Leverhulme Trust to fund 150 PhD scholarships

£10 million scheme set up to counteract disincentivisation of undergraduate debt for potential researchers

January 23, 2014

The Leverhulme Trust is to launch a training scheme for new PhD students worth more than £10 million.

The programme, which opens for applications in early March, will award 10 universities around £1 million each to fund 15 full-time three-year doctoral scholarships.

It is the first time the organisation has offered scholarships that directly target doctoral students. Some PhD studentships are funded as part of the trust’s activities each year, but these are part of larger research project grants.

Gordon Marshall, director of the Leverhulme Trust, said that the announcement comes amid concerns over the possible effects of rising undergraduate tuition fees on the supply of graduate students.

“If undergraduate debt, or perceived debt, is discouraging, putting off or disincentivising new graduates from going on to do doctoral work, then we are cutting off the pipeline of talented researchers and that was a concern of the trust,” he said.

He explained that the trust could only go on funding good research if there was a “steady supply of talented researchers coming into the academy”. Doctorates were the basic platform that gave students research skills and experience, he said. Professor Marshall said he hoped the move would send a signal to other agencies that this type of support was important.

Successful bids to the Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarship scheme will win £70,000 for each PhD student. This will cover fees, full maintenance costs and some money for fieldwork and training for the duration of the scholarship.

The 15 studentships at each institution will begin in waves. The first five are expected to start in autumn 2015, followed by another five in each of the subsequent two years.

Bids will be awarded competitively and subjected to peer review.

Universities are being invited to bid in research areas that are important to them, including to advance a particular field or to make a step change in understanding in a specific area. “We do not just want universities to bid in areas that replicate the government’s or the research council’s strategic priorities,” said Professor Marshall.

holly.else@tsleducation.com

Times Higher Education free 30-day trial

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

United Nations peace keeper

Understanding the unwritten rules of graduate study is vital if you want to get the most from your PhD supervision, say Kevin O'Gorman and Robert MacIntosh

David Parkins Christmas illustration (22 December 2016)

A Dickensian tale, set in today’s university

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration (5 January 2017)

Fixing problems in the academic job market by reducing the number of PhDs would homogenise the sector, argues Tom Cutterham

Houses of Parliament, Westminster, government

There really is no need for the Higher Education and Research Bill, says Anne Sheppard

poi, circus

Kate Riegle van West had to battle to bring her circus life and her academic life together