The University of Manchester offers more than 100 studentships every year through the President’s Doctoral Scholar Award scheme, launched by Professor Dame Nancy Rothwell.

The PDS Award will give the most outstanding students from around the world a foundation to support research training with prominent academics across a full range of subjects.

President’s Doctoral Scholar (PDS) Award

The PDS Awards will be allocated to our most outstanding international (non-UK) candidates seeking PhD opportunities and are open to all nationalities and research areas.


To be considered for this award, candidates must meet all of the following criteria:

  • hold a conditional/unconditional offer for a PhD programme to commence in September 2022;
  • hold (or are about to obtain) a first-class honours undergraduate degree (or international equivalent) from a reputable institution;
  • ideally, hold a master’s-level qualification at merit or distinction (or international equivalent);
  • have a track record of engaging with research. This may include contributions to publications/articles, promoting their research to a wider audience, prizes for research or project work;
  • be interested in attending a series of exclusive events to facilitate interactions with our academic community and network with other PDS award holders.

We will only consider applications for these full scholarships once you receive a formal offer. Application forms will be provided to the Primary Supervisor following the issue of an offer letter to the candidate for a PhD programme.


The 3.5-year fully-funded scholarships will cover:

  • all university tuition fees at the international rate;
  • an annual maintenance stipend (at UKRI rate) plus a £1,000 enhancement.

Successful PDS Award holders will have the opportunity to:

  • be invited to attend a series of exclusive events where you can meet The University of Manchester’s President and Vice-Chancellor, interact closely with our academic community and network with other PDS Awards students;
  • benefit from international research leadership under distinguished scholars;
  • become a PDS Awards ambassador for the University;
  • receive a President’s Doctoral Scholar medal at graduation;
  • benefit from our extensive transferable skills training for PhD researchers.

How to apply

If you wish to be considered, you must first follow all the usual admissions processes and receive a conditional/unconditional PhD offer. As such, we ask that online PhD applications are submitted by 24 March 2022 to enable review, interview and supervisor selection.

On your application form in the funding section, state that you are applying for the University of Manchester Scholarship, in particular a PDS Award. See information on potential projects and supervisors and information on how to submit an online PhD application.

Once you have been interviewed and offered a PhD place, you will then work with your Primary Supervisor to complete the PDS application form, which needs to be submitted to the Faculty Doctoral Academy by 29 April 2022.

All PDS applications will be reviewed internally and a shortlist of candidates will be interviewed before final offers on funding are made interviews are expected to take place in early June 2022. We will award three fully-funded scholarships within the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health.


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