Postgraduate Students

The William R McFarlane Scholarship

Information on the William R McFarlane Scholarship application process for 2023-24 entry

Applications for the academic year 2023/4 are now closed.


The award will cover Home (UK) fees and provide an annual stipend at the standard UKRI rate (The UKRI stipend for the academic year 23/24 has now been published on the UKRI website as £18,622 full-time equivalent or the pro rata equivalent for part-time students) for three years. An overseas awardee will be expected to cover the balance of their fees for three years.

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.

For more information on the award and how to apply, please see the link below.


Applicants for this award must:

Hold a UK 2.1 or first-class Honours undergraduate degree (or overseas equivalent) in a relevant field;

Demonstrate an equally high standard of academic performance in a postgraduate Master’s degree in a relevant field, or be on course to do so.

All high quality proposals relating to migration and/or diaspora studies from any period, and from any geographical region, will be considered. 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. 


The application process consist of three steps:

  1. Registering an expression of interest
  2. Academic (PhD) application
  3. Scholarship application

Step One: Expression of interest form

Please use the following form to register your interest with the HCA Postgraduate Research Office if you are intending on applying for a School Masters Scholarship.

Expression of interest form

Step Two: Academic (PhD) application

Completed PhD admission applications must have been made via the University of Edinburgh online application system by Tuesday 7 March, 23:59 UK time.

Apply for your programme of study

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. This means that all your supporting documentation (research proposal of 1,000-2,000 words, academic references, copies of qualifications/transcripts) must, where available, also be uploaded by the deadline. 

You will need to submit both your undergraduate and postgraduate degree certificates and transcripts in order to be considered for PhD admission. For instructions on how to upload additional documents after you have submitted your application please follow the support guidance available here.

Pending academic references

If you plan to submit your application on or close to the deadline, please liaise closely with your referees to ensure they supply the required reference within 5 working days after the deadline. If referees cannot upload their references into the application portal by this date, they can send them directly to the PGR Office at Incomplete applications will not be considered by the scholarships panel.

Pending degree or English test result

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

Step Three: Scholarship application

Applicants must also complete an online scholarship application form by Tuesday 21 March, 23:59 UK timePlease note you will not be able to access the online application form in the MyEd portal unless you have applied for admission to the University of Edinburgh and received your login details (University User Name and password).

Please select the option 'William R McFarlane Scholarship'.

As part of your scholarship application, you will complete a personal statement (maximum 3,500 characters, including spaces). Do not underestimate the importance of your personal statement in which you should set out your academic achievements and goals, and indicate how the award would benefit your studies. This statement should give added value to your application and help you to stand out. It will be read carefully by panel members. Make sure that it reflects you and your accomplishments as well as possible.


  • PhD application deadline: Tuesday 7 March 2023, 23:59 UK time
  • Scholarship application deadline: Tuesday 21 March 2023, 23:59 UK time


Applicants will be notified of the outcome by May 2023.  We reserve the right not to make an award in the event that no suitable applications are received. 


Useful Links

If you have a question which has not been answered above, please email the Postgraduate Research Office (