University of Exeter funding: EPSRC funded PhD Studentship

Mathematical Research PhD Studentships - EPSRC Funded Ref: 3830

About the award

The University of Exeter has a number of fully funded EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council) doctoral studentships for 2020/21 entry.

Students will be given sector-leading training and development with outstanding facilities and resources. Studentships will be awarded to outstanding applicants, the distribution will be overseen by the University’s EPSRC Strategy Group in partnership with the Doctoral College.

The University of Exeter stimulates, supports and sustains a vibrant research and intellectual environment, across and between disciplines for postgraduate and early career researchers.  We have invested £350 million pounds in Science and Engineering since 2008 and we are one of the fastest growing and fastest rising research intensive universities in the UK.  We were ranked 16th out of 134 universities in the national Research Excellence Framework (REF) and 98% of our research is rated as being of international quality by REF2014.

For successful eligible applicants the studentship comprises:

  • An index-linked stipend for up to 3.5 years full time (currently £15,009 per annum for 2019/20), pro-rata for part-time students. 
  • Payment of University tuition fees (UK/EU)
  • Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) of £5,000 over 3.5 years, or pro-rata for part-time students

The supervisory team will be made up of at least two University of Exeter academic staff, the location for studying your PhD will be either on Streatham or Penryn campus, dependant on where the lead supervisor is based.

Funding Eligibility
These studentships will be funded by the EPSRC and are available for applicants who are ordinarily resident in the UK and are classed as UK/EU for tuition fee purposes.  If you have not resided in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship, you are not eligible for a maintenance allowance so you would need an alternative source of funding for living costs. To be eligible for fees-only funding you must be ordinarily resident in a member state of the EU.  For information on EPSRC residency criteria click here.

Research Themes within Mathematics

The Mathematics Department seeks to provide a unique research environment, unconstrained by traditional disciplinary boundaries, in which our researchers can develop world-leading theory and methodology, and apply them successfully to cutting-edge problems in science, engineering and medicine. With over 60 permanent academic staff, we have internationally leading research groups in several areas of pure mathematics, applied mathematics and statistics: number theory, geometry and algebra; dynamical systems, control theory and analysis; fluid dynamics, astrophysical fluids and magnetic fields; statistical science and epidemiology; mathematical biology and medicine; and climate dynamics and renewable energy.

Our reputation is reflected in the fact, for example, that we are one of only four UK universities to enjoy an academic partnership with the Met Office. The Department spans the University’s campuses at both Streatham, in Exeter, and Penryn, near Falmouth. We run several regular series of seminars and colloquia, and host visits from internationally leading scholars, providing opportunities for students and staff to meet and discuss the latest mathematical research.

Applicants are invited to submit their own research proposals to one of the following research themes within Mathematics. 

Research Themes

To apply for funding please see the 'How to Apply' section below for full details.


Entry requirements

Applicants should have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of science or technology.  Applicants with a Lower Second Class degree will be considered if they also have Masters degree or have significant relevant non-academic experience.

If English is not your first language you will need to meet the English language requirements and provide proof of proficiency. Click here for more information and a list of acceptable alternative tests

How to apply

To apply for EPSRC funding, you must click on the appropriate mathematical research theme application link listed below. 

You will need to upload the following documents to the studentship application form. Please note our preferred format is PDF, each file named with your surname and the name of the document, eg. “Smith – CV.pdf”, “Smith – Cover Letter.pdf”, “Smith – Transcript.pdf”:

  • CV
  • Research proposal.  You must attach a completed research proposal form of up to 1,500 words, including the name(s) of potential supervisors and the research theme under which your proposal should be considered.
  • Letter of application outlining your academic interests, prior research experience. 
  • Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained.  This should be an interim transcript if you are still studying.
  • Two references (see Reference information section below)
  • If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your current proficiency in English.  For further details of the University’s English language requirements please see

Reference information
If possible, please upload your references to the online application form. If your referees would prefer to send their reference directly to the University, please ask them to send these via email to We will not make requests for references directly; you must arrange for them to be submitted by 2nd March 2020. Please note that applications with missing documentation will not progress to shortlisting.

References should be in the form of a letter. Referees must email their references to us from their institutional email accounts. We cannot accept references from personal/private email accounts, unless it is a scanned document on institutional headed paper and signed by the referee.

All application documents must be submitted in English. Certified translated copies of academic qualifications must also be provided.

The closing date for applications is midnight (GMT) on 2nd March 2020.  Interviews will be held at the University of Exeter Streatham Campus later February and early March.

In order to ensure your application reaches the correct panel, please apply via the theme links below.

Click here to submit an application for Number theory, geometry and algebra

Click here to submit an application for Dynamical systems, control theory and analysis

Click here to submit an application for Fluid dynamics, astrophysical fluids and magnetic fields

Click here to submit an application for Statistical science and epidemiology

Click here to submit an application for Mathematical biology and medicine

Click here to submit an application for Mathematics of the Environment and Sustainability

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email:
Project-specific queries should be directed to the academic contacts listed in the main section.

Data Sharing
During the application process, the University may need to make certain disclosures of your personal data to third parties to be able to administer your application, carry out interviews and select candidates.  These are not limited to, but may include disclosures to:

  • the selection panel and/or management board or equivalent of the relevant programme, which is likely to include staff from one or more other HEIs;
  • administrative staff at one or more other HEIs participating in the relevant programme.

Such disclosures will always be kept to the minimum amount of personal data required for the specific purpose. Your sensitive personal data (relating to disability and race/ethnicity) will not be disclosed without your explicit consent.


Application deadline:2nd March 2020
Value:3.5 year studentship: UK/EU tuition fees and an annual maintenance allowance at current Research Council rate. Current rate of £15,009 per year.
Duration of award:per year
Contact: PGR Enquiries Team