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, Cambridge Trust, CHSS) of Cambridge
- Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) DTP
- Natural Environment Research Council Earth System Science (NERC ESS) DTP
- Wellcome Trust 4-Year PhD Programme in Developmental Mechanisms
- Departmental PhD Studentships for entry in 2017-18
- 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
- tick the box on the Applicant Portal application 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.
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 EEA students who meet the UK residency requirements will be eligible for a full BBSRC studentship. Students from EEA countries who do not meet the residency requirements may still be eligible for a fees-only award. EEA students eligible for a fees only award can apply for University wide funding schemes. 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 apply for the BBSRC-DTP and would also like to be considered by the Department for either a NERC DTP or Departmental Studentship, you must inform the Graduate Administration team, 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 Commonwealth, European and International 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 more than fifteen 3.5-year NERC funded studentships starting in October 2017. The application deadline is 4th January 2017. Several people in the Department of Zoology are members of the Biology Theme, and can therefore supervise a student funded via this programme. Specific projects are listed below, but you may also propose your own project. Full information on how to apply, and the projects available, can be found on the Cambridge Earth System Science DTP website.
Those who have applied to the BBSRC DTP and/or the Wellcome Trust 4-Year Programme can also be considered for the NERC DTP (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 Administration team by 4th January 2017 that this is the case, and that you wish to be considered for one of our NERC projects.
2016-17 projects with supervisors in Zoology listed below for information. 2017-18 projects will be advertised as soon as available:
B201: Palaeontological and developmental approaches for resolving vertebrate phylogenetics and character evolution (Lead Supervisor: Robert Asher, Zoology)
B223: Ecological and economic impacts of the quagga mussel - the UK’s least wanted invasive species (Lead Supervisor: David Aldridge, Zoology)
B224: Ecosystem engineering by native and invasive bivalves (Lead Supervisor: David Aldridge, Zoology)
B226: Implications of sustained animal population declines for conservation (Lead Supervisor: Andrew Balmford, Zoology)
B227: What interventions’ work to reduce people’s consumption of meat? (Lead Supervisor: Andrew Balmford, Zoology)
B232: Evolutionary biomechanics: host specificity and the role of “wax barriers” in Macaranga-ant mutualisms (Lead Supervisor: Walter Federle, Zoology)
B233: Slippery surfaces and sticky fluids of carnivorous pitcher plants: biomechanics and ecology (Lead Supervisor: Walter Federle, Zoology)
B238: Seminal fluid proteins: a new mechanism for non-genetic inheritance? (Lead Supervisor: Rebecca Kilner, Zoology)
B241: You are what you eat: how diet and lifestyle affect the gut microbiota of songbirds (Lead Supervisor: Hannah Rowland, Zoology)
B242: Quantifying the cost effectiveness of conservation interventions (Lead Supervisor: William Sutherland, Zoology)
B245: Genomic insights into late Pleistocene African hunter-‐gatherers: ancient DNA from the hunter-‐fishers of Lake Turkana 10,000 years ago (Lead Supervisor: Eske Willerslev, Zoology)
Many of the Zoology research groups working in the areas of evolutionary and developmental biology participate in this interdisciplinary programme (see list here). This Wellcome Trust funded programme recruits annually from students worldwide, 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 a Departmental Studentship, you must inform the Graduate Administration team, 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.
Departmental Studentships open to Home/EU applicants:
Further information, including eligibility, can be found on the Trust Funds page.
Application procedure for the Departmental PhD Studentships:
All eligible candidates will be automatically considered for these studentships, provided they have applied for admission to the Department of Zoology for a PhD (following the normal application process) by 4th January 2017. Interviews are likely to be held towards the end of February 2017.
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 Administration team by 4th January 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.
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).