Student eligibility

These are our general rules for eligibility of students supported through EPSRC funding. We do not give money directly to students, but fund universities through training grants. Final decisions on eligibility are made by universities - if you have questions about eligibility please contact universities directly, and they should advise you on residence requirements and qualifications.

Training grants to universities include funding for fees and stipends (maintenance payments for students).

Residence requirements

To be eligible for a full award (stipend and fees):

A student must have:

  • Settled status in the UK, meaning they have no restrictions on how long they can stay


  • Been 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the grant. This means they must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences)


  • Not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. (This does not apply to UK or EU nationals)

To be eligible for a fees only award:

  • Students from EU countries other than the UK are generally eligible for a fees-only award. To be eligible for a fees-only award, a student must be ordinarily resident in a member state of the EU, in the same way as UK students must be ordinarily resident in the UK.

Note: These eligibility criteria are based on the Education (Fees and Awards) Regulations 1997 and subsequent amendments, covering England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

For more detailed rules on eligibility please contact university postgraduate admissions departments.

Limited relaxation of student eligibility requirements

To support our Delivery Plan training priority of maintaining the flow of skilled researchers, from October 2011 onwards universities will have some flexibility and discretion to support the very best students wherever they may come from (EU, international or otherwise) so there may well be opportunities arising for those individuals who would not normally meet the eligibility requirements for EPSRC funding - as such you would need to contact a university of interest directly, for further information.

Academic qualifications

Students must be able to demonstrate a capability to undertake and benefit from research training through to completion, to the standard necessary to qualify for a PhD. This normally requires an upper second class honours degree, or a combination of qualifications and/or experience equivalent to that level. However, universities can use their discretion in deciding whether candidates are suitable for research training.