There is a separate FAQ about the rest of the PhD application procedure.NB: Much of what is below is for information only and does not require any action from you. But there are some important exceptions, indicated by the icon , where you must take the initiative.
The answer varies depending on your residency status and in some cases on your proposed area of study. Below is a list of funding sources; click for details. The Informatics Graduate School handles the job of matching candidates to the main funding sources so in many cases you need not take the initiative, apart from indicating on your admission form that you require funding, unless you particularly enjoy filling in application forms. When you have been selected as a candidate for a funding source that requires a separate funding application then we will ask you to complete it. However there are some important exceptions, indicated by the icon , where you must take the initiative.
In particular: if you are a non-UK student, you are VERY STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to apply to any national funding competitions for which you are eligible. The success rate of such applications is likely to be greater than for any source of funding we can provide, and in some cases stipend levels are more generous.
But before you do anything else, please submit an application for admission since most funding sources require candidates to have already received a formal offer of admission. Also, matching of candidates to funding sources (many of which have early application deadlines) can only take into account applications that are completed well before the relevant deadline.
Overall, these funding sources provide support to around 50 PhD students per year. Click here for details of funding awarded in previous years.
Some of our scholarships are earmarked for work in a specific topic area. Some of these are advertised here, but others arise at short notice or have no specific closing date and are offered to applicants who apply for admission in the usual way. Another broad area with earmarked scholarships is Neuroinformatics, see here. But the majority of our scholarships are allocated to the best applicants, without regard to topic of study.
Grants from some funding agencies can fund PhD study. Sometimes fees are paid by the grant (at the "home fees" level, so non-EU students will need a way of covering the difference between overseas fees and home fees, such as an ORS award) and sometimes not. Sometimes the scholarship will involve periods working with an industrial collaborator ("CASE" studentships). Research grant funding will normally dictate your choice of PhD topic within fairly narrow limits because of the need to justify your contribution to the project that provides the funding. Your prospective supervisor will know whether or not he/she has a suitable grant. Some of these opportunities will be advertised here and you should apply before the indicated deadline.
The Doctoral Training Centre in Neuroinformatics and Computational Neuroscience, funded by EPSRC and MRC, provides an average of ten 4-year scholarships per year, covering a 1-year MSc plus 3 years of PhD study. Although the Neuroinformatics DTC is run by ANC, some DTC students are supervised in other Institutes and other Schools.
There is some funding for PhD students from the School of Informatics and the College of Science and Engineering, which is managed by the Informatics Graduate School. In addition, some Institutes in Informatics offer funding to PhD students through the Graduate School. Sometimes this funding is combined with funding from other sources. Most offers are made in early May and there is no need for a separate application.
Informatics Overseas Prize Scholarships are awarded to a few of our most promising new overseas PhD students each year. They provide an extra £1000 per year for living costs on top of any other funding that is offered. There is no need for a separate application.
An ORS (Overseas Research Student) award is a grant covering the difference between the home and overseas PhD fees. New overseas applicants and first-year PhD students are eligible, and the award covers the remaining 2-3 years of fees. The University provides so-called "ORS linked" scholarships, covering the home fee element, to some ORS award holders; there is no separate application procedure for these.
To apply, submit an ORS application and a separate application for PhD admission at the same time or earlier, and provide references that will be used for both PhD admission and ORS selection. Note that the application deadline for these is considerably earlier than most other deadlines, so an early application for admission is essential! Decisions are made in late March.
The Scottish Informatics and Computer Science Alliance (SICSA) runs an annual competition for these prestigious scholarships, which cover fees and stipend at UK/EU level for 3.5 years. The overriding criterion is quality, with adherence with SICSA theme areas as a secondary criterion. The Graduate School pre-selects a number of candidates from those who have applied for admission and asks these students to submit applications to SICSA. Candidates may also apply directly to SICSA. Funding is awarded in two rounds, the first in February and the second in early summer. Note that the application deadline for the first round is considerably earlier than most other deadlines, so an early application for admission is essential!
This scholarship, which covers fees and stipend at UK/EU level for 3 years, is designed for students who plan to start a technology business following their PhD studies. Scholarship holders will undertake a programme of training and development in entrepreneurship alongside their normal PhD studies, tapping into the support offered by the Informatics commercialisation team under PROSPEKT and Informatics Ventures. Candidates should apply by mid-March to the Scholarships Office.
Wolfson Microelectronics plc provides five scholarships per year to PhD students in Informatics or in Engineering and Electronics at the University of Edinburgh. Each award is worth £15000 per year for three years, covering home fees and living expenses. Any applicant to the School of Informatics is eligible, irrespective of topic. The Graduate School pre-selects 5-6 candidates in March and asks these students to submit applications to the Scholarships Office.
