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Department of Zoology


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. 

  1. Departmental PhD Studentships for entry in 2020-21
  2. Funding offered by the University of Cambridge (e.g., Gates, Cambridge Trust, CHSS)
  3. Natural Environment Research Council Earth System Science (NERC ESS) DTP

**Update: Please note that there will be no Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership (BBSRC DTP) PhD studentships available at the University of Cambridge for admission in October 2020.**

Departmental PhD Studentships for entry in 2020-21

Further information on the Balfour Studentship and John Stanley Gardiner Studentship, including eligibility, can be found on our Trust Funds page.

Application procedure for the Departmental PhD Studentships:

To be considered for the Departmental PhD Studentships, candidates must have applied to the University of Cambridge (following the normal application process via the Applicant Portal) by noon on 7 January 2020Please note that to be considered, supporting documents must also have been provided as detailed by central Graduate Admissions.

Interviews are likely to be held in February-March 2020.

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 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 Cambridge Funding Search also contains a wide range of additional scholarships, offered by Cambridge departments and the Colleges.

Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) Cambridge Earth System Science DTP

The University of Cambridge is offering a number of 3.5-year NERC funded studentships starting in October 2020. 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 on the NERC DTP website, but you may also propose your own project. Full information on eligibility, how to apply, and the projects available, can be found on the Cambridge Earth System Science DTP website. They will also shortly be listed under the 'Available projects' section of our website.

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.

Wellcome Trust 4-Year PhD Programme in Developmental Mechanisms

**Update: Unfortunately the funding for the University of Cambridge programme in Developmental Mechanisms has not been renewed. However, a standalone MPhil in Developmental Biology for October 2020 admission is currently being advertised, please visit the programme website for further information:**