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UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) funding

As a successful research-intensive university, Birkbeck is able to offer MPhil/PhD studentship funding via UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). This page will tell you more about the Research Councils, the funding opportunities they provide and previous and ongoing partnerships between UKRI and Birkbeck.


  • UKRI is a partnership between seven research councils, Innovate UK and Research England, which allocate billions of pounds of funding for research across the UK, including funding of PhD studentships. The majority of Research Council studentships are available via Doctoral Research Programmes (DTP) and Birkbeck is able to offer funded MPhil/PhD studentships through these programmes. 
  • Due to the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of research, these funding opportunities may provide opportunities to study for an MPhil/PhD in more than one school or department at Birkbeck. Research Council funded studentship programmes also include opportunities to apply for collaborative/industrial placements, where research students spend part of their time with a non-academic partner, which could be a company (e.g. CASE studentships) or a museum/archive (e.g. Collaborative Doctoral Award).
  • Research Council studentships have specific eligibility requirements, including academic and residency requirements for applicants, which you must meet. EU nationals may qualify for a fees-only award.


  • Birkbeck is part of the Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE) Doctoral Training Programme, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). Details about how to apply for fully funded AHRC studentships are available via the PhD funding page.
  • You can read about Birkbeck's successful AHRC funding bid and find out more about CHASE.
  • Birkbeck has been successfully awarded AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Awards (CDAs), which provide funding for doctoral studentship projects, proposed by a university-based academic, to work in collaboration with an organisation outside of higher education. These doctoral students gain first-hand experience of work outside the university environment and gain enhanced employment-related skills and training during their research. AHRC CDA opportunities will be announced as they become available.


  • Birkbeck is a partner within the interdisciplinary London Interdisciplinary Doctoral (LIDo) Programme), one of the largest BBSRC-funded Doctoral Training Partnerships in the UK. The LIDo programme provides students with opportunities to develop and choose interdisciplinary research projects at Birkbeck for research in cell biology, neurobiology, immunology, developmental biology, physiology, structural biology, chemical biology, biotechnology, microbiology, genetics and evolutionary biology.
  • This BBSRC-funded Doctoral Training Programme offers 30 studentships each year and an additional 14 Industrial CASE studentships.
  • A brief profile of this BBSRC programme is available but, for full details, please see the LIDo web pages.
  • Birkbeck’s involvement in LIDo followed on from a highly successful BBSRC funded joint PhD Structural, Computational, Cell and Chemical Biology.


  • Birkbeck is a partner in the UCL, Bloomsbury and East London (UBEL) Doctoral Training Partnership. The UBEL partnership welcomed the first intake of students in Autumn 2017 and will award over 40 ESRC studentships per year across the participating institutions: UCL, SOAS, Birkbeck, UEL and LSHTM. UBEL offers a range of routes across 25 pathways providing many opportunities for social sciences MPhil/PhD studentships at Birkbeck.
  • Birkbeck was also a partner in the previous ESRC-funded Bloomsbury DTC for the Social Sciences and has a well-established base of ESRC-funded PhD students.


  • The Joint UCL-Birkbeck MRC programme offers students the chance to carry out PhD training across four strategic themes, which include the fundamental mechanisms of disease. Students benefit from the unique research strengths and training infrastructure of Birkbeck and UCL.
  • Birkbeck’s participation in this doctoral programme builds upon previously funded MRC-funded studentships, including the Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology Interdisciplinary MRC PhD Programme, 'Macromolecular machines of biomedical significance'.
  • The studentships are for MPhil/PhD research students in the Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Psychological SciencesThere is a specific neuroscience and mental health theme.


  • PhD training in the natural sciences is available through the London NERC DTP. NERC DTP students undertake an intensive programme of interdisciplinary core research and professional development training in the autumn and spring terms, before submitting a choice of two project titles.
  • Applications to the London NERC DTP programme are for a range of eight research themes, which include Birkbeck research strengths in earth and planetary sciences as well as geography.
  • For full details, please see the NERC DTP web pages.


  • Birkbeck has been successful in securing STFC-funded studentships, which are advertised as they become available.