STFC Studentships

Qualification: PhD

Department: School of Physics and Astronomy

Application deadline: 31 January 2019

Start date: Autumn 2019


The deadline for STFC applications in 2019 has passed; however, these are annually recurring studentships and this page may give an indication of the subsequent year's information.

Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC) postgraduate studentships are awarded to enable promising scientists and engineers to continue training beyond a first degree. STFC award studentship funding directly to universities and research organisations and not to individual students. If you are interested in applying for an STFC-funded PhD, please contact the institution at which you wish to undertake a research degree directly.

All studentship projects supported through STFC funding must fall within STFC remit. More information about what STFC offer can be found on their website.

Doctoral training partnerships

Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) and Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) are multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional schemes designed to support the training of the next generation of world-class researchers. The University of Leicester is a lead partner in four DTPs/CDTs through which we can offer funded PhD studentships in a wide range of research areas. 

Studentships are available to highly motivated and qualified applicants and provide a generous support package usually including a full fee waiver, annual stipend, and research training support grant. Studentships are in most cases offered early in the year for October start. Enquiries outside of the main application periods are welcomed.



Information about funding can be found at the STFC website.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Information about entry requirements can be found on the STFC website.

Informal enquiries

Informal enquiries

STFC studentships

How to apply

How to apply

The online application and supporting documents were due by 31 January 2019. The two academic references were required by 4 February 2019.

Required materials 

  • Online application form 
  • Two academic references 
  • Transcripts 
  • Degree certificate/s (if awarded) 
  • Curriculum Vitae 
  • STFC Research Interests form 
  • English language qualification 

Applications which are not complete by the deadline will not be considered for the studentship scheme. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure the application form and documents are received by the relevant deadlines. All applications must be submitted online, along with the supporting documents as per the instructions below. 

Online application form

When applications re-open in late 2019, an Apply button will appear at the bottom of this page. For the two sections below, please follow these instructions. 

Research Proposal/Proposal Statement 

Please list the supervisor, code and title of the project you are applying to. You will also be required to upload the STFC Research Interests form (Word, 63KB) when prompted for the Personal Statement upload. If you are applying for more than one project, please list both of the projects in this section. 


Select 'Studentship' and then 'STFC Quota Studentship' from the dropdown menu. 

Two academic references 

When you complete the online application form, you will be required to input the details of your academic referees. Please ensure the email addresses for your referees are correct as they will be used to contact your referees for their reference. It is your responsibility to ensure that the referees upload their references by the references deadline. 


You must upload a copy of your undergraduate transcripts, and postgraduate if applicable, with the online application form. If you have not completed your studies, we still require a current transcript or official record of your marks. 

Degree certificate/s (if awarded)

You must upload a copy of your degree certificates, if you have been awarded.

Curriculum vitae

You must upload a copy of your curriculum vitae (CV) with the online application form

Research Interests form

You must upload a completed copy of the STFC Research Interests form. STFC Research Interests Form.

English language qualification

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence of English language ability. Please note that some English language test results are only valid for two years. Your English language test report must be valid on the start date of your programme.


Interviews for 2019 were held on 20 February and 6 March 2019. You are required to select the interview dates which you are available for on the Research Interests form.

Application tips and advice/application status 

Applying early 

Although the deadline is 31 January, we advise you to apply early so we can advise you of any issues with your application such as missing documents etc. 

As we approach the deadline, we will be busy processing applications and the numerous enquiries we receive, which may delay in us responding to you. We ask that you are patient during this time. 

Online application advice 

  • Check all the email addresses you have entered are correct before submitting.
  • Check you have uploaded the Research Interests Form in place of your personal statement. 

After applying

Once you have submitted your online application form, and uploaded your supporting documents, a copy will be sent to the department for review. As we are anticipating a high number of applications, we ask for your patience as we process your application. Updates on your application will be sent to you as and when appropriate. 

Application timeline 2019

  • 31 January 2019 - Deadline for online application and supporting documents
  • 4 February 2019 - Final deadline for references
  • 8 February 2019 - Interview invitations to be sent out
  • 20 February and 6 March 2019  - Interview days
  • 15 March 2019 - Informal offers to be made
  • 31 March 2019 - Deadline for acceptance of offers



Information about eligibility can be found at the STFC website.

Examples of previous STFC studentships

Examples of previous STFC studentships

  • Black hole astrophysics through timing studies
  • Black holes, planets and dynamic accretion discs in astrophysics
  • Developments in Intensity Interferometry
  • Do black holes affect how galaxies evolve?
  • Electrodynamics of the solar wind-magnetosphere-ionosphere-atmosphere coupled system
  • Extra-Solar Gas Giant Planets, Theories Meet Observations
  • Gravitational lenses with ALMA
  • The Hidden Aurora of Uranus
  • Instrumentation for Mars Sample Return
  • Jupiter's infrared aurora
  • Magnetospheres of exoplanets
  • Mapping the central regions of Active Galaxies on microarcsecond scales
  • Mercury's Space Environment
  • Multi-messenger astrophysics
  • The planetary graveyard - searching for the remnants of exoplanet systems around dead stars
  • Radar Sounding of the Martian Atmosphere
  • Searching for variability and companions to brown dwarfs in NGTS
  • Single photon timing in the picosecond regime
  • The transfer of solar wind energy into the upper atmosphere through magnetospheric waves
  • Ultra-low frequency waves in the terrestrial magnetosphere
  • White dwarfs, exoplanets and fundamental physics