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How to apply

There are four studentships available as part of the programme each year. You should apply online as soon as possible.

How to apply

There are four studentships available as part of the programme each year.

You should apply online as soon as possible.

If you wish to be considered for a BHF PhD studentship and meet our eligibility criteria, you must complete an online application form.

Complete the form following the instructions below.

Key dates

  • Application deadline: Friday 30 November 2021
  • Interviews: Week beginning 10 January 2022. We will confirm if this will be conducted over Zoom closer to the interview.

Application instructions

Step 1: Check you are eligible to apply

Applicants for the 4-year PhD programme should hold (or expect to obtain) a minimum Upper Second class degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an associated biomedical/biological sciences subject.

International applicant eligibility requirements

We aim to support the most outstanding applicants from outside the UK.

Funding for this programme will cover UK tuition fees and stipend. However, we are able to offer a limited number of scholarships that will enable full studentships to be awarded to international applicants.

These full studentships for international applicants will only be awarded to exceptional quality candidates due to the competitive nature of this scheme.


Step 2: Register to apply

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

If you have not already registered for an account, do so first of all.


Step 3: Create a new application

Create a new application for the studentship. Select 'Postgraduate Research' as the 'Level of Study' on the application form. Under Academic Programme, search for and select BHF PhD Programme'.

Work your way through the application form, ensuring you provide all information as requested.

For Section 6 – 'Research Details', enter BHF PhD Programme.

You are not required to select a PhD project/supervisor at this stage or make a separate application for funding for this programme.

For Section 9 – 'Funding Sources', you must select the details as follows:

  • Select 'Yes' from the drop-down.
  • Type of Funding: 'Uni of Manchester Scheme'.
  • Awarding Body: BHF PhD Programme.
  • Status of Funding – Awarded.
  • Funding Covers – Fully Funded.
  • Leave the remaining boxes blank.

Step 4: Supporting documents

Your application form must be accompanied by a number of supporting documents at the time of submission, as incomplete applications will not be considered.

  • Supporting statement

This should be a maximum of 1,000 words summarising your motivation for PhD study and applying for the 4-year BHF programme, outlining any research experience and your career ambitions.

  • References

We require two references from people who have knowledge of your academic ability. These are usually academic references from a lecturer or professor at your previous university (we cannot accept references from industry).

You will need to provide details of your referees in section 10 of the online form. Your referees will be contacted directly after you submit your application and directed to complete our online reference form.

Email addresses

It is recommended that the email address you provide for your referees is related to the academic institution or organisation to which they belong, rather than a personal use email (for example,

If a personal email address is provided, it may cause delays to your application, as extra steps may be required to verify this.

  • Certificates and transcripts

These should be from all of your previous degrees, including official translated copies where applicable.

  • Official English Language certificate

This should be a valid English language qualification, where applicable. See Step 5 below for further details.

  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)

Ensure your CV is current and up to date.

Your application must be complete and contain all required supporting information at the time of submission, as incomplete applications will not be considered.



Step 5: Language requirements

In Section 5 of the online application form, you will be asked to provide details of how you meet the English Language requirement. 

We mainly accept IELTS or TOEFL tests. Please note IELTS and TOEFL are only valid for two years.

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). For the writing component, we expect you to have achieved a minimum of 6.0 (IELTS).

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.

The University accepts a number of English language tests. For more information, see: English language requirements.



Step 6: Acknowledgement

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

Your application will be reviewed by the BHF Recruitment Committee, and if you are shortlisted, you will be invited for an interview.


Contact us

Queries regarding the application process can be sent to the Doctoral Academy Admissions Office.


Enquiries about the programme should be emailed to the BHF PhD Programme Director, Professor Elizabeth Cartwright.