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Funding a PhD

Funding for PhDs is available through CENTA and STEM Faculty studentships. You can also contact us to discuss a 'candidate-initiated project, and/or apply to 'self-fund' your PhD.

NERC DTP CENTA-funded studentships

We welcome applications for CENTA studentships from UK and EU students. These PhD opportunities are co-funded through the NERC DTP CENTA and the OU.

The studentships provide an annual stipend, a research training support grant, and all academic fees are covered. The deadline for applying for a CENTA PhD studentship will be announced on an annual basis (see Current Opportunities and How to Apply).

Students from outside of the EU are not eligible. Further guidance about eligibility is available at UKRI Terms & Conditions.

In the video below, Eleni Wood talks about the benefits of being a CENTA student and how she went about applying.

STEM-funded studentships

These PhD opportunities are funded by the STEM Faculty at the OU. The studentships provide an annual stipend, a research training support grant, and all academic fees are covered.

The deadline for applying for a STEM PhD studentship will be announced on an annual basis (see Current Opportunities and How to Apply).

Other externally funded studentships

Periodically we have PhD studentships available that are funded through various external sources, such as charities, other DTPs, or project grants. The deadline and eligibility for applying for these PhD studentships vary, so please check the announcements (see Current Opportunities and How to Apply).

Candidate-initiated PhD projects

For NERC and STEM funded studentships, as well as self-funded PhD projects, we welcome candidate-initiated PhD projects. If you wish to co-design a project with a supervisor here at the OU, then you must contact them well in advance of the application deadline to develop the project together. You can find a potential supervisor through looking at our research pages and contacting the Research Group Lead.

If you need help finding a potential supervisor then please contact the Postgraduate Research Tutor, Kadmiel Maseyk.

Self-funding

You may wish to apply as a self-funded PhD student. If this is the case, the best place to start is by contacting an academic staff member who might become your supervisor to discuss your research ideas. They may be able to advise on applying to funding bodies and putting together a research proposal.

To start looking for an academic supervisor, we suggest that you look at our research pages and contact the relevant Research Group Lead.

In the video below, Kerry Reid talks about how she came to do her PhD at the Open University.

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