E4 Doctoral Training Partnership

Funding and Eligibility

Please carefully read this section to find out about what the funding includes and what are the eligibility criteria.

Fieldwork in the Arctic Ocean (photo A Doncila)
Fieldwork in the Arctic Ocean (photo A Doncila)


E4 DTP Studentships

E4 DTP studentships are fully-funded for a minimum of 3.5 years. They include:

  • Stipend based on RCUK minima (currently £15,009 for 2019/2020)

  • Fees (Home/EU Fees)
  • Research Costs (Standard Research Costs plus, depending on the projects requirements, Additional Research Costs can also be allocated)

The stipend can be extended to up to another 5 months through our two optional schemes, subject to the approval of the Management Board.

Programme Structure

UKRI Doctoral stipend levels

CASE Studentships

CASE studentships include a CASE partner which is a non-academic organisation within the public, private or third sector.

They support the studentship by:

  • bringing expert advice and supervision throughout the PhD;
  • providing a first-rate, challenging research training experience, within the context of a mutually beneficial research collaboration;
  • contributing to the project budget (supplementing the Additional Research Costs);
  • offering a placement at their premises to the student of between 3 and 18 months over the whole PhD.

Eligibility and Entry Requirements

UKRI Funding Eligibility

The E4 DTP is funded by NERC (UKRI) and as such, is regulated by the Terms and Conditions of Research Council Training Grants.

There are constraints to the funding eligibility of applicants.

Full Award

To be eligible to apply for a fully-funded DTP studentship, you must:

  1. be a UK or EU citizen or a non-EU citizen with permanent settled status in the UK (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’) AND
  2. have been ordinarily resident in the UK for minimum the last 3 years preceding the start of the studentship (this applies to all citizen categories).

Fees Only Award

Eu/EU citizens who will not have lived in the UK for the immediate 3 years preceding the start of the studentship but who will have been ordinarily living in an EU/EAA country for at least the past 3 years, would normally be eligible for a Fees Only Award. Fees Only Awards only cover fees and research costs. They do not include stipend. Therefore, funding to cover living costs for at least 3 years will need to be sought from another source.

Living costs in Edinburgh

Non-EU citizens who are not permanently settled in the UK (no indefinite leave to remain or permanent residency) and whose length of stay in the UK is or would be restricted by a visa (e.g. Tier 4) are not eligible.

Please refer to the below documents if you would like to check rules on eligibility and email e4dtp.info@ed.ac.uk if you are still in doubt about your eligiblity.

RCUK Terms and Conditions of Research Council Training Grants

Research Council Training Grant Guide

Entry Requirements

Academic Eligibility Criteria

We would normally require applicants to have a minimum of 2.1 undergraduate degree or equivalent. However, we may take relevant work experience and/or a Masters degree into account.

The E4 DTP aims to recruit PhD students from a diverse range of backgrounds. Our selection process looks at both academic and professional experience, and we do not consider a Masters degree a requirement for application to an E4 studentship.

English Language Requirements

Fieldwork in Mexico (photo G. Wells)
Fieldwork in Mexico (photo G. Wells)

All PhD applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or Masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration
  • UKVI list of majority English speaking countries
  • IELTS Academic: total 6.5 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 92 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 61 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)
  • CAE and CPE: total 176 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE II with distinctions in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. IELTS, TOEFL, Pearson Test of English and Trinity ISE must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Postgraduate Studies English language requirements

UKVI list of majority English speaking countries