Global Challenges PhD Scholarships

We are investing in up to 20 fully-funded Global Challenges PhD scholarships, addressing the key global issues of the modern world and inviting the very best applicants to join us in our research.

We are offering up to 20 fully-funded Global Challenges PhD scholarships, available to UK/EU applicants. Find out more about how to apply, the funding available, and the themes under which the scholarships work below.

The Global Challenges themes

The scheme– under the title of 'Understanding and tackling global challenges'– encompasses fourteen themes, with projects involving joint supervision across schools or colleges:

  • Air pollution
  • Cancer research
  • Climate change
  • Food security and cold storage
  • Gender inequality
  • Global infection
  • Global Maternal Health
  • Global surgery
  • Inter-religious understanding
  • Migration
  • Plastics
  • Social Mobility
  • Water availability/cleanliness
  • Youth Mental Health

Please note: Not all themes have projects available for 2019 entry. The projects available vary each year.

Scholarship value and duration

The award comprises:

  • Full payment of tuition fees at UK Research Councils UK/EU fee level (£4,327 in 2019/20), to be paid by the University;
  • An annual tax-free doctoral stipend at UK Research Councils UK/EU rates (£15,009 for 2019/20), to be paid in monthly instalments to the Global Challenges scholar by the University;
  • The tenure of the award can be for up to 3.5 years (42 months).

Download our terms and conditions for the scholarships.

The scheme will be co-funded by philanthropic donations from alumni and other individual donors raised through the Development and Alumni Relations Office fundraising activities, matched centrally by the University for a period of five years, initially on a ratio of 50:50. 

How to apply

  1. Apply directly via the University of Birmingham Postgraduate application system, the Postgraduate portal, by clicking 'Apply online' on the relevant project below.
  2. Within the application, at the 'Programmes open for Admission' page, please select ‘PhD Global Challenges FT’.
  3. Please detail the advertised supervisor and project title under the 'Research Information' section of the application form.
  4. Please note, as a standard application process, you will be asked to submit a proposal as part of your application. Please complete "Global Challenges PhD Scholarship: project title" for this section as you will be applying for an established project by the supervisor. 

You can use our advice and guidance pages as you complete your application. Applications should include a statement of research interests. We encourage you to contact prospective supervisors informally to discuss the project.

Successful applicants are expected to start their research project from September 2019.

Our Global Challenges PhD projects

Applications for 2019 entry are now closed. Projects for 2020 entry will be announced in December 2019.