School of GeoSciences


Find details on how to find and apply for PhD or MSc by Research funding.

PhD funding

There are several funding options available to PhD students. In the first instance, check through our list of available projects where the titles will include partial or full funding opportunities.

Funded School of GeoSciences 4 years teaching studentships

The School of GeoSciences is excited to announce two fully funded 42-month UK/EU PhD scholarships available from September 2017. The studentships involve training in both research and teaching skills. The successful applicants will gain practical experience through supporting core teaching, including field courses, on our undergraduate Geography degree programme.

One studentship focuses on Physical Geography and the other on Human Geography. There are defined projects available, which are listed below (further information about these is available from the School’s website), and we also welcome students submitting their own project proposal with an agreed supervisory team.

The scholarship will provide:

  • Coverage of tuition fees at the Home/EU fee rate
  • 4 years of stipend funding at the RCUK rate with an 80/20 split between doctoral study and teaching in the School of GeoSciences, primarily on the Geography Degree Programme;
  • Research and Training Grant (RTSG) of £1500 per year;
  • Training to support acting as a Tutor, Demonstrator or Course Assistant through School and University provision.
  • A pathway toward gaining the Edinburgh Teaching Award

The studentship is fully funded for 42 months from September 2017, and covers tuition fees RTSG, and an annual stipend for candidates from the UK, European Economic Area, or Switzerland who satisfies the criteria for ʻhomeʼ fees as defined here:

We are unable to consider applications from international candidates.

The successful candidate will possess, or expect to obtain, a first or upper-second class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in Geography or a related subject area. Other essential attributes are good presentation and communication skills (written and oral).

Applicants are required to submit by 31st March 2017 the following:

  1. A letter describing their suitability for the advertised project OR a project proposal
  2. A personal statement of their ambitions for teaching Geography, including any previous tutoring or demonstrating experience

Formal applications are made through the University's EUCLID system, as outlined here

The projects available are detailed below, however, we welcome student who propose their own topic listing a potential supervisor.

  • Espionage and Empire: British Explorer-Surveyors and the Making of Modern Afghanistan, 1790-1842 (principal supervisor- Professor Charles Withers)
  • Insects, post glacial colonisation and refugia in Northern Norway (principal supervisor- Dr Eva Panagiotakopulu)
  • Spatial and temporal drivers of soil erosion in Iceland (principal supervisor- Dr Anthony Newton)

Details of Geography & Lived Environment Research Group can be found at: When submitting your own project proposal please ensure to suggest a supervisor/s.  For those submitting their own project proposal- a list of the School's academic staff is available on our website.

If you have any questions regarding these studentships, please contact 

Studentships in Human Geography

The Human Geography Research Group are currently offering Masters and PhD opportunities, with access to ESRC and AHRC studentships.

As part of the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science, we have access to:

  • 1+3 (Masters and PhD) or +3 (just PhD) ESRC studentships in the Human Geography pathway
  • +3 ESRC studentships in the Environment, Energy and Climate Change pathway
  • +3 ESRC studentship in the Families, Relationships and Demographic Change pathway

Further details on the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science website

Prospective applicants should liaise with potential supervisors about completing an application. Applications are currently closed for studentships tfor the 2017/18 academic year. The deadlines for submitting applications for the 2018/19 academic year will be annpunced later in the year- please check in December 2017 for further information

There is also the possibility of Collaborative ESRC Studentships - a partnership between the university and a non-academic partner (charity, government body or business). These applications are submitted by a supervisor but sometimes in dialogue with a student. Further information about the deadlines associated with these studentships will be posted later in the year.

For students interested in topics in cultural and historical geography, we have access to AHRC studentships through the Scottish Graduate School for the Arts and Humanities ( The process for application is similar to the ESRC above, with the same deadline.

Applicants must have UK residency and hold, or are predicted to get a 1st or 2.1 undergraduate degree grade. EU residents can apply for fees-only grants.

Further information on writing a proposal

Applications via email should consist of:

• 1500 word proposal

• CV

• 2 academic references

• Statement of support from your primary supervisor

The University online application procedure will require additional documents.

Link to the University's online application process

Applications must both be registered through the University of Edinburgh application system and emailed to:


Other sources of funding are available from the University of Edinburgh Scholarships and Student Funding home page