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PhD Scholarship scheme

Deadline: 4pm, Wednesday 20th September
Contact: Shereen Sabbah and Julie Marsden at

A limited number of our prestigious PhD scholarships are available to encourage the best graduates to embark on a research career in any discipline relevant to arthritis and related musculoskeletal diseases. Applications are particularly encouraged from those aspiring to join the next generation of talented independent investigators interested in developing ambitious, interdisciplinary and innovative approaches to health and biomedical research.

Who should apply?

Scholarships are awarded annually, by open competition, for projects that have clear relevance to the aims of Arthritis Research UK and provide training in research in a multidisciplinary environment. Applications should be made by the proposed supervisor at an eligible institute and may include a named student (see below). Proposals may also be submitted for collaborative studentships by institutions with an industrial sponsor/supervisor. Due to funding regulations applicants must be based in the UK.

Please note – following a review of these schemes it is now no longer a requirement to submit an application with a named student. Applicants can apply with projects alone, with student recruitment to be carried out at a later date. We would still recommend that where possible a named student is associated with the application, and those without named students at this stage will be asked to submit relevant information (CV and supporting statements) when the student is appointed.

What does the scholarship offer?

Arthritis Research UK will provide up to 4 years of support for these redeveloped scholarships. Applicants can apply for one of two models of funding:
  • 1+3 year model will allow for the completion of a relevant MRes/MSc in year 1, followed by 3 years of PhD funding. Stipend and tuition fees will be paid for the four years, consumables will be paid for years 2–4 only.
  • 3+1 model will provide 3 years of PhD funding (stipend, fees and consumables) with the option of applying for supplemental funding for year 4 if required.

The funding model requested should be outlined in the relevant section of the application form, with information on any proposed MRes/MSc course, where applicable. These scholarships provide a generous tax-free incremental stipend, UK tuition fees, a travel grant for conference attendance and improved running costs of £10,000 per year (capped at £7,500 in year 4 of a 3+1 model). Arthritis Research UK won't pay overseas tuition fees.

Additional to the travel grant allocated to the award, successful candidates will also be able to apply to us for a travel bursary to support a collaborative trip to another institute, preferably abroad.

How are they funded?

These scholarships are awarded by the fellowship implementation committee. Since the number of awards is limited, geographic/numerical limitations may apply to the number of studentships held by a single department. Applications should be made through Grant Tracker.

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