Doctoral Training Partnerships


Flexibility in DTPs

You can use doctoral training partnerships in a number of ways.


You can decide what stipend to pay students as long as it is at least the national minimum set by the research councils. Increases to the stipend may be due to:

  • recruitment or retention issues in certain research areas
  • national or regional needs
  • leverage of other sources of funding, for example, other university departments or industry.

Recruitment and grants

If you have a doctoral training partnership made up of a number of overlapping doctoral training grants, you do not have to recruit a fixed number of students each year.

As long as the 50% rule is maintained, you can fund a student from more than one doctoral training grant over the duration of their study.

Period of support

You can decide whether to fund a student for three or four years, or any length in between, based on the project that they are carrying out. On average, a three and a half year award is now made for doctoral studies. You can fund a mixture of durations through your doctoral training partnership, and training can be full-time, part-time and include placements.

You can fund part-time students using doctoral training grants. Part-time study may be suitable for students returning from a career break or who have domestic responsibilities which mean that they cannot study full-time. We expect that the length of funding will reflect the percentage of time the student spends on their PhD. For example, if a typical project lasts three and a half years, a half-time student should get support for seven years.


We award doctoral training partnerships to universities rather than to particular departments. You can fund students jointly between different departments and between different universities. You can partly fund students using money from other sources like departmental funds, industry, public sector organisations and charities as long as you stick to the 50% rule.

Student start dates

Traditionally most PhD students start in October, but you can recruit and start students at any time of year.

Last updated: 12 September 2023

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