School of Social and Political Science

Chrystal Macmillan PhD Scholarship


The scholarship application system for academic year 2024/25 closed at 23:59 (GMT) on Thursday, 1st February 2024. Late applications cannot be accepted.

As a guide to competition levels, in the 2023/24 cycle 77 applicants applied for 1 scholarship. The number of available awards may change each year. For 2024/25 we are offering a minimum of 1 Chrystal Macmillan PhD Scholarship.

This scholarship supports students who aspire to influence social change. It offers the opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Chrystal Macmillan, the University of Edinburgh's first woman to graduate with a science degree and a lifelong campaigner for social justice.

We offer this scholarship as a three-year full-time or six-year part-time option to a student working in any of these fields:

  • social justice
  • gender and equality
  • human rights
  • peace and conflict resolution

The award will be open to new PhD students only.

Chrystal Macmillan

Chrystal Macmillan was a pioneering campaigner for social justice. In 1896, she was the first woman to graduate from the University of Edinburgh in science, later converting to law, and becoming one of the first group of women to be called to the English bar in 1924.

She was a leading suffragist, campaigning for votes for women and equality of opportunity in other spheres. She was a prominent figure in the international women's movement, campaigning for peace and conflict resolution during the First World War, and was a delegate to the Paris Peace Conference in 1919.

We have recognised these achievements by naming our School's building the Chrystal Macmillan Building and by establishing a PhD scholarship in her name.


Application deadline

Information on scholarship availability and application opening and closing dates will be advised.

In order to gain access to the scholarship application system, applicants must have applied for admission to the University of Edinburgh.  Applicants must submit two separate applications by the deadline:

  • Application for admission to a PhD degree in the School of Social and Political Science (must be submitted at least 5 working days before the scholarship deadline)
  • Application for Chrystal Macmillan PhD Scholarship

Updated or additional documents or information for your PhD programme application cannot be accepted after you have received an offer for the programme. Before then, any updated or additional documents must be uploaded directly to your PhD application via your MyEd account.

Updated or additional documents or information for your scholarship application cannot be accepted after you have submitted your scholarship application.

Late applications cannot be accepted.

Chrystal Macmillan PhD Scholarship application process

Ensure you visit the Important Information and Recommendations section before you apply. We consider this section to be essential reading.

The scholarship award application process involves two main applications:

  • Apply for your chosen PhD degree programme
  • Apply for the Chrystal Macmillan PhD Scholarship

Application for admission to a PhD degree

Please note: you will only be able to apply for a scholarship after you have submitted an application to study.

The application to study must be submitted at least 5 working days prior to the scholarship application deadline. This allows your University Username (UUN eg s1234567) to be activated in time for you to submit your scholarship application before its deadline.

The application to study is made via the University's on-line applications system EUCLID. 

You do not need to wait to receive an offer to study before applying for a Chrystal Macmillan Scholarship - but you must submit a complete application to study by the deadline or your Chrystal Macmillan application will not be considered.

You must submit a full application by the scholarship deadline, including:

  • research proposal
  • final or interim official undergraduate and postgraduate transcripts (note - PhD Social Anthropology applications require undergraduate only)
  • name of proposed supervisor
  • references

References and research proposal for the application to study are also used for the scholarship application and will be automatically pulled through to the scholarship system.

For further information on PhD study please see our PhD Programmes webpage.

For further information on the application process, please see our how to apply page.

Application for the Chrystal Macmillan PhD Scholarship

Once you have submitted your application for study you can then submit your funding application(s). You must submit a separate application for each individual funding scheme you are applying to.

You do not need to wait to receive an offer to study before applying for a Chrystal Macmillan Scholarship, but you must submit a complete application to study by the deadline or your Chrystal Macmillan application will not be considered.

Application to the Chrystal Macmillan Scholarship is via the University's on-line scholarships application form located within the EUCLID applicant hub.

After submitting your application for your programme of study, you will receive a University Username (UUN) and access to MyEd where you can reach the scholarship application system.

