Postgraduate Students

The William R McFarlane Scholarship

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

The Edinburgh Centre for Global History (ECGH) invites applications from outstanding candidates for the William R. McFarlane Scholarship for 2024-5 entry.


The award provides an annual stipend at the UKRI rate (the UKRI stipend for the academic year 24/25 has now been published on the UKRI website as £19,237) and tuition fees at the UK or international rate.

The successful applicant will become a member of the ‘Migration, Slavery and Diaspora Studies' hub within the (ECGH), which boasts a lively and supportive postgraduate community. The successful applicant will be expected to participate in the ECGH’s activities, including the Graduate Workshop.


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 William R McFarlane Scholarship.

The scholarship panel will consider all high-quality proposals relating to migration and/or diaspora studies from any period and from any geographical region. Although Scottish history is a core concern, the Migration, Slavery, and Diaspora Studies Hub has broad transnational interests and welcomes projects relating to other nations or regions that put the Scottish example in a comparative perspective. Current/recent projects have focused on issues surrounding memory and identity (including military Scottishness, Irish diasporas in Melbourne and Chicago, and mapping memories of slavery), Scottish, Dutch, Jewish, and enslaved African diasporas in the early modern Atlantic World, and the impact of Scottish involvement with the slave economy on material culture at home. Prospective applicants are welcome to propose topics in related areas but should not feel obliged to do so. 


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, 23 April 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 7 May 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 William R McFarlane Scholarship

Eligible candidates must submit a separate scholarship application in the MyEd portal by Tuesday, 7 May 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 'William R McFarlane Scholarship' 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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