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Available Studentships

The studentships below are some of the key funding available within the Department

Dowthwaite MScR Scholarship 2024/25 entry

1 MScR studentship available for October 2024/25 entry​. Fully funded - 100% tuition home fees and annual living expenses of £18,622

  • Apply through the University’s applicant portal to the Physics MSc by Research programme
  • State the area of interest. More information of the research sections can be found here
  • You must indicate that you wish to be considered for Dowthawaite studentship (On the funding tab select ‘yes’ you are applying for a scholarship, select ‘Other’, write Dowthwaite)
  • You should be registered on a BSc Physics course or a Natural Sciences course ​
  • expecting to achieve a minimum of a 2:2 BSc in Physics (or relevant subject)​
  • Open to all but studentship only covers home fees. ​
  • All other things being equal, preference will be given to students who were resident in postcode areas DH, DL, NE, SR or TS at the time of their UCAS application​

Deadline for applications: 14th January 2024


For informal enquiries please contact

Bell Burnell Graduate Scholarship Fund

“An innovative fund instigated by leading physicist Professor Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell and the Institute of Physics to encourage greater diversity in physics by assisting PhD physics students from under-represented groups”

The fund is administered and managed by the IOP - find out more on the IOP website.

Apply through Durham University Applicant Portal You must indicate that you wish to be considered for Bell Burnell Scholarship (On the funding tab select ‘yes’ you are applying for a scholarship, select ‘Other’, write Bell Burnell)

Departmental (internal) deadline for applications 11th December 2023

Successful candidates will be notified week commencing 10th January 2024 to apply to the IOP by the 15th January 2024 to allow for Head of Department (HoD) sign off

Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)

STFC projects are available within Astronomy (CEA/ICC) and Advanced Instrumentation (CfAI)

For STFC-funded positions we strongly recommend submitting applications by Wednesday 4th January 2023 to allow us to shortlist candidates for the interview. Further details can be found on the research areas pages.

For STFC applications in Astronomy, please submit your application via the Applicant Portal. We would be grateful if along with this, please can you also complete the Anonymous Application Form form and return to You can also upload this to the portal.  

Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC)

These important scholarships are available thanks to a partnership with the China Scholarships Council. The scholarships are open to applicants from Mainland China wishing to study for a PhD at Durham. Information about how to apply and eligibility can be found here

Applicant must:

Apply through Durham University Applicant Portal You must indicate that you wish to be considered for China Scholarship Council (On the funding tab select ‘yes’ you are applying for a scholarship, select ‘Other’, write China Scholarship Council - Durham Joint Award)

  • Be citizens and permanent residents of the People's Republic of China at the time of application. Chinese students studying overseas may also be eligible for application subject to CSC policies
  • Hold either an unconditional offer for a full-time PhD programme at Durham, or a conditional 
    offer with the only condition being “receiving final degrees” (not language). 
  • Satisfy entry required as outlined by the CSC at the time of application
  • Successful candidates are required to return home upon completion of their studies

Deadline for applications: 15th January 2024

Durham Doctoral Studentships (DDS)

Applications are closed for 2022 entry

For additional sources of funding, please also see the University's main postgraduate scholarships and bursaries page and Faculty of Science Funding Page. Overseas students could also contact the International Office about other funding possibilities. The British Council may have scholarships available – the possibilities vary from year to year and depend on your country of residence.

For applicants interested in self funding their degrees (which is usually expected for MSc by Research degrees), there are a number of available options to consider, including the Student Loan Company and Professional and Career Development Loans. Information about these can be found on the Postgraduate Student Loan page