Please note that applications for the Chrystal Macmillan PhD Scholarship are extremely competitive, and every year demand far outstrips supply. 

Supporting documents

The supporting documents submitted with your application to study (research proposal, academic transcripts and references etc.) will be used to assess your funding application.

Research proposal

We recommend you follow the guidance on writing research proposals.

Personal statement

The scholarship application system will ask you to provide a personal statement (up to 500 words/3500 characters including spaces).

We are interested in you as a whole person, not just academically. Please tell us about your preparedness to undertake and complete a PhD and to flourish as a result of PhD funding, and how you will contribute to a positive and diverse PhD community within the School. This could include diversity of identity, experience, or viewpoint. You may also wish to include any experience of overcoming adversity.

Conditional offers

Note that applicants in receipt of conditional offers (including conditional on English language) are still eligible to apply for the Chrystal Macmillan PhD Scholarship. 

Should you receive an award, but not meet the conditions of your offer, you would not be able to take up the award.

Help and support

Our self-assessment page, provides helpful information about the factors that help make a successful application.

Information on the Student Systems website may help you with guidance on the scholarship application system.

Applying for a postgraduate scholarship

Technical support and guidance

You can also view our applying for scholarships frequently asked questions: 

Frequently asked questions - applying for scholarships in the MyEd portal

Value of award

This scholarship covers:

  • Full tuition fees (UK, EU or Overseas level)
  • The stipend will be set to the UKRI level for 2024/25. The UKRI level for 2023/24 is currently £18,622 for full-time students, or the pro rata equivalent for part-time students.

Awards are made for one year in the first instance and are renewable for up to a further two years (pro-rata for part-time students), subject to satisfactory academic progress.

PhD students in the School of Social and Political Science can apply to the PGR Research Support Fund for help with fieldwork and other research-related costs throughout their period of study, providing they meet the fund's eligibility criteria. Chrystal Macmillan scholars may apply for this fund.


This Scholarship is available only to students intending to commence PhD study in September 2022 and who are pursuing a PhD topic in one of the following fields: 

  • social justice
  • gender and equality
  • human rights
  • peace and conflict resolution

Please note this award is only for PhD study, not for MSc by Research.

When making decisions, the Selection Committee will consider:

  • the applicant's academic achievements
  • research proposal
  • research potential
  • any publications made
  • any relevant non-academic experience
  • the degree of support provided by references

Financial status and nationality are not taken into account.

Other funding opportunities

This funding form is also used for several other awards, including:

Important - please ensure you check each scholarship deadline as they may differ.

You must enter a separate funding application for each award you wish to be considered for

Assessment process and results

Stage One

Postgraduate Advisors and supporting Subject Area academics assess scholarship applications for their Subject Areas.

Scholarship applicants are then ranked and the top candidates are put forward to the next stage. Applicants not progressing to Stage Two will be notified by the end of April.

Stage Two

A panel of assessors, comprising of the Director and Deputy Director of Postgraduate Research Programmes and at least one other senior School academic, assess all ranked scholarship applicants and rank them individually.

The ranks are then collated, and agreement on awards, reserves, and unsuccessful applicants are documented, with notifications emailed to applicants. Awardees are given 7 calendar days to respond to the scholarship offer. If no response is received by the given date, the offer will be rescinded and awarded to the next reserve candidate.

Assessors will use the SGSSS Marking Framework for their ranking process in both stages.

The School selection panel will meet in the Spring, and results will be communicated to candidates by email shortly thereafter. 

Note that we also hold a reserve list; in the event that a successful candidate later declines their award, for example because they obtain different funding. In this case, the award will be offered to the top candidate on the reserve list. 

We aim to have contacted all Chrystal Macmillan PhD Scholarship candidates to let them know the outcome of their application by the end of May.

Due to the volume of applications we receive and the lengthy assessment and ranking process, we are unable to answer individual responses until then.

Student category