How to Apply

The 2018/2019 competition for studentships beginning October 2019 has now closed. The details below remain for the general reference of future potential applicants. 

Prospective applicants are expected to read the full Guidance Notes before proceeding with an application to the studentship competition, and to make themselves aware of the Timeline.

The NBCDTP runs an annual studentship competition to recruit and select postgraduate doctoral students of the very highest calibre to study at Durham University, Newcastle University, Northumbria University, Queen’s University Belfast, University of Sunderland, Teesside University and Ulster University. The competition is open to all applicants who meet the AHRC’s eligibility criteria.

Two nomination routes are offered:

  • Standard PhD
  • Collaborative Doctoral Award (CDA)

The NBCDTP welcomes CDA proposals from applicants working with non-HE organisations, but also offers a number of projects submitted by some of the Consortium’s partner organisations. If applicants are interested in a CDA with any of the following organisations, they should view the projects available and follow the instructions in the documentation below, and submit their project summary no later than Friday 16 November 2018 unless otherwise stated in the documentation:

The following CDAs have a later deadline (Friday 14 December 2018) by which potential candidates should have an initial consultation with the named supervisor:

The following CDA has an open deadline for the submission of a project summary:


The studentship competition is a two-stage process:

Stage One: Postgraduate Application

Applicants to both the Standard PhD and Collaborative Doctoral Award routes wishing to apply for a studentship must complete their chosen University’s online postgraduate application form and submit it by 17:00 on Wednesday 9 January 2019.

It is vital that applicants to the Standard PhD route consult their prospective School or Department at the earliest opportunity so that the expertise and capacity to supervise the proposed research can be identified, and to ensure that you will be fully supported throughout the competition process.

Stage Two: Applicant Nomination

School/Department-based selection panels then select their strongest nominees on the basis of the applicant’s qualifications, research proposal, relevant experience and references. Those applicants will be asked to complete a Nomination Form, which must be submitted to the NBCDTP by 17:00 on Wednesday 13 February 2019 by the applicant’s School/Department. Nominations made after this date will not be considered.

The results of the competition are expected to be announced on Friday 22 March 2019.