Department of History and Philosophy of Science

Funding for graduate students

Some options for obtaining funding are given on this page. See the CamFunds database for details of other awards that are available.

We recommend that you apply for all funding for which you are eligible. Do not wait for the outcome of one application before submitting other applications.

Please note that the Department has no general funds to help students meet the costs of fees and maintenance.

Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

The Arts and Humanities Research Council offers awards for PhD study to students from the UK and European Union. A full studentship, which covers all fees and a maintenance allowance, is offered to those meeting UK residency criteria; EU nationals resident in the EEA may be eligible for a fees-only studentship.

To be eligible for an AHRC award, you must submit your graduate application by 6 January 2016. Make sure you tick the AHRC box in Section B of the GRADSAF form.

You must also complete a separate AHRC application form, which is available from the website below, and upload it to your self-service account by 6 January 2016. On this form you will need to write a 500-word research proposal. This is not the same as the proposal that you include in your graduate application: see the website below for an explanation of what to include in the proposal.

Further information about AHRC studentships

Cambridge Trust

The Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International Trust offers scholarships to students from overseas, the European Union and the UK for MPhil and PhD study. These include the Cambridge International Scholarship, which is for overseas students studying for a PhD, and the Cambridge Home Scholarship Scheme for UK students.

To apply for Cambridge Trust funding you must complete section B of the GRADSAF form, including a 500-word personal statement. Some scholarships offered by the Cambridge Trust require you to make an additional application: see the Trust's website for details.

If you are an overseas applicant you will need to submit your graduate application by 2 December 2015 to be eligible for Cambridge Trust funding. If you are from an EU country, including the UK, the deadline is 6 January 2016.

Cambridge Trust

Gates Cambridge Scholarships

The Gates Cambridge Trust offers scholarships to students from overseas and the European Union (excluding the UK) for MPhil and PhD study.

To apply, complete section B of the GRADSAF form, including a 500-word personal statement. You must also submit a personal reference.

You will need to submit your graduate application earlier than the usual deadline to be eligible for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. The deadline for US citizens normally resident in the USA is 14 October 2015; for citizens of all other countries (except the UK) and US citizens normally resident outside the USA (including current MPhil students applying to continue to the PhD) the deadline is 2 December 2015.

Gates Cambridge

Rausing, Williamson and Lipton Studentships

The Department of History and Philosophy of Science will automatically consider all applicants for graduate studies in HPS for trust fund maintenance awards. Assessment will be based on information contained in the GRADSAF. The number of awards made in any year will be conditional on previous commitments and income generated by the fund. Initial offers of funding will be made in February each year, and awards will continue to be allocated until the application deadline has been reached, or all the available funding has been committed.

Wellcome Trust Awards in History of Medicine

Wellcome Master’s Awards

The University is able to put forward one candidate each year for a Wellcome Master's award. Awards pay a stipend and all compulsory university and college fees at the UK home postgraduate student level only. Applicants should have a minimum of an excellent upper second class honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject.

Funded students will be expected to write two essays and the dissertation in history of medicine, broadly understood to include much history of life sciences and public health. Strong preference is given to applicants intending to go on to a PhD in history of medicine.

The Department is responsible for nominations. Applicants should indicate their interest in an award on their GRADSAF form.

Further information about Wellcome Master's Awards

Wellcome Doctoral Studentships

Awards pay a stipend, a set amount to cover conference travel, research expenses and, where justified, the cost of overseas fieldwork travel, as well as all compulsory university and college fees at the UK home postgraduate student level. Fees at the overseas rate will not be provided. Awards enable young scholars to undertake up to three years of full-time research on a history of medicine topic leading to a doctoral degree. Strong preference is given to applicants intending to make a long-term academic career in the subject.

Applicants should hold a Master's in the history of medicine or a Master's with strong emphasis on the history of medicine. (If specialist language skills are essential to undertake the research, a Master's in the language required may be acceptable.) The proposed project must fall within the history of medicine, broadly understood. If you are not sure whether or not your interest falls within the scheme, you are strongly advised to discuss it with a prospective supervisor. The application must be sponsored by a senior member of the Department, who would supervise the student if an award were made, and must be submitted through the Department. Prospective applicants should note that only a very small number of doctoral studentships is awarded each year and that competition for them is intense.

The Department is responsible for nominating applicants. If you would like to be nominated, please contact the Department no later than 6 January 2016.

Further information about Wellcome Doctoral Studentships

Other sources of funding

College Studentships

Several Cambridge Colleges offer studentships to their own students or to applicants who put that College first on the preference list. See CamFunds or each College's website for more information.

British Society for the Philosophy of Science

The British Society for the Philosophy of Science offers one PhD scholarship each year.

Cambridge Philosophical Society

The Cambridge Philosophical Society awards research studentships, either to provide for the continuation of an exceptionally promising piece of research beyond the usual standard of the PhD, or to allow extra time for the completion of a PhD thesis which has been delayed by circumstances outside the applicant's control. Applicants must be fellows of the Society of at least one year's standing.

Royal Historical Society

The Royal Historical Society offers a number of research grants for those undertaking postgraduate research. Funds are available to subsidise attendance at conferences and training courses, and to help defray the costs of archival visits.

PhD Completion Grants

The Department of History and Philosophy of Science will consider applications for PhD completion grants of up to £2,500 from PhD students registered in the Department. Students should apply by 1 October, just before they start their 10th term, providing a PhD submission plan that includes an outline of the thesis and estimated completion date. The application should also include a letter of support from the PhD supervisor.

Travel Grants

Graduate students in the Department can apply for up to £150 a year to help with the cost of travel to conferences where they are giving a paper (not for attendance only). These travel grants are primarily aimed at PhD students but are sometimes available to support MPhil students. Please send an email to the Department's administrative staff in advance of the conference to ask for permission to use these funds. Once you have received confirmation you can claim reimbursement by submitting an expenses claim form with receipts. Funding for conferences is sometimes available through Colleges, so students should check with their College before drawing on this funding.


Students experiencing hardship should consult their College tutor for advice about sources of funding for which they may be eligible. In addition, the Student Registry administers research awards for PhD students who experience hardship as a result of unforeseen changes in their financial circumstances.

Student Registry: Hardship funding for graduate students

Managers of the Department's Williamson, Rausing and Lipton Trust Funds are willing to consider applications out of cycle from genuine hardship cases, as long as the applicant can demonstrate that they have approached all other available sources.