skip to content

Postgraduate Study


Looking for funding opportunities? Read our How to find funding page.

How you apply for University funding, and by which deadline, depends on which course you’re applying for (and if you’re a US citizen applying for a Gates Scholarship).

External funding will have its own arrangements and you should contact the funder directly for guidance.

Funding deadlines

There are three main funding deadlines which apply to all the three terms of the academic cycle: Michaelmas 2024, Lent 2025 and Easter 2025.

Timeline of postgraduate funding deadlines

These deadlines relate mainly to University funding opportunities and Research Council (UKRI) funding. Departmental and College funding may have different deadlines. Check the Course Directory to find out which funding deadline applies to you and make a note of it.

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

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

How to apply

There are three ways to apply for University funding:

1) Automatically via the Applicant Portal

Applying for funding automatically through the 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*
  • 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.

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

2) With additional information via the Applicant Portal

Applying for funding through the Applicant Portal with some additional information

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

  • 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) Using a separate form

Applying for funding via 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. The department considers your complete application for admission*.
  2. The department assesses your funding application. 
  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 references are incomplete. It is at the department's discretion whether they will still consider incomplete applications for funding opportunities.

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.

The table below provides links to main internal funding bodies, with an indication of their peak periods for making funding awards.

Name of fund Peak offer-making period
Cambridge Trust End of February to end of July - with some awards as late as October
Gates Cambridge Gates US round: 1 to 15 February 2024
Gates International round: 15 March to 8 April 2024
University Trust Funds Mid-March to end of July
Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme (Harding) March and April
Mastercard Foundation Scholars (MCF) March
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) April
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Mid-February to end of March
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) See EPSRC website for individual fund timelines
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) March and April
Medical Research Council (MRC) See MRC website for individual fund timelines
Natural Environment Research Council (NERC C-CLEAR DTP) End of February to end of March


Funding Search

Search the University's database of postgraduate funding opportunities.

Search now