Research Council funding

The University of Birmingham is in the privileged position to support postgraduate researchers who are funded by all seven of the UK Research Councils. The University Graduate School helps manage the funding of these students. 

Prospective postgraduate researchers

Piggy bank

If you are looking for information on how to fund a postgraduate research degree then please have a look at our dedicated doctoral researcher funding pages. You might also be interested in attending one of our annual postgraduate open day.

There is also a postgraduate funding database that you might find useful. It contains the details of postgraduate taught and postgraduate research funding opportunities available to support your studies at the University of Birmingham.

Arts and Humanities Research Council

The AHRC states: "As the UK’s largest funder of postgraduate study in the arts and humanities, the AHRC will continue to fund the development of the next generation of arts and humanities researchers. This will be provided mainly, but not exclusively, through the next phase of the Block Grant Partnership, which will fund five new cohorts of students from 2014 to 2018."

The AHRC website contains further information on arts and humanities funding, or alternatively see the University Graduate School funding pages.

Biotechnology and Biological Science Research Council

The BBSRC funds around 2000 postgraduate researchers at PhD and Masters level. In their own words: "The  BBSRC regards a postgraduate research programme as an essential first phase of training in the career of a research scientist. The skills which you as a student will develop in the course of your postgraduate research programme will cover both scientific expertise and broader professional skills. The postgraduate research programme provides, therefore, training and experience which are highly valued in a knowledge-driven economy, and in a variety of different careers."

The BBSRC website contains further information on biological science funding, or alternatively see the University Graduate School funding pages.

Economic and Social Research Council

The ESRC supports around 4000 researchers and postgraduate researchers at any one time, including funding over 600 postgraduate students each year. 

The University of Birmingham runs one of the 21 accredited ESRC Doctoral Training Centres (DTC). More information on the Birmingham DTC can be found here.

The ESRC website contains further information on social science funding, or alternatively see the University Graduate School funding pages.

Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council

The EPSRC covers research in the areas of chemistry, engineering, information and communications technologies, materials, mathematical sciences and physics and invests over £800 million per year in these subjects. 

The EPSRC website contains further information on physical science and engineering funding, or alternatively see the University Graduate School funding pages.

Medical Research Council

The MRC is a publicly-funded organisation dedicated to improving human health. They support research across the entire spectrum of medical sciences, in universities and hospitals, in the UK, and in Africa.

The MRC website contains further information on medical science funding, or alternatively see the University Graduate School funding pages.

Natural Environmental Research Council 

NERC is the UK's main agency for funding and managing research, training and knowledge exchange in the environmental sciences.

The NERC work covers the full range of atmospheric, Earth, biological, terrestrial and aquatic science, from the deep oceans to the upper atmosphere and from the poles to the equator. They receive around £370 million of government funding annually. 

The NERC website contains further information on natural or environmental science funding, or alternatively see the University Graduate School funding pages.

The Science and Technology Facilities Council

The STFC formed in April 2007, following a merger between the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Centre (PPARC) and the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC). They currently fund over 900 PhD Studentships particularly in astronomy, particle physics, space science and nuclear physics and manage an annual budget of just under £500 million.

The STFC website contains further information on the scope fo their funding, or alternatively see the University Graduate School funding pages.

For any enquiries about Research Council funding at the University of Birmingham, please email studentships@contacts.bham.ac.uk.