Postgraduate Students

Justin Arbuthnott PhD Scholarship in Modern Irish History

Applications for the academic year 2024/5 are now closed.

This scholarship aims to promote a better understanding of Ireland and various complex relationships which link Ireland and the UK by facilitating advanced study by PhD students in modern Irish history at the University of Edinburgh.

It is named for Justin Arbuthnott, who drowned along with three friends one night in July 1989 when their boat capsized off the coast near County Donegal in Ireland. All four were in their early 20s and were students at the University of Edinburgh, where they had first met and become close friends.


The award provides an annual stipend at the UKRI rate (for 2024-25, this has been set as £19,237 pro-rata for part-time students) for three and a half years, subject to satisfactory progress and tuition fees at the UK or international rate.


The award is open to UK, EU and overseas students commencing a PhD degree in the academic year 2024-25. Those applying for a distance learning HCA PhD programme, as well as current PhD students, are not eligible to apply for the Justin Arbuthnott PhD Scholarship.

The scholarship panel will consider all high-quality proposals relating to the history of modern Ireland or British-Irish relations.

Informal enquiries about the Justin Arbuthnott PhD Scholarship can be made to Professor Enda Delaney.


Please note that the funding applications have their own separate timelines and rules for both the study and the scholarship applications, which differ from the deadlines generated automatically by the application portal when submitting your study application. 

To be considered for this scholarship, you must complete the following two steps:


Step One: Application for PhD study

Apply for your study programme

Your completed PhD study application must be submitted through the University’s online application system by Tuesday, 12 March 2024, 23:59 UK time. This means that all your supporting documentation must also be uploaded, including the research proposal of 1,000-2,000 words, copies of undergraduate and postgraduate degree certificates and transcripts (and their official translations if not in English), and two academic references. For instructions on uploading additional documents after submitting your application, please follow the support guidance available here

If you have already submitted a PhD application for 2024/5 but want to upload an updated research proposal, you must send it to the PGR Office at before the stated deadline. 

The scholarship panel will not consider incomplete applications. Please see the below guidance on what to do if any of your documents are missing or pending:

  • Academic references

Please note that your referees will receive automatic reminders from the application system. The deadlines calculated in these reminders are not relevant to the scholarship deadline. Please liaise closely with your referees to ensure they supply the required reference within ten working days of your submission and no later than 26 March 2024, 23:59 UK time. Your referees may receive further emails with reference deadlines, but as noted, these are only for your PhD application. For the scholarship application, all references must be received by the deadline stated here. 

  • Postgraduate degree result

Please note that you must submit your undergraduate and postgraduate degree certificates and transcripts to be considered for PhD admission. If you are still studying towards your postgraduate qualification, we will require you to submit an interim transcript or a certificate of matriculation so we can consider your application and, where appropriate, make you a conditional offer on the condition of successful completion of your current master's degree.

  • Proof of English competency

If a degree result or test of English competency is pending, we can consider your application and, where appropriate, make you a conditional offer on the condition of supplying these at a later date.


IMPORTANT: If you are unsure about the eligibility of any of your documents, please email the Postgraduate Research Office well ahead of the submission deadline.

Email the Postgraduate Research Office


Step Two: Application for the Justin Arbuthnott PhD Scholarship

Eligible candidates must submit a separate scholarship application in the MyEd portal by Tuesday, 26 March 2024, 23:59 GMT.  Please note you cannot access the online funding application form in the MyEd portal unless you have first applied for admission to the University of Edinburgh (see Step 1) and received your login details (University username and password).

To apply for the scholarship in the MyEd portal, please select the 'Justin Arbuthnott PhD Scholarship in Modern Irish History' option.

As part of your scholarship application, you will complete a personal statement in which you should set out your academic achievements and goals, and address how you meet the remit of this scholarship (please refer back to the 'Eligibility' section for details).


Do I need a study offer before applying for the scholarship?

You may apply for the scholarship before receiving a decision on your application for a PhD place, but if you do not receive a study offer, your application cannot proceed.


Applications which do not meet the deadlines stated above won't be considered.

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