Warwick University is offering research fellowships worth an extra £1,000 on top of the standard national award in a bid to attract more postgraduates into academia.
The university's graduate school is offering 35 fellowships for next year. Each will cover fees and provide a living allowance of £8,000 - £1,000 more than that offered by UK research council studentships.
The move follows national calls for a better deal for PhD students and growing competition for the brightest minds from graduate recruiters.
Ken Sloan, Warwick's assistant registrar and secretary to the graduate school, said the university not only wanted to attract the best PhD students, but also provide them with the kind of professional training that could lead to an academic career.
"We have all woken up to the fact that our biggest competitors are not other institutions, but other graduate employers who are more aggressive and visible. Unless we are able to offer a professional career path, it will be increasingly difficult to persuade the best graduates to stay with us," he said.
Fellows will undertake 110 hours work each year for their department, usually in the form of teaching, but possibly in research or administrative support.
Candidates, who must have, or expect to get, at least an upper second class honours degree, will be expected to also apply for a studentship from the Arts and Humanities Research Board or the Economic and Social Research Council.