A donation from Mary and Armeane Choksi funds a one-year full scholarship to a first-year PhD student in Informatics, covering home fees and living expenses. Any applicant to the School of Informatics is eligible, irrespective of topic. This scholarship is normally awarded in combination with funding from other sources to provide a full three-year scholarship.
These are PhD scholarships for students from India, China, Hong Kong, Brazil, South Africa, Russia and the developing world. Each award covers the full overseas fee plus a stipend for 3-4 years. Each scholarship is co-funded by a UK company together with EPSRC or another research council. There is no need for a separate application.
This scholarship is for former pupils of at least three years standing at George Watson's College with a first-class honours degree from a UK university, or the overseas equivalent, and who have been accepted for full-time PhD study at the University of Edinburgh. The value is £10000/year for 3 years.
National funding competitions are an excellent source of funding for non-UK students, and you are VERY STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to apply to any such schemes for which you are eligible. (Research Council scholarships are the main corresponding scheme for UK students.) Often the success rate is greater than for any source of funding we can provide, and in some cases stipend levels are more generous.
The British Council is a good source of information for non-UK student funding opportunities.
The University of Edinburgh and the China Scholarship Council provide funding for 20 PhD students from China who are working or studying in China at the time of the application. Under this scheme, the CSC provides a scholarship to cover travel and living expenses and the University of Edinburgh provides a scholarship to cover the overseas fees. Candidates need to make three separate applications:
Details of application procedures are here. Note that the application deadline for these scholarships is considerably earlier than most other deadlines, so an early application for admission is essential! The CSC also administers various other scholarship schemes.
Important: Candidates may apply either to the China Scholarship Council scheme or to other scholarship schemes that we administer, not both! Candidates should read and understand the conditions attached to CSC funding before applying -- see the CSC website. When a candidates does apply to the CSC scheme (by completing steps 1 and 2 above) and to other scholarship schemes, the non-CSC applications will be ignored. We have been forced to introduce this rule because of major problems in the past with candidates applying for CSC funding and then withdrawing their applications once they discover the conditions, which is unfair to other CSC scholarship candidates. The advantage of a CSC scholarship application is that eligible candidates are much more likely to succeed than with our other scholarship schemes. Successful CSC scholarship candidates will also receive an Informatics Overseas Prize Scholarship.
IBM runs an international competition for these fellowships. Students must already be enrolled for PhD study to be eligible. Successful candidates receive a stipend plus fees for one year, renewable for up to two further years. They are also encouraged to spend time at an IBM research or development lab as a paid intern. The Graduate School nominates 2 candidates in October and asks these students and their supervisors to fill out IBM's application form. Candidates cannot apply directly.
Microsoft Research runs an international competition for these scholarships. Awards are made by Microsoft Research to prospective supervisors for specific projects and then the supervisor nominates a student to receive the funding. Such students must have been accepted for a PhD or be in their first year of PhD study. They receive an award of £22000/year to cover fees and living expenses for up to three years. They also receive a laptop, an invitation to a summer school at Microsoft Research in Cambridge at the end of their first year, and possibly a subsequent offer of a paid internship at Microsoft Research. Candidates cannot apply directly to Microsoft, and supervisors apply via the Graduate School. Once an award has been made to a supervisor, the availability of the scholarship will be advertised in the same way as with scholarships funded by research grants.
Google runs an international competition for these scholarships. Students funded under this scheme (who can be of any nationality) receive full tuition and stipend plus an award of £2000 toward a personal computer, £3000/year toward conference attendance and travel, a Google research mentor, an invitation to apply for a paid summer internship at Google, and an invitation to the Google Fellowship Forum. The Graduate School nominates 2 candidates mid-March and asks these candidates to fill out Google's application form. Candidates cannot apply directly. Note that candidates for these scholarships are selected in mid-March, so an early application for admission is essential!
This scholarship scheme, run by Google, offers a 5000 euro scholarship for a single academic year. Only females are eligible. Note that the application deadline for these is considerably earlier than most other deadlines!
These are full scholarships for Commonwealth citizens. Selection takes place in the home country, and procedures and deadlines vary. Note that the application deadline is MUCH earlier than most other deadlines!
Yes. The Scholarships Office's A-Z list of awards and per-country list of awards provide some information to get started. Another list, accessible only inside the www.ed.ac.uk domain, is ERI's list of funding opportunities. Finally, your university library probably has a copy of The Grants Register (published by Palgrave Macmillan) which is an encyclopaedic directory of funding opportunities.
