanding students from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland to cross the border to undertake postgraduate study and experience life in the other Irish jurisdiction. 

Each year, Universities Ireland offers four scholarships, each worth €15,000, to students who have been accepted to undertake a recognised Master’s Degree or are entering the first year of a PhD programme at a university in the island of Ireland that is not in the same jurisdiction as the university where they have previously studied.

The closing date for receipt of applications is normally early May.  For further details please visit Universities Ireland website for further details, application form and applicant guidance notes:

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)

We expect that there will be a number of EPSRC funded research studentships available to support PhD training in research areas relevant to the EPSRC’s strategic priority research areas.   Details of research studentships (including EPSRC) will be advertised on School websites

The majority of Research Council-funded studentships are available from higher education institutions through schemes such as Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) and Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs).  

EPSRC research studentships funded by a Doctoral Training Partnership may cover maintenance and fees normally for three and a half years.

  • UK residents: fees plus maintenance. 
  • Other EU residents: fees only. 

For further details re eligibility criteria (including academic, citizenship and residency criteria) refer to EPSRC Student Eligibility

EPSRC CDT Photonic Integration and Advanced Data Storage (PIADS)

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Photonic Integration and Advanced Data Storage (PIADS) is an exciting collaboration between Queen’s, The University of Glasgow and more than a dozen industrial partners, which offers unique four-year PhD training in Photonic Integration and Advanced Data Storage, leading to a jointly awarded degree from Queen's University Belfast and the University of Glasgow. 

Designed and delivered in close collaboration with an impressive range of industrial partners, the CDT provides a cutting-edge and innovative research environment for doctoral students to develop the new technologies, products and systems required to address the expanding data storage needs of today’s fast moving digital world.  The programme aims to equip students with high-level and sophisticated technical training and skills alongside much sought after skills in distributed working, collaboration, entrepreneurship and business planning skills.  

For full details of the programme, the application process and studentships available please refer to the dedicated EPSRC CDT website at

Leverhulme Interdisciplinary Network on Cybersecurity and Society (LINCS)

The Leverhulme Interdisciplinary Network on Cybersecurity and Society (LINCS) at Queen’s University Belfast has been established to support pioneering research at the interface between the social sciences and electronic engineering & computer science. LINCS brings together the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) and the the Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice to develop a distinctive cohort of doctoral students working across the boundaries of their disciplines who will open up new avenues of enquiry centred initially on the priority themes and specific PhD projects. 

For further details about the studentship competition, eligible themes and projects, and the application process please refer to the  Senator George J. Mitchell Institute for Global Peace, Security and Justice website or the the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) website.

The Higginson Leadership Award

The Higginson Leadership Award was founded by a gift in 1954 from Wing-Commander John S Higginson, MA, CBE, OBE, who lived at Ballyward Lodge near Castlewellan in Co Down.  Wing-Commander Higginson was an RAF veteran of the Second World War, whose post-war activities became increasingly philanthropic in nature, focusing in particular on improving services and facilities for the youth of Northern Ireland. Wing-Commander Higginson died in November 2000, but the award has been re-launched by his nephew and heir Andrew Higginson OBE, who has assumed the role of Trustee. Andrew Higginson is Director of Higginson Associates Ltd, London-based Consultants in Conflict Resolution, Disaster Relief and Humanitarian Assistance.

The purpose of the award is to encourage a sense of social responsibility and inspirational leadership among students and alumni of the University, and to support stand alone activities or ventures, rather than extending the students own studies or participation in projects already established by others, which will demonstrate initiative and the ability to inspire or act as a role model for others. Preference will be given to projects or proposals involving developmental or humanitarian aid overseas, in a post-conflict environment.  

Applicants must be enrolled as Queen’s students at the application closing date.

Awards made are normally in the region of £3000.

Students who have received the Higginson Leadership Award in recent years have led teams on projects to build resource centres and help impoverished communities in Romania, Kenya, Bolivia, Thailand, Uganda and Mostar in many interesting and beneficial ways.

This award is normally advertised in November with a closing date for Stage 1 applications in January and Stage 2 applications in March.

Further details and application forms may be downloaded from the web or obtained by emailing a request to

Awards are subject to funding availability.

Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA)

Each year, the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) offers a limited number of postgraduate studentships.  These are for a period of research leading to a PhD qualification from a United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland university.  Funding is provided for full-time students only.

Further information will be advertised on the DAERA Website

Wellcome Trust and National Institutes of Health Four-year PhD Studentships

These PhD studentships are available to UK/European Economic Area (EEA) nationals.

These awards give postgraduate students from the UK/EEA the opportunity of four years of international collaborative biomedical PhD training, split between a UK/Republic of Ireland academic institution and the US National Institutes of Health campus at Bethesda, Maryland.

If you would like to apply for the competition, please visit the Wellcome Trust site for more information.

Recruitment begins in the December, for uptake in the following October of each year.

