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Funding and scholarships for students

Award details

University of Exeter PhD Scholarships for Black British Researchers in the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences. Ref: 5030

About the award

Faculty of Health and Life Sciences

This programme offering 4-year fully-funded PhD studentships to support Black British researchers has been established by philanthropic donations from University of Exeter alumni - you can read more about the donors here

About the scholarship scheme

The aim of these scholarships is to help improve access and participation in PhD study for talented Black British students.  Each studentship offers a comprehensive funding and support package designed to enable students to succeed in their PhD programme and beyond, including:

• 4 years of stipend funding at the UKRI rate (currently £18,622 for 2023/24)
• Funding for tuition fees the Home fee rate
• A research training support grant (to cover project costs; ranging from £2,000 minimum up to maximum of £10,000 for higher cost projects)
• The opportunity to undertake a placement of up to 6 months (in total) during the 4-year PhD programme (with access to additional funding of up to £2,500 to support placement costs).
• Access to mentoring support (specific to this studentship scheme)

Studentships can be held on a full-time or a part-time basis (part-time awards will be made on a pro-rate basis).  Students on this scheme are expected to register on campus-based PhD programmes (i.e. distance learning is not supported).

Studentships for September 2024 entry

This scheme will fund at least eight students in total, with three studentships now open for applications to start a PhD in September 2024 – one in each of our three Faculties.   The information provided here is for applicants to the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences.  

Applications are invited for PhD study in any research area within this Faculty (subject to the availability of suitable supervision).

Please note: other research degree programmes (such as professional doctorates or Masters by Research) are not open for application under the University of Exeter PhD Scholarships for Black British Researchers scheme.


The aim of this scholarship scheme is to improve participation by Black British students in PhD study at the University of Exeter. Applicants must meet the following entry criteria:

• Have UK nationality and have ‘Home’ tuition fee status (your fee status will be assessed when you apply)
• Identify as belonging to any Black ethnic group:

o Black African
o Black Caribbean
o Black Other
o Mixed – White and Black Caribbean
o Mixed – White and Black African
o Other mixed background which includes Black African, Black Caribbean or Black Other

• Applicants should not be already enrolled on a PhD programme at the University of Exeter.

Entry requirements

You will need to meet the academic entry requirements for the particular PhD programme on which you would be registered if successful in your studentship application (please note, you do not need to make a programme application at this stage; just follow the studentship application process outlined below).

How to apply

1. Find a supervisor: you can find out about research areas and supervisors within the Faculty:

Once you have identified a potential supervisor, contact them to find out whether they have a suitable project available to start in September 2024, and to confirm that they are able to supervise you.

2. Complete your application form: click on the ‘Apply now’ button.  In addition to completing the application form, you will need to upload the following documents:

a. Your research proposal (1000-1500 words): this should be developed with your prospective supervisor (but if you would like guidance on how to write a good research proposal, see our webpages for further details.  Your proposal should include:

i. details of your proposed supervisory team and confirmation that they support your application;
ii. the title of the PhD programme you wish to apply for;
iii. an outline budget for your proposed project (your prospective supervisor will be able to advise you on this).

b. A personal statement (200-500 words): this should cover: why you are interested in
    doing a PhD and how it will support your career aspirations; how your experience has
    prepared you for doing a PhD; the fit of your project/experience/aspirations with the
    Department/Faculty research culture and with your prospective supervision team.
c. Your CV (no more than 2 pages)
d. Evidence of prior qualifications: transcripts or degree certificate

3. Organise your references: you must arrange for two referees to provide references for you, one of whom must be from your current/most recent higher education institution.  Please ask your referees to email their references to from their institutional email accounts by the application deadline. We cannot accept references from personal/private email accounts, unless it is a scanned document on institutional headed paper and signed by the referee).

Application deadline and timelines for next steps 

The closing date for submission of applications is midnight (UK time) on Monday 1 April 2024.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview mid-late April, date to be confirmed. 

If you have any questions please contact


Application deadline:1st April 2024
Number of awards:1
Value:4 year funding covering Home Tuition Fees, a stipend at the UKRI rate (currently £18,622 for 2023/24) and a research training support grant to cover appropriate project costs.
Duration of award:per year
Contact: PGR Admissions Office