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UKRI-funded postgraduate programmes to open to international students


UKRI-funded postgraduate programmes to open to international students

International students will be eligible for all UKRI-funded postgraduate studentships from the start of the 2021/22 academic year, UK Research and Innovation has announced today. 

The updated eligibility criteria will ensure that the UK, which is a world leader in research and innovation, is able to attract talent from around the globe. International PhD students play a valuable part in the UK’s research system, contributing skills, ideas and networks.

As a public funder, UK Research and Innovation has a responsibility to develop both domestic research and innovation talent alongside opening recruitment to attract the best international talent into the UK. UKRI will normally limit the proportion of international students appointed each year through individual doctoral training programmes to 30 percent of the total.

All UKRI-funded PhD students will be eligible for the full award - both the stipend to support living costs, and fees at research organisations UK rate. Further details will be laid out later this year and communicated to universities and research organisations, allowing the change to come into effect for the August 2021 academic year. UKRI funding will not cover international fees set by universities, but they will be given the flexibility to find international tuition fees from other sources. 

UKRI students who started their degree in previous academic years are not affected by this announcement. EU, EEA and Swiss Nationals starting UKRI-funded programmes in the 2020 academic year will remain eligible for funding under the same terms as guaranteed by the Government in July 2019.

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said:

“International PhD students are invaluable to supporting our world-leading research across a range of disciplines, providing new energy, ideas, and creativity. I am delighted that they will now be eligible for UKRI-funded PhDs in the UK.

“Through our ambitious R&D Roadmap, we want to make it easier for top global science, research and innovation talent to come to the country so we can cement the UK as a science superpower. Today’s measure is a key part of that.”

Further information:

Following the written statement by The Minister of State for Universities, EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals will no longer be eligible for home fee status from the academic year starting in August 2021. It will not affect EU, other EEA and Swiss nationals benefitting from Citizens’ Rights under the EU Withdrawal Agreement, EEA EFTA Separation Agreement or Swiss Citizens’ Rights Agreement respectively. It will also not apply to Irish nationals living in the UK and Ireland whose right to study and to access benefits and services will be preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement.







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