If you have any queries, please email


Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

Northern Ireland and North East Doctoral Training Partnership (NINE DTP)

Queen’s University is delighted to announce its new Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) for Social Sciences funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).   The new NINE DTP is an exciting collaboration with seven partner institutions - Queen’s University Belfast, University of Newcastle, Durham University, Ulster University, University of Northumbria, University of Sunderland and Teesside University. We are offering over fifty fully-funded studentships per year to outstanding postgraduate researchers in the social sciences.

The ESRC NINE DTP runs a single, combined annual studentship competition to recruit and select Postgraduate students of the very highest calibre.  NINE DTP operates an open competition for the awarding of studentships which is centred on the quality of candidates and their proposed research.

Types of studentship available include:

  • +3 years for students who have completed a masters
  • 1+3 years for students who have not yet completed a masters
  • +3.5 years for students who have completed a masters but lack the required core research methods training

Before you apply please ensure you read the applicant guidance notes.  The deadline for submitting an application and supporting documentation for NINE DTP's studentship competition for students wishing to start in October 2017 is 5pm on Monday 16 January 2017.

For full details of the studentship completion, including key contacts and application process, please refer to the NINE Doctoral Training Programme page.

Details regarding other Queen's Doctoral Training Centres click here.

Larmor University Studentships

These studentships were founded in 1943 under the will of Sir Joseph Larmor, FRS, for the purpose of augmenting the emoluments otherwise held by specially deserving students. They have since been supplemented from University funds and are therefore now called Larmor-University Awards.

To be eligible for consideration, candidates must meet the following criteria:

(i) have obtained, not more than three years previously, a good honours degree from any institution; and
(ii) hold another awards/scholarship from the University or from some other funding source; and
(iii) be enrolled or intend to enrol at Queen's as a full-time or part-time postgraduate students for research on an approved course for 2019-20

The value of the award will depend on the funds available, but will be such that, when added to the other awards held, the total does not exceed the value of a government-financed postgraduate studentship covering maintenance and full tuition fees. In recent years the Larmor University studentships awarded have been in the region of £2,000 - £3,000.  Subject to funds, it is expected that the award will be in the range of £2,500 to £5,000.

To apply: please complete the Larmor University Application Form.

Candidates are asked to give the details of two referees who may be contacted regarding their application.

Completed application forms to be emailed to the Graduate School (FAO Postgraduate Awards) by deadline 17 July 2019

Candidates will be notified of outcomes by 09 August 2019.

The Graduate School (Postgraduate Awards)
Queen's University Belfast
University Road
Belfast, BT7 1NN
Northern Ireland

Dr RWM Strain Masonic Charitable Trust Development and Innovation Bursaries

The Dr RWM Strain Masonic Charitable Trust Development and Innovation Bursaries will normally be awarded to up to five postgraduate students who are in financial need and/or who require financial support to participate in further high-quality, transdisciplinary training and development. Established in 2018, the Bursaries are named in honour of Dr Bill Strain, a Queen’s graduate and long serving physician at the Ulster Hospital.

The Bursaries are designed to financially support and motivate postgraduate students at Queen’s who are members of the Order of Freemasons of the Irish Constitution, or the spouse, child, relative or dependant of a member.

To be eligible for consideration an applicant must;

  • Hold an offer of a place for postgraduate course in 2019-20 academic year at Queen’s University Belfast.  A candidate who applies during the 2019-20 academic year must be a registered Queen’s postgraduate student.
  • Be a member of the Order of Freemasons of the Irish Constitution, or the spouse, child, relative or dependant of a member. This will be verified by the Graduate School in conjunction with the Trustees of the Dr RWM Strain Masonic Charitable Trust. 
  • Provide a summary of their financial information which demonstrates that they are in financial need and/or require financial support to further their career ambitions by participating in innovation training and development activities through the Graduate School (e.g. CMI Level 7).  Students will be asked to provide this information during the application process.

For further details please refer to Guidance Notes.

To apply: please complete an online Application Form.

Closing Date: 19 August 2019 *

*Applications submitted after 19 August 2019 date may be considered subject to availability of funds.

Ulster Gift Fund Scholarship

Are you, or your parents, serving in HM Forces or have you, or your parents, served in HM Forces?

Are you a Queen’s student, or have you been accepted to enrol on an undergraduate or postgraduate course beginning in September 2019?

If the answer to both these questions is ‘YES’, you could be in line to receive The Ulster Gift Fund Scholarship. The Scholarship is offered annually and will be to the value of £400 (subject to availability).

The Scholarship is open to both full-time and part-time students.

Further details and application forms may be downloaded from:

Application forms must be typed or word-processed and submitted in electronic format.

Completed application forms should be submitted to

Closing date: Wednesday 11 October 2019, 16.00.

Please note: Documentary evidence of service record will be required and awards are subject to funding availability.