Studentship information for students

This information is for students and researchers. We have information about studentships for research organisations.

Postgraduate training programmes provide appropriate opportunities for you to develop the research, subject specific, communication and other skills you require to become an effective researcher, to enhance your employability and assist your career progress after completion of your degree.

Skills training needs vary from student to student, depending on previous experience, and the delivery of any training should be sufficiently flexible to address your individual needs.

Development can take place through a variety of formats, including formal training or other activities or be embedded in the PhD programme.

The Researcher Development Statement (RDS), developed by Vitae, from the Researcher Development Framework, sets out the knowledge, behaviours and attributes of effective and highly skilled researchers appropriate for a wide range of careers.

How funding is allocated

STFC-funded studentships are recruited by UK research organisations that have been accredited as suitable training environments to be included in the algorithm for an allocation of studentships which are awarded through a training grant. The organisations comply with the UKRI training grant terms and conditions. The research organisations are responsible for recruiting eligible candidates within the STFC remit for the awards.

Applying for your place

Recruitment can take place at any time of year but the majority of students will be recruited in the early part of the year for October starts. STFC ask Departments not to put undue pressure on you to accept your place before 31 March each year.

The duration of your studentship should be agreed at the beginning of your studentship and this can be for three, three and a half or four years. The project should be designed for you to complete including submission of the thesis within the funded period.

On starting your studentship if you are eligible for a stipend the research organisation will pay you from the training grant funds. You will find the current payments detailed on our payments page.

Disabled Students’ Allowance

If you have a disability you should contact the disability adviser at your research organisation for guidance and advice. Additional support may include specialist equipment and non-medical assistance.

Find out more about Disabled Students’ Allowance.

Overseas fieldwork

During your studentship you may need to travel overseas on fieldwork trips or placements. These can be short trips of up to 120 days or long-term attachments (LTA) of more than 120 days. Departments will apply to STFC for additional funding for students that require a LTA.

Rules and regulations

All studentship projects supported through STFC funding must fall within STFC remit. UKRI has a Statement of Expectations for Doctoral Training, which sets out common principles for all research council-funded students.
The single statement provides clarity on expectations of research organisations, students and their training environment.

Review and evaluation

You will also be contacted each year to complete the annual PhD Student Questionnaire. STFC values the views from students on their experiences of the training provided. The submissions are confidential and no individual or institution will be identified so we do ask for honest feedback.

The analysis of previous questionnaires for your information can be found on our statistics and questionnaires page.

Complaints and issues

If you have any issues that you are having difficulty in resolving, please refer to your organisation’s complaint procedures.

Contact us

If you need any more information you can ask us.


Last updated: 27 July 2023

This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK. Let us know if you have feedback or would like to help improve our online products and services.