PhD Studentship Awards - FAQ

Most of our most frequently-asked questions can be answered by downloading and reading the "PhD Studentship Guidance Notes for Applicants" and the "PhD Studentship Standard Conditions" (see right). Additionally, a careful reading of the Application Form itself should make clear what's required, from whom, when and in how much detail. Summaries of the key points of the application and review processes are available on this site. If, after reading the documents and the list below, you still have questions, please email us.

  1. Can a student make an application? : No, applications MUST come from Scottish Universities/Research Institutions. Once a PhD Studentship is awarded, the PhD Studentship will be advertised and students must apply for the PhD Studentship directly to the host institution through the advertised procedure.
  2. Can a University/Research Institution apply by itself? : No, although the Scottish University/Research Institution has to submit the final, completed application, it should already have discussed, formulated and agreed a defined project with a trading Company with which it will deliver the PhD Studentship. The two organisations must also have reached agreement on how any Intellectual Property relating to the PhD Studentship will be handled.
  3. How can a Company apply? : The Company must be aligned to a Scottish University/Research Institution. Where an academic partner has not been chosen, Medical Research Scotland can signpost towards appropriate academic partners.
  4. What type of research projects might be suitable? : Any project in any of the biomedical, physical, clinical, digital or engineering sciences, provided that the research itself addresses a medically-relevant question, such as into the "causation, prevention, diagnosis or treatment of illness or the development of medical or surgical appliances, including hearing aids".
  5. Do I need to register to apply? : No. The PhD Studentship application documents can be downloaded directly from the list in the panel on the right-hand side of this page.
  6. How do I submit an application? : By email and in hard copy, as specified in the Guidance Notes for Applicants and on the Application Form, by the dates specified.
  7. Is there a size limit to an application? : Yes, applications must be no larger than 5MB in total.
  8. Why is only one image or table allowed in the Appendix? : Because all the necessary information should be included in the Application Form itself and only augmented by the image or table if one is absolutely necessary. Any Appendix submitted must be on the form provided and must be no more than 2 x A4 pages.
  9. How will applications be assessed? : Applications are first subject to independent review by the members of an expert peer review panel incorporating at least one scientific/medical Trustee of Medical Research Scotland. The reports of these individuals are then considered by the panel members in committee and recommendations for funding support made to all the Trustees, who take the final decision, bearing in mind the available resources. The peer review processes ensure consideration of applications separately on their individual merit. Applications will be assessed on the quality and novelty of the science to be conducted; the research questions asked; their suitability as academically stimulating PhD projects; the clarity of the description of the research to be conducted; the potential impact of the project on both the student and Scotland's biomedical research base; the experience of the supervisors and/or provision for mentoring of first-time supervisors; the training to be provided; the commercial insight to be provided to the student by the company; the opportunity for interaction of the student with the company; and the resources available.
  10. How will students get to know about awards, so they can apply? : Once applications have been reviewed and funding decisions taken, the awarded PhD Studentships will be listed on the Medical Research Scotland website and also advertised on the website. The Universities awarded Medical Research Scotland PhD Studentships may also publicise their availability to students within the institution.
  11. What about international students? : Medical Research Scotland will only provide fees to the UK/EU level and the student stipend is fixed. If a University wishes to appoint an international student, Medical Research Scotland will only formally approve the appointment if the Trustees can be assured that the necessary additional funds required are available from an alternative source.
  12. Is there a requirement as to where the commercial training provided by the Company is delivered? : It is anticipated that the commercial training will be delivered at an operational base of the Company. Applications should state clearly why the training is to be delivered in the proposed location and summarise the strengths of the proposed training programme. All applications will be considered on a case-by-case basis and assessed according to the usual criteria (see 9. above).