The funding process
Securing funding to support graduate study is a separate (though related) procedure to the academic application. There are a number of funding opportunities available, but all are very competitive. It is not unusual for applicants who are made a conditional offer of a place to find themselves without the necessary funds to actually commence their study.
Below are just some of the possible funding routes to join the Department for graduate study, but it is not a complete list - often students come here on scholarships from their home country, or funded by charities or other sponsors.
- (Gates, COT, CET, CISS, CHESS) of Cambridge
- Department of Zoology Studentships
- Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) DTP
- Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) DTP
- Wellcome Trust 4-Year PhD Programme in Developmental Mechanisms
- and Bursaries
Funding offered by the University of Cambridge
All eligible applicants will be automatically considered for funding from the Gates Cambridge Trust, the Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International Trust, and the Cambridge Home and European Scholarship Scheme (CHESS) provided they:
- apply for admission to the Department by the appropriate funding deadline
- tick the box on the graduation admissions application form ("GRADSAF") relating to the funding for which you would like to be considered.
For more information about these funding schemes, please consult the funding pages of the Graduate Admissions website.
We have two Departmental PhD Studentships available for entry in October 2014, which cover all fees, and maintenance at the Gates rate. These studentships are open to: 1. A British/EU citizen 2. A Commonwealth (including British) citizen who is ordinarily resident outside Europe but within the Commonwealth of Nations. All eligible applicants will be automatically considered, providing they have applied for admission to the Department by 10th January 2014. Please note that to be considered, you must also have uploaded your CV and research proposal by this date.
Those who have applied to the BBSRC DTP and/or the Wellcome Trust 4-Year Programme can also be considered (without the need for a separate application to Zoology) provided that your potential supervisor is based in the Department of Zoology. You will need to inform the graduate administrator by 10th January 2014 that this is the case, and that you wish to be considered for a Departmental Studentship. You will also need to send a 1-2 page research proposal.
The University of Cambridge and Partner Institutes have a Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) Grant from BBSRC, providing 4-year fully funded studentships under the four broad themes of Basic Bioscience Underpinning Health; Bioenergy and Industrial Biotechnology; Food Security; and World Class Underpinning Bioscience.
UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements are eligible for a full studentship. Students from EU countries who do not meet the residency requirements may still be eligible for a fees-only BBSRC award, and a stipend from the School of Biological Sciences. Further information about eligibility and how to apply can be found here.
NB If you wish to be considered for a BBSRC-funded studentship you will need to apply to the BBSRC DTP course code. If you would also like to be considered by the Department for either a NERC, MRC, or Departmental Studentship, you must inform the Graduate Administrator, by the relevant deadline, who will obtain a copy of your application documents from the BBSRC DTP administrator. You will also need to send a 1-2 page research proposal.
Overseas students are not eligible to receive studentships from Research Councils, but can apply for University-wide funding schemes such as the Gates Cambridge Trust and the Cambridge Overseas & Commonwealth Trust. Overseas students can also apply for funding to support their studies from their home countries or international schemes.
The University of Cambridge is offering up to fifteen 3.5-year NERC funded studentships starting in October 2014. Several people in the Department of Zoology are members of the Biology Theme, and can therefore supervise a student funded via this programme. Full information on how to apply, and the projects available, can be found on the Cambridge Earth System Science DTP website.
Many of the Zoology research groups working in the area of evolutionary and also developmental biology participate in this interdisciplinary programme (see list here). This Wellcome Trust funded programme recruits annually from students world wide, offering five fully funded studentships, including one to overseas candidates. Full information about the programme structure, eligibility and how to apply can be found on the programme website.
NB If you would also like to be considered by the Department for the MRC or Departmental Studentship, you must inform the Graduate Administrator, by the relevant deadline, who will obtain a copy of your application documents from the Programme administrator. You will also need to send a 1-2 page research proposal.
A number of Colleges offer part or full scholarships for graduate students, but they are very competitive. They often have specific eligibility criteria (for example nationality or subject) - the Cambridge Funding Search is a good place to start, but is not an exhaustive list, therefore you would also need to check individual College websites if you wish to make a College choice on this basis (you usually need to list the College as first choice in your application for them to consider you for a scholarship).