What is a studentship?
PhD studentship awards embed the 3Rs in the training of graduate scientists from a broad range of scientific backgrounds. Applications from any area of medical, biological or veterinary research are within remit; those that integrate a range of disciplines or include an industrial partner are particularly encouraged. This competition is run annually with up to twelve awards, with a value of £30k (non-FEC) per annum for three years, available each year. The budget for the 2018 call is £1.08 million.
This year, up to three additional joint awards are available with the British Heart Foundation (BHF), with a value of £30k (non-FEC) per annum for three years. Applications for the NC3Rs-BHF awards should seek to obtain 3Rs impact in the field of cardiovascular research. These awards are subject to joint NC3Rs-BHF terms and conditions. Further information on joint awards made in previous years can be found within 'Our Science' pages.
Panel meeting outcome reports and award rates for previous calls can be found here.
Applicants should read the NC3Rs Applicant and Grant Holder Handbook which contains more detailed information on the application process.
Highlight notice for 2018
Across all of our funding schemes in 2018, we are running a highlight notice for applications incorporating systematic reviews within their proposed project plans/ programmes of work. Potential applicants are advised to contact the NC3Rs funding team before submitting an application under this highlight notice. Further information can be found on our funding scheme priority areas webpage.
Prospective PhD students
We do not fund students directly. Studentship vacancies arising from our 2017 awards are advertised by the relevant research institutions and on our website.
|1 May 2018, 4pm||Deadline for outline submission to NC3Rs Office|
|23 May 2018||Application form available on Je-S|
|11 July 2018, 4pm||Full application deadline on Je-S|
|Start of October 2018*||Inform applicants of outcome following Triage*|
|October 2018||Studentship Assessment Panel meeting|
|End of October 2018||Applicants informed of outcome|
|Any time after issue of Award letter||Expected studentship start date|
|September 2019||Grantholder Introductory meeting|
|1 October 2019||Latest date for commencing studentships|
*Occurrence of this stage is determined by the volume of applications received each year.
Please sign up to the NC3Rs newsletter for updates on funding schemes.
Supervisors from any UK research establishment including:
The research organisation is responsible for finding students and the administration of each studentship during the award.
Industrial and overseas researchers
Industrial and overseas researchers cannot be Primary Investigators but can be included as collaborators or project partners.
The NC3Rs does not allow resubmission of previously unsuccessful proposals, unless explicitly invited by the Panel. Proposals previously declined by the NC3Rs will not be considered by another Research Council or funder within 12 months (from the date of submission to the original Research Council) unless substantially revised. More information can be found in the NC3Rs Applicant and Grant Holder Handbook.
Please note: The same or similar application cannot be considered by any other Research Council, the Health Departments or any other research funder at the same time.
Applicants are advised to read and refer to the NC3Rs Applicant and Grant Holder Handbook, particularly Section 4.4 Studentship Scheme – Application Guidance, which contains more detailed information on submitting both an outline and full application. Applicants should also take note of the 'Considerations at informal outline stage' and 'Studentship panel scoring criteria' when compiling an application.
Please ensure that the correct forms are used at both outline and full application stage.
Outlines and full applications received after 4pm on the deadline date will not be considered, without exception.
We hosted a Webinar on 3 April 2018 to provide applicants with further information and guidance on the scheme and application process.
Before submitting a full application applicants are required to complete an outline of the research proposal (see Related Documents below). A letter of support from the Head of Department and the main Supervisor's CV (to include supervisory experience and not to exceed three sides of A4) are also required.
Please email the below to firstname.lastname@example.org before 4pm, 1 May 2018:
- Completed outline form
- Head of Department letter of support
- Main supervisor's CV
Submitting a full application
We use the Research Councils' joint electronic submission system (Je-S) and applications are processed by the RCUK Shared Business Services.
Important points to note - additional documents to upload as part of the Je-S application:
- NC3Rs Studentship Supporting Information Form (compulsory)
- Animal research questions in Annex 1 (if applicable)
Invited, full proposals must be submitted via Je-S. Applicants submitting under the highlight notice, should note this within their outline form and, if invited, the ‘Objectives’ and the ‘Case for Support’ sections of their full applications.
If you experience difficulties using Je-S or have questions regarding its use, contact the Je-S helpdesk.
Email: JeSHelp@rcuk.ac.uk Phone: +44 (0) 1793 44 4164
Applications are assessed by the Studentship Assessment Panel. The following criteria are taken into consideration when making funding decisions:
- Potential impact on the 3Rs
- Quality of the proposed project
- Expertise and track record of the Supervisor
- The training / research environment
- Strategic relevance to the highlight notice (where appropriate)
In recent years, due to a high volume of applications received, a triage process has taken place prior to the Panel meeting. Applications are reviewed by the Panel to eliminate those which are not competitive. Only short-listed applications are then considered at the Panel meeting.
Please note the Studentship Panel Scoring Criteria and Guidance below.
- NC3Rs Applicant and Grant Holder Handbook
- MRC Guidance for Applicants and Award Holders
- Studentship application - common errors
- Notes and FAQs
- Webinar and Q&As
- Informal outline stage - considerations
- Studentship Panel triage scoring criteria
- Studentship Panel post-triage scoring criteria