Mobile menu icon
Mobile menu icon Search iconSearch
Search type
How to apply image

How to apply

There are a number of projects available for entry in September 2019.

How to apply

Applications are open.

You should apply online as soon as possible for the projects.

If you wish to be considered for a DTP Studentship and meet our eligibility criteria, you must complete a single online application. Instructions on how to fill this out can be found below.

If you are interested in a CASE Studentship, you can include this as one of your three project choices on your online application form. Just make this clear on the form (see below for instructions on how to list your project choices).

Key dates

  • Applications for 2019 projects are now open.
  • The closing date for applications is Thursday, 31 January 2019.
  • Interviews will take place 21 & 22 March 2019.

To apply for undergraduate summer research experience placements, see the undergraduate summer placements page.


Application instructions

Step 1: Check you are eligible to apply

Applicants for a studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second class UK honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of science or technology.

Studentships are available to UK and other EU nationals and provide funding for tuition fees and stipend at the RCUK rate, subject to eligibility, for four years.

For full details on eligibility, including qualifications and residence criteria, see the BBSRC Guide to Studentship Eligibility (PDF, 306KB).

Funding available for EU nationals

The University of Manchester aims to support the most outstanding applicants from within the EU that do not meet the residence criteria outlined above.

EU applicants who have not resided in the UK for three years prior to commencing the studentship are eligible for a 'fees only' studentship from the BBSRC DTP.

However, we are able to offer a stipend bursary for EU applicants if they are successful in being awarded a studentship, therefore all EU students will receive a full studentship.

We are pleased that the Department for Education has now confirmed  that EU students applying for university places in England in 2019/20 will continue to be eligible for student loans and grants, and entitled to home fee status for the duration of their course, even past the point that the UK leaves the EU.

Students wishing to undertake a postgraduate research programme will be assigned the 'home' fee status for the duration of their programme.


Step 2: Choose a project

Decide on the project(s) that are most relevant to your research interests from the list of available projects when they are announced. You may apply for up to three projects of interest on your application form. You do not need to submit a separate application for each project.

At this point, you are strongly encouraged to make direct contact with potential project supervisors to discuss their project and to arrange a meeting during October 2018 - January 2019. You can find the name of the supervisor on each project, and their contact details in the University’s online directory.

It is your responsibility to arrange meetings with supervisors. Invitations to our interview days are dictated by supervisor nominations, so you are unlikely to be nominated by a supervisor unless you have made contact with them, in addition to submitting an online application.


Step 3: Register to apply

Go to the Postgraduate Application Form and ensure you read all the instructions carefully.

If you have not already registered for an account, do this first. You can then make separate applications under this account for the DTP studentships, and any other studentships you may be interested in.


Step 4: Create a new application

Create a new application for the BBSRC DTP studentship. Select 'Postgraduate Research' as the 'Academic Career' on the application form.

Work your way through the application form, including all details as requested.

On the 'Programme description' section of the application form, search for and select 'BBSRC DTP PhD Programme'.

For Part 3 – 'Proposed Research', identify your first choice supervisor and project title (this should be the lead supervisor name on the project). In the 'Further information' section, list up to two more lead supervisors and project titles.

For Part 8 – 'Main Funding Source', select Internal, University Scholarship, Awarding Body: BBSRC DTP, Status - Confirmed. The other boxes can remain blank.


Step 5: Supporting documents

Your application form must be accompanied by a number of supporting documents.

  • A supporting statement. This should be a maximum of 500 words summarising your motivation for PhD study, outlining any research experience and why you want to do a postgraduate research degree at Manchester. If you are applying for a CASE studentship and wish to submit a second supporting statement for a CASE project, then you can do so, although this is not required.
  • Two references from people who have knowledge of your academic ability. References must be signed, dated and on headed paper. References should be accompanied by a Referee report form.
  • Please ensure that your referees complete this form electronically. If your references aren’t available at application, please email these as soon as possible after you have submitted your application to or your referees can send these to us directly.
  • Certificates and transcripts from all your current/previous degrees.
  • Official English Language transcript (IELTS or TOEFL), if applicable.
  • Current curriculum vitae (CV).

All supporting documents can be uploaded and submitted with the online application form or, alternatively, can be sent directly to Your application cannot be considered until all of your supporting documents are supplied.


Step 6: Language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, or if you have not studied recently in the UK, you must supply an official IELTS or TOEFL transcript to support your application, or provide a date on which you will be taking a test. Please note the IELTS and TOEFL are only valid for two years.

If your IELTS or TOEFL expires before the start of your programme, you will need to take another official English test before we can issue you with a CAS for your visa application. This is a requirement of UKVI.

We require a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 overall or TOEFL (iBT) 90.

Each component of the English test should meet the minimum requirement of IELTS 5.5 in all components, TOEFL (iBT 22).  Some programmes require overall IELTS 7.0 and in each component, please check the subject listings page. For the writing component we expect that you have achieved a minimum of 6.0 (IELTS). For each of the other components of the English test you should meet the minimum requirement of IELTS 5.5.

For more information about English language tests see English language requirements.


Step 7: Acknowledgement

Once submitted, you will receive acknowledgement that your application has been received.

Once all your supporting documents have been received, your application will be reviewed by the BBSRC DTP Recruitment Committee and circulated to your preferred supervisor(s).


Step 8: Interview

You will be kept informed of the progress of your application throughout the application process.

We will contact you directly if we wish to invite you to one of our interview days following supervisor nominations in February 2019.

If you are invited to attend one of our interview days, you will be notified directly by email. Candidates outside of the UK can be interviewed by Skype where possible.

The BBSRC DTP Recruitment Committee will assess applicants based on CV, academic record and references. Interview panels will consist of four academic staff from across the University. You will be required to give a short presentation (not exceeding 10 minutes) outlining any research experience you may have (eg an undergraduate project) or on the BBSRC DTP project you are interested in.

Presentations can be made in PowerPoint format or verbally. If you have any queries about this if you are invited to interview, please contact

If you are not nominated by a supervisor for a panel interview, we will notify you directly that your application is unsuccessful.


Contact us

For queries regarding the application process, the projects on offer or your eligibility.

Contact the Doctoral Academy:

Tel: +44 (0)161 275 5608

You may wish to contact supervisors directly about projects. You can find the name of the supervisor on each project, and their contact details in the University’s online directory.