The STFC funds postgraduate research training through studentships. Studentships are not awarded directly by STFC to individual students. We award studentship funding directly to universities and research organisations.
The majority of STFC studentship support will be awarded as Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) to research organisation departments via an algorithm. If you are interested in an STFC funded PhD studentship you should contact the research organisation in which you would like to do your PhD to check the availability of places.
DTPs normally leading to the award of a PhD are for a minimum of three years and enable postgraduate students to undertake training in research, research techniques and employment related skills.
DTPs may be held on a full or part time basis for those students wishing to combine their research training with work or domestic responsibilities. Part-time DTPs should be awarded for no less than 50% of full-time, and on the understanding that the approved programme of research training can be carried out effectively.
Industrial CASE gives students experience outside a purely academic environment. Industrial CASE awards are for a minimum of 3.5 years and provide for training of a research student on a project which involves the joint supervision of the student by a member of staff at an academic Research Organisation and an employee of a UK industrial firm or an organisation in the public service (the non-academic partner).
Organisations eligible to receive STFC grant funding and those independent research organisations approved as eligible to hold grants may act as the academic partner, but not as the non-academic partner.
Non-university academic-related partners would need to host the studentship in conjunction with the University where the student would be registered.
Other UK-based organisations (including UK subsidiaries of foreign firms) may act as the non-academic partner.
Cases of doubt should be referred to STFC. During the period of the award, the student is required to spend a period on the premises of the non-academic partner. For a 3.5 year award, the cumulative period should be no less than nine months, but this could be spread over the period of the studentship and would not normally exceed 18 months.
Applications for an Industrial CASE or Industrial CASE-Plus studentship should be made using Je-S and submitted to STFC for a closing date of 31 July 2013. More information can be found on our Industrial CASE Studentships page.
Industrial CASE-Plus extends the Industrial CASE competition to help students become more effective in promoting technology transfer, should their chosen career path take them into either academic research or industry. For the first 3.5 years of the award, Industrial CASE-Plus operates in the same way as the Industrial CASE competition (see above).
The main difference is that the student spends a final year working full-time on the premises of non-academic partner as an employee. This is seen as continued "hands-on" technological training for the student. During this additional year, the student is employed by the sponsor company, at a salary equivalent to that of a new STFC postdoctoral fellow.
STFC will contribute 50% of the salary costs incurred by the non-academic partner (up to a maximum STFC contribution of £14,250). Entry into the final year is dependent on the student demonstrating a level of achievement agreed in advance between the sponsor, the University and the student. STFC will not commence funding for the final year until the PhD thesis has been submitted.
Non-academic partners are required to take part in recruitment and monitoring of the student and to maintain active contact with the student and academic supervisor throughout the period of the studentship. Research Organisations are encouraged to include an industrial external examiner for the PhD. Applications must be supported by outline plans for supervision and monitoring.
Non-academic partners in the public sector organisations should note that STFC assessment criteria for Industrial CASE and Industrial CASE-Plus include the impact of the project on wealth creation and the quality of life; this should be addressed in the application. Research Council Institutes are advised to tie their applications closely to those activities which involve industrial collaboration. The awarding process will take into account current and emerging STFC technology priorities.
Students holding Industrial CASE awards will receive £615 pa in addition to the basic maintenance allowance.
Standard research studentship awards may be converted to Industrial CASE studentships at any time after the student is in post. Existing Industrial CASE studentships may be converted to Individual CASE-Plus at any time up to the end of the second year.
STFC has an agreement with the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias (IAC), Tenerife, Spain to support a maximum of two IAC students at any one time to study for an astronomy PhD in Great Britain. The Spanish Studentships scheme operates in a similar way to the Gemini scheme. The IAC co-ordinates the selection process, and the successful students receive an identical award to their UK counterparts.
STFC also provides studentship support through research grants. These studentships are known as project studentships and are applied for by a research grant applicant as part of a research grant proposal. Project studentships will be closely associated with the work on the grant. In all other respects the department must ensure these students have the opportunity for the same standard of training in research and research techniques and employment related skills as all other STFC funded students. Further details are in section 5 of the STFC Research Grants Handbook.
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Last updated: 22 March 2018