One of the most asked questions about doing a postgraduate degree at Oxford is: how can I get funded? Most of our peers who finished a bachelor’s degree might go out to look for jobs and, approaching mid-twenties, it would be no fun doing a degree and having no money… Hence, here is a little summary and some info about how to get funding for a PhD.
The first thing you need to start with is: which research group do I want to apply for? Once you decided who you want your PI to be, you should contact your PI. Your PI and her/his lab might be participating in PhD studentship programmes which could get you funded. Write them an email to introduce yourself and ask: does your lab participate in any fully funded scholarship programmes?
Once they reply, you might know what is available to you. For biosciences, here are some of the most popular programmes which people apply for:
1. Welcome Trust 4 year PhD Studentship: https://wellcome.org/grant-funding/schemes/four-year-phd-programmes-studentships-basic-scientists
2. Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council: https://www.biodtp.ox.ac.uk/
3. Kennedy Trust Prize Studentships: https://www.kennedy.ox.ac.uk/study-with-us/kennedy-trust-prize-studentships
4. 4 Year MRC WIMM Prize PhD Studentships: https://www.imm.ox.ac.uk/study-with-us/how-to-apply-20
5. The RDM Scholars Programme:https://www.rdm.ox.ac.uk/study-with-us/funding-options/the-rdm-scholars-programme
6. Dunn School Departmental Prize Studentship Competition: https://www.path.ox.ac.uk/content/departmental-prize-studentship-competition-deadline-has-now-passed-competition-applications
7. Jenner Institute: https://www.jenner.ac.uk/graduate-studies/funding-scholarships
9. NIH Oxford-Cambridge scholarship: https://www.ndm.ox.ac.uk/study/information-for-applicants/funding-opportunities/nih-oxford-cambridge-scholars-programme
11. For clinicians via MRC: https://mrc.ukri.org/skills-careers/fellowships/
12. Grand Union DTP: https://www.granduniondtp.ac.uk/
13. Summary of all external funding opportunities: https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/graduateschool/application-process/funding/external-funding
14. Summary of all external funding opportunities for clinicians: https://www.medsci.ox.ac.uk/study/graduateschool/application-process/funding/clinicians
15. Oxford Uni website summary of external funding: https://www.ox.ac.uk/admissions/graduate/fees-and-funding/external-funding
17. NDM Tropical Network Fund: https://www.ndm.ox.ac.uk/study/information-for-applicants/funding-opportunities/ndm-tropical-network-fund
18. Summary of all scholarships from Oxford Biomedical Research Centre: https://oxfordbrc.nihr.ac.uk/training-hub/funding-opportunities/doctoral-awards/
19. The NIHR Doctoral Fellowship: https://www.nihr.ac.uk/explore-nihr/academy-programmes/fellowship-programme.htm
20. The NIHR Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship: https://www.nihr.ac.uk/explore-nihr/academy-programmes/hee-nihr-integrated-clinical-academic-programme.htm
21. Welcome PhD Training Fellowships for Clinicians: https://wellcome.org/grant-funding/schemes/clinical-phd-programmes
22. The British Heart Foundation: https://www.bhf.org.uk/for-professionals/information-for-researchers/what-we-fund
25. The MS Society: https://www.mssociety.org.uk/research/researchers/funding/types-research-awards
27. The British Geriatrics Society (BGS) and the Dunhill Medical Trust (DMT): https://www.bgs.org.uk/policy-and-media/doctoral-training-fellowship-offers-frontline-health-professionals-the-opportunity
28. For US citizens only: https://www.marshallscholarship.org/study-in-the-uk/partnership-scholarships
As you can see, there are many programmes to choose from, but that’s not all. For many departments, including my department, which is Department of Biochemistry, once you apply, you get put forward for the internal Oxford scholarship competition, where you might have a chance to get, for example, Clarendon Scholarship (https://www.ox.ac.uk/clarendon). For this one, you don’t have to apply via a specific programme; rather, you apply via the university for your desired lab or department, and get put forward to be selected for a scholarship.
For international students from various disciplines, Rhodes Scholarship is also available. It’s a competitive scholarship which is open very early in the year, so make sure you apply by the deadline if this is what you want to apply for! https://www.rhodeshouse.ox.ac.uk/scholarships/the-rhodes-scholarship/
And finally, if you are at a loss or unsure if Oxford is right for you, https://www.findaphd.com/ is a great option. They usually list all of the above programmes and more at Oxford and other universities! You can just search them by a keyword, location, and many more. It is a fantastic resource, and so is https://www.findamasters.com/ is you'd like to get a master’s degree!
Hope this helps and good luck if you are applying!