Scholarships and funding

The College of Medical and Dental Sciences (MDS) recruits to a number of fully funded studentships each year across many key areas of College research.

PhD Opportunities in MDS

PhD Opportunities are advertised under one of the eight College Institutes in which they will be primarily based. For information on our latest vacancies and scholarship opportunities please see the Doctoral Researcher Database.

Kennedy Trust MB-PhD Programme

The Kennedy Trust MB-PhD Programme provides an outstanding opportunity for early career training in a dynamic, multidisciplinary environment. Each year we are able to offer three Intercalating PhD studentships (MBPhDs) in Musculoskeletal & Inflammatory Diseases. The programme is led by Professor Karim Raza.
The application process for June 2023 entry to the programme has now closed.  Applications for June 2024 entry will open towards the end of 2023 – please check back then for further details

For further information, please visit the Kennedy Trust MB-PhD programme website 

Cancer Research UK Clinical PhDs at the University of Birmingham

Kick-start your clinical academic career at the University of Birmingham and help to make it one of the UK’s most successful sites for translationally oriented cancer research. Applications are invited for clinical PhD studentships funded through the Cancer Research UK Clinical Academic Training Programme.

Wellcome Trust Four Year PhD Programme in Inflammation 

Mechanisms of Inflammatory Diseas(MIDAS)
The Wellcome Trust Doctoral Training Programme in Mechanisms of Inflammatory Disease is designed to train the next generation of leading scientists in all aspects of inflammation biology. The Centre will be led by Professors Steve Watson (Medical School) and Robin May (Biosciences). For further information visit the MIDAS website.


The Advanced Inter-Disciplinary Models (AIM) PhD programme is a Doctoral Training Partnership between the Universities of Birmingham, Leicester and Nottingham together with our Associate Partners, the Research Complex at Harwell, Mary Lyon Centre and Rosalind Franklin Institute. The research projects that PhD students within AIM undertake use cutting-edge, inter-disciplinary research methods to create and interrogate innovative models of disease. As part of the partnership, AIM PhD students work with complex data, cell-based models, model organisms and patients to better understand areas of clinical need such as metabolic and infectious diseases, cancer, chronic inflammatory conditions and respiratory disease, and psychological disorders. For further information visit the AIM website.

Funding for prospective students

A number of other funding opportunities are available to prospective postgraduate students throughout the year at College and University level. To discover whether you are eligible for any of these awards, please visit the University's Postgraduate Funding Database. The University also awards a number of scholarships for international students.

Research council funding

There are seven government-funded research councils that offer financial support to postgraduate students. The majority of the awards made by these councils are to students undertaking research degrees, though there are a few awards available to students on taught programmes. Full research council awards will cover the cost of tuitions fees and also provide a maintenance grant to support you during your study. Depending on your residency status and the research council you apply to, some EU students may be eligible for a fees only award. The value of fees and maintenance grant support that you receive is defined by Research Councils UK, the governing body for all seven of the UK research councils. See RCUK minimum stipend rates.

More information about the research councils is available from the Research Councils UK website or contact the University Graduate School:

Postgraduate Doctoral Loans

The UK Government have introduced a new postgraduate doctoral loan of up to £25,000 per student for postgraduate doctoral courses which will be divided equally across each year of your course. You can use the loan to cover course fees and living costs. Information on Postgraduate Doctoral Loans

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for each research programme can be found in the individual programme pages. Unless otherwise stated fees are payable for each year of your programme of study. Use our Funding database to find funding you could be eligible for - some awards cover tuition fees.

Please note that research programmes involving intensive laboratory, clinical or fieldwork will incur an additional bench fee cost. This will be fully discussed with you as part of the application process.