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Postgraduate Study


The University funding deadlines for the 2023/24 academic cycle have now passed. For more information on alternative funding opportunities, please check the following article: I have missed the funding deadline, what can I do?

This page includes information on: 

  1. Deadlines
  2. How to apply
  3. What happens next


There are three main funding deadlines which apply to all the three terms in the academic cycle: Michaelmas 2023, Lent 2024 and Easter 2024:

You will need to submit your application by 23:59 GMT on the day of the relevant funding deadline.​

These deadlines relate mainly to University and UKRI funds. Departmental and College funding may have different deadlines. Make sure you check these carefully and make a note of them.

To find out which funding deadline applies to you, check the course directory. They are listed in the Key Information panel of the course page, under ‘Funding Deadlines’. Click on this section to display the funding deadlines for that course.

Remember that your application and references must be submitted by the relevant deadline for your funding application to be considered.

How to apply

There are three ways to apply for University funding: 

1. Automatically through the Postgraduate Applicant Portal

By ticking ‘Yes - I wish to apply for funding’ in the funding section of the Applicant Portal, you will automatically be considered for:

  • Most Cambridge Trust funds*, including the Vice-Chancellor’s Awards
  • Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme (HDPSP)**  
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) (where eligible)
  • Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) (where eligible)
  • Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) (where eligible)
  • Some department and College funds

*Some Cambridge Trust funds have quite specific eligibility requirements. It may not be obvious if you are eligible for these funds from the information given in your application. You will be able to specify any funds you feel you are 'particularly eligible' for in your application. This is not compulsory but it will help us identify the most suitable funding for you.

**Applicants are invited in the portal to explain how their research fits with certain interdisciplinary themes (bio-threats, finance in literature, origin of life research). However, this is not mandatory and all applicants assessed as academically excellent by their department will be considered.

To be considered for these funds, you will need to apply by the course funding deadline.

2. Through the Applicant Portal with some additional information

You can apply for other funds through Applicant Portal that require you to complete extra fields within the form or upload an extra application form. These funds are:

  • Gates Cambridge Trust - you will need to complete extra questions within the Applicant Portal and nominate a third reference. More information about applying is available on the Gates Cambridge Trust website.
  • Medical Research Council (MRC) - to apply for the MRC iCASE studentships, you will need to select from a list of available projects. The list of projects are on the MRC DTP and iCASE Programme page.
  • Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) - you will need to apply for a specific project and list this in the funding section of your application. The list of projects are on the NERC DTP page.
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) - you will need to complete and upload an extra form. More information, including the form, are on the OOC DTP website. Cambridge is part of a consortium with Oxford and the Open University. You can apply for admission to study at as many of the consortium institutions as you wish. However, you must decide in advance which one you would like to apply to for DTP funding.
  • Some department and College funds - you may need to 'opt-in' for funding in the Applicant Portal and fill out a separate application form.

To be considered for these funds, you will need to apply by the course funding deadline.

3. Through a separate form

There are other University funds that may need an extra application form as they are administered separately. The Postgraduate Funding Search lists many of these funds but we also encourage you to check their respective websites:

  • Cambridge Trust - some of the Trust’s partners need you to submit a separate application form. You will still need to tick 'Yes - I wish to apply for funding’ in the Application Portal. Please note, the deadline for the separate application may be different to the course funding deadline.
  • Colleges - check College for details
  • Departments - check department for details

What happens next

After applying for funding:

  1. Your complete application is considered by the department for admission*.
  2. The department assesses your application for funding. 
  3. Your application is then considered by the funding bodies for all funding opportunities you have applied to and are eligible for.

*Applications that are missing one or both academic references are incomplete. It is at the department's discretion whether they will still consider incomplete applications for funding opportunities. For more information, watch our submitting your references video. 

Offers of funding and offers of admission are made separately. Most funding bodies start making offers from March. If you have not been made any offers of funding by July, you should assume you have not been successful in securing University funding. 

You will need to contact the relevant funding body for information on the status of your funding application.

Postgraduate Funding Search

Search the University's database of postgraduate funding opportunities:

Search now