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How to apply

Projects available for entry in September 2021

How to apply

Applications for 2021 entry are now open.

We recommend that you apply as soon as possible.

If you wish to be considered for an MRC CASE studentship and meet our eligibility criteria, you must complete a single online application.

Complete the form following the instructions below. 

Key dates

As the online application form has been unavailable, we have extended the deadline for applications as below.

Applications must be submitted by the deadline, as late applications will not be considered.

  • Application deadline: 23 April 2021
  • Interviews: week commencing 31 May 2021 

Previous applicants need not apply.



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.

These studentships are available to UK nationals and provide funding for tuition fees and stipend at the UKRI rate, subject to eligibility, for three and half years.

For full details on eligibility, including qualifications and residence criteria, see the UKRI website.

International applicant eligibility requirements (including EU nationals)

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.

International applicants must ensure they meet the academic eligibility criteria (including English language) as outlined in the University's country-specific information page. 


Step 2: Choose a project

Decide on the project(s) that are most relevant to your research interests from the list of available projects. 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 March-April 2021. 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. This means that 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 so first of all. You can then make separate applications under this account for the DTP studentship, and any other studentships you may be interested in. Please remember you should only submit one DTP application for the MRC programme, with up to three project choices listed.


Step 4: Create a new application

Create a new application for the MRC DTP studentship. Select 'Postgraduate Research' as the 'Academic Career' on the application form. Under Programme Description, search for and select 'MRC DTP PhD Programme'.

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

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, you can list up to two more lead supervisors and project titles.

For Part 8 – 'Main Funding Source', select Internal, Type - University Scholarship, Awarding Body: MRC 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.
  • 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.

Please contact us at for further information.


Step 7: Acknowledgement

Once submitted, you will receive acknowledgement that your application has been received. After we have received all your supporting documents, your application will be reviewed by the MRC 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 mid-May 2021.

If you are invited to one of our interview days, you will be notified directly by email. Interviews for this recruitment cycle will be conducted via Zoom.

The MRC DTP Recruitment Committee will assess applicants based on CV, academic record and references. Interview panels will consist of up to 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 (such as an undergraduate project) or on the MRC DTP project you are interested in. Presentations can be made in PowerPoint format or verbally.

If you have any queries about the interview, please contact

If you are not nominated by a supervisor for a panel interview, then 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.