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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school



Applicants are strongly encouraged to secure funding for their PhD studies. There are a range of different funding sources available, each with their own eligibility conditions. The main sources of funding are listed below for prospective applicants to view. We recommend that applicants begin planning funding applications well in advance of the deadlines, and familiarise themselves with the specific requirements of the funder. Some funders will require an offer of acceptance on the PhD programme from the University of Edinburgh in advance. Securing this offer can take some time, as it involves writing a proposal that meets our required standards and finding suitable supervisors (See ‘How to apply’). Applicants should leave at least one month for this.

In addition, all of the major funding applications are highly competitive and being successful requires a finely honed and carefully thought through proposal. This takes time to produce.

Interested applicants are strongly advised to contact potential supervisors and the PhD in International Development Postgraduate Advisor, Andrew Bowman about suitability for the awards in advance of any applications.

ESRC Funding

ESRC Studentships: The PhD in International Development is eligible for studentships funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). Appplicants must be a United Kingdom citizen or be a resident of another European Union country. Further details on eligibility and how to apply are available from the Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences website here

Instructions on the application process are available here.

Applications for 2018 have now closed.

If you intend to apply for ESRC funding in 2019, please contact the Postgraduate Advisor, Andrew Bowman, as soon as possible.

University of Edinburgh (UoE) funding opportunities

UoE Graduate School of Social and Political Science Scholarships (for PhD study only). These pay fees at the UK/EU rate, plus a maintenance stipend. See here for further details.

Applications for 2018 have now closed.

UoE College Postgraduate Studentships (for PhD study only): These awards cover fees at UK/EU rates, as well as a maintenance stipend. International students applying for studentships must also apply for an Edinburgh Global Research Scholarship or be able to demonstrate the availability of funds to meet the full overseas tuition fee. More information here.

Applications for 2018 have now closed.

UoE Principal's Career Development PhD Scholarships (for PhD study only): The awards are open to UK, EU and overseas students applying to start their first year of study for a research degree in 2016-2017. Award applicants should contact the School with whom they intend to study before applying for the award to ascertain whether the funding is available for the discipline involved. Further details here.

Applications for 2018 have now closed. 

UoE Edinburgh Global Research Scholarships (for PhD study only): These partially pay fees for overseas students. University awards may be available to top-up other awards to cover full fees costs for overseas students. The Scholarships are renewable up to three years. Further details here.

Applications for 2018 have now closed. 

UoE Chrystal Macmillan PhD StudentshipOne PhD Studentship is available to applicants working in the fields of social justice, gender and equality, human rights and peace and conflict resolution.  This studentship covers University tuition fees at the Home/EU rate, and a stipend (amount to be confirmed), for a maximum of three years (pro-rata for part-time students). Further details here.

Applications for 2018 have now closed.

Carnegie PhD ScholarshipsThe scholarships cover tuition fees, maintenance allowance, research and travel allowance. The awards are tenable for three years for full-time study and up to six years for part-time study. Applicants must hold a First Class Honours undergraduate degree from a Scottish University. Students in their final year of an undergraduate degree who are expected to obtain a First-Class Honours degree may also apply,  but they will be required to withdraw from the competition if they fail to graduate with a First. Further details here.

Applications for 2018 have now closed.

Commonwealth PhD Scholarships

Commonwealth PhD Scholarships: Commonwealth Scholarships for PhD study in the UK are offered for citizens of Commonwealth countries. These scholarships are funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID). Please note, you must apply to your in-country nominating body in the first instance. 

Details on application procedures for scholarships for citizens of low and middle-income Commonwealth countries can be found here.

The deadline for 2018 has now passed.

Details on application procedures for scholarships for citizens of high-income Commonwealth countries can be found here.

The deadline for 2018 is 22nd May.

Other funding opportunities

AHRC studentship competition awards: The Arts and Humanities Research Council offers funding in various strategic and priority areas, including training grants and collaborative doctoral partnerships. More details on funding and training opportunities here:

Carnegie/Caledonian PhD Scholarships: The Carnegie PhD Scholarship scheme supports a limited number of graduates, with first class Honours undergraduate degrees from a Scottish university, who wish to pursue three years of postgraduate research leading to a PhD at a university in Scotland. See here for further details.

Beit Trust Scholarships: Beit Trust Scholarships support postgraduate students who are domiciled in Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe to undertake a Masters degree, although awards are occasionally available for PhD study. Further details here:

Chevening Scholarships: The Chevening Scholarship Scheme, funded by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, provides funding for international students to pursue 12-month Masters at UK universities.

Commonwealth Scholarships for PhD and split-site (PhD) study – developing Commonwealth country citizens: Commonwealth Split-site Scholarships support one year’s study at a UK university as part of a PhD being undertaken in your home country, under the joint supervision of a home country and UK supervisor. You must apply directly to the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission using their Electronic Application System (EAS). Further details here:

Graduate Discount University of Edinburgh graduates receive a 10% discount in postgraduate tuition fees. The scheme applies to both home and overseas students.

Do also explore other possibilities at the University's Scholarships and Student Finance Office website. The website includes a facility to search by region, with the listing including a range of opportunities for Africa-based students.