Excellence in Diversity PhD Scholarships

Equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is fundamental to the success of the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health and The University of Manchester, and is at the heart of all our activities.

We are committed to improving the diversity of students and staff, actively encouraging and supporting careers in research and higher education, and embedding EDI principles to ensure a positive and inclusive research environment.

Launched for September 2023 entry, the new Excellence in Diversity PhD Scholarships provides fully funded PhD studentships for candidates from groups under-represented in postgraduate research. We are looking to support those who demonstrate the potential for research and academic excellence, and a high motivation for postgraduate research.

The scholarships will support PhD research across our three Schools, covering biological, medical and health sciences. Successful candidates will join world-leading research teams, and become part of the dynamic and vibrant research community at Manchester.

The scholarships offer full financial support, a supportive research and training environment, and a skills and career development programme designed to support progression to future careers in research, higher education, the healthcare sector or industry.

Financial support includes tuition fees and an annual stipend for 3.5 years. The stipend level will be at the UKRI rate with a £1,000 per year enhancement.

Key features

  • Entry in September 2024.
  • Fully funded scholarships covering PhD tuition fees and stipend for 3.5 years.
  • Successful applicants will be supported in identifying a project and supervisory team across any of our three Schools, guided by your interests.
  • Opportunity to be affiliated to one of our major funded PhD programmes.
  • Dedicated support and guidance for all successful candidates throughout their programme.
  • Opportunity to participate in community engagement and peer mentorship activities.


Candidates should hold or be expected to be awarded an Upper Second class bachelor's degree before starting the PhD.

These scholarships are open to UK-domiciled applicants who qualify for home fee status, and are from one of the following groups currently under-represented* in postgraduate research:

  • Asian/Asian British - Bangladeshi
  • Asian/Asian British - Indian
  • Asian/Asian British - Pakistani
  • Asian/Asian British background - Mixed
  • Black/Black British - African
  • Black/Black British - Caribbean
  • Black/Black British - Other
  • Black/Black British background - Mixed

* Eligibility will be reviewed annually and amended in line with available EDI data.

As with our other postgraduate research programmes, we actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds, and support applications from those returning from a career break. See our EDI statement for more information. All appointments are made on merit.


Successful candidates will be able to choose from a wide range of projects and supervisors in the Faculty, and will be supported in this process by the Faculty's Doctoral Academy.

While having a project in mind is not a requirement for application, we would encourage all applicants to explore our research areas and opportunities.

We actively encourage applicants to also apply directly to our other funded programmes and be considered for those schemes alongside the Excellence in Diversity scholarships. You should also submit a separate application to the Excellence in Diversity scholarships scheme, which will register your interest in the programme and allow the admissions team to ensure you are supported through your application journey.

Candidates are also very welcome to approach academics within our Faculty to discuss research topics and potential projects.

We have a range of projects currently advertised across our programmes and research specialties in our projects database. This list changes throughout the year depending on the various funded programmes. As a result we cannot guarantee availability or selection of a specific project until after interviews have taken place.

You can also get a flavour of the research areas and interests of our academics via the University's Research Explorer

Application process

Please follow the information and step-by-step guide below carefully on how to make an application. You must submit your completed online application and all relevant supporting documents no later than 10 November 2023 (midnight).

Your application form must be accompanied by a number of supporting documents by the advertised deadline. Without all the required documents submitted at the time of application, your application will not be processed, and we cannot accept responsibility for late or missed deadlines. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Completing the online form

When on the Online Admissions Application screen, select the following:

  • Level of Study – select 'Postgraduate Research'.
  • Entry Year – Select the academic year you wish to study in. For example, September 2024 is in the 2024/25 academic year.
  • Academic Programme – select 'FBMH Diversity PhD Scholarship'. If you select the wrong programme, your application may not be considered.
  • Research Details - Section 6 of the online application form.

Applicants are required to select a supervisor when making an online application. For the purposes of this application process, if you have not identified a project/supervisor, please add the Chair of the Selection Committee, Professor David Bechtold, as the first supervisor (leave the project title blank). If you already have specific projects/supervisors in mind, these may be added instead.

For the funding sources section of the online application form:

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


We require two references from people who can judge your academic potential. These are usually academic references from a lecturer or professor at your previous university.

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.

The email address you provide for your referees must be related to the academic institution or organisation to which they belong, rather than a personal email (for example, john.smith@yahoo.com).


You must include a supporting statement (500 words) that outlines:

  • why you believe this scholarship is particularly suitable for you;
  • your interests and motivation for postgraduate research study;
  • what science/research areas excite you;
  • relevant experiences and/or indicators of research and academic potential.

You must also provide copies of both your undergraduate and, if applicable, postgraduate qualification, including official translated copies where applicable.

If you are still completing a qualification, an interim transcript of marks achieved to date should be provided.


We will contact you directly if you have been selected for interview.

Applications will be screened for eligibility and assessed by a selection panel chaired by the Faculty's Associate Dean for Postgraduate Research. The panel will include member(s) of the Faculty EDI Committee.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to attend a face-to-face interview on campus. We will cover all costs associated with travel and accommodation, as well as additional costs that may otherwise prevent candidates from attending (up to £250 per candidate for costs such as childcare and lost wages).

We will provide all shortlisted candidates with details of the format of the interview well in advance, so you have sufficient time to prepare.

If you aren't selected for interview, we will provide you with feedback on your application.

If you have any queries regarding the application process, please get in touch with our Admissions team.

Email: fbmh.doctoralacademy.admissions@manchester.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)161 275 5608