No. When you accept a self-funded place, you are agreeing to fully cover the costs of PhD study, which are clearly set out in advance, from your own resources. For whatever reason - probably just too much competition for our finite resources - we were not able to offer funding, and you accepted that decision. Our decision is not subject to revision so there is no point in asking again. That said, there are a few sources of funding for which existing students are eligible: IBM PhD fellowships (second-year students only), Microsoft Research European PhD Scholarships (first-year students only, but preference to new students), Google European Doctoral Fellowships (but preference to new students), ORS awards (first-year non-EU students only, but preference to new students), Google Europe Anita Borg Memorial Scholarships. You may supplement your income by undertaking tutoring and demonstrating but this can only make a minor contribution to your overall budget.
You may supplement your income by undertaking tutoring and demonstrating, and some of these jobs are called teaching assistantships, but such jobs do not suffice on their own to finance PhD study.
No, sorry, except for an MSc taken as part of a "1+3" combined MSc and PhD programme, see the Neuroinformatics DTC and ESRC scholarships. Another exception: students from the USA are eligible for part funding for an MSc by Research from the Scotland USA Graduate Scholarship scheme.
Each funding scheme has its own application deadline. They tend to change slightly every year, so we don't attempt to keep track of them here. Apart from Commonwealth Scholarships, with application deadlines in Autumn, the first deadlines are in January and February, examples of these being ORS awards, SICSA Prize Studentships (first round), China Scholarship Council scholarships, Google European Doctoral Fellowships and Google Europe Anita Borg memorial scholarships.
In the UK, PhD applications are traditionally submitted much later than in some other countries including the US. Funding application deadlines are correspondingly later and some critical information about levels of funding for allocation to applicants is not available until late Spring. But see the next question.
We are sometimes able to make early offers to exceptional candidates, particularly those who have received an offer from elsewhere and need to respond before our offer is due. Please contact us if you are in that position. Expect us to take a few days to come to a decision.
Most funding sources require candidates to have already received a formal offer of admission. Therefore, we often accept a candidate for admission long before it is clear how funding will be handled. This should not be interpreted as a decision not to offer funding unless the offer makes it clear that no funding is available. You might be able to use this letter to apply for funding yourself.
Most funding decisions are made in early May, and offers are sent as soon as possible. Funding schemes with early application deadlines make earlier decisions. Decisions on the second round of applications for SICSA Prize Studentships are made in early summer.
There is a small informal waiting list of candidates who can only be funded if other candidates decide not to accept our funding offers, for which funding decisions are made in July.
Study hard, get good grades, give the people who are writing your references reasons to be impressed with your abilities, devote serious thought to your research proposal, and submit your application as soon as you possibly can, including all supporting material (transcripts etc.).
No, please don't. We will of course try to be polite and will reply to reasonable questions. We will contact you by email when we need information from you.
Scholarship allocation is a complex optimisation problem subject to many real-world constraints. For instance: many funding sources have nationality restrictions; some supervisors have already reached their supervision capacity; some research areas benefit from targeted funding. We attempt to allocate funding to the best candidates, taking these constraints into account.
Don't worry - the Informatics Graduate School handles the job of matching candidates to funding sources so in most cases there is nothing you need to keep track of. Submit your application for admission, check if the questions marked with the icon apply to you and follow the instructions if so, and then wait for the result.
The cost has several components:
Current fee levels and an estimate of the cost of living in Edinburgh are here.
The minimum stipend for UK research council scholarships is as follows:
This is called the minimum stipend because the DTA scheme permits us to grant larger stipends, however we have never done so because the demand for places exceeds the number of scholarships we have to allocate. We take this amount as our standard stipend when awarding other grants from internal funding sources. Some external funding sources may award stipends at a higher or slightly lower level than this.
In recent years, EPSRC has added an significant stipend enhancement to DTA awards in certain subjects including Informatics, which are passed on to scholarship holders. This enhancement is not taken into account in setting the amount of our standard stipend. Note that we do not know the amount of this enhancement when funding offers are made.
The answer depends on the funding source. For EPSRC DTA awards, the rules are the same as those that determine nationality for the sake of fees - namely, country of residence for the past three years. That's not the full story; for details, look here.
Tuition fees for students from the UK and European Union (EU) are heavily subsidised by the government at all UK universities. Non-EU countries are referred to as "overseas", and these students are charged a higher tuition fee.
Different funding schemes use different words - another one is "fellowship" - but there is no practical difference at least as far as PhD study in Informatics at the University of Edinburgh is concerned. (Wikipedia suggests that things might be different elsewhere.)
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