Scholarships and Student Funding

Enlightenment Scholarships

The University will offer up to 30 Enlightenment Scholarships for students starting their PhD research at the University in the 2018-2019 academic session.


Each Enlightenment Scholarship will cover full tuition fees, a living cost award, equivalent to the current UK research council rates and subject to satisfactory progress the scholarship are awarded for up to maximum period of 4 years (48 months) for full-time PhD study or seven years (84 months) for part-time study. 

UK Research Council - indicative rates


In order to attract the best and brightest PhD students, the University seeks to offer not only unparalleled research facilities and supervision, but also to provide development opportunities which will support our research students as they progress beyond their PhD, through an innovative programme which will include career-development activity and possibly some paid employment.

This exciting scholarship scheme provides a valuable opportunity for postgraduate research students to undertake a package of training and development which will help them to develop the necessary skills required to meet their career choices and offer them a breadth of development opportunities.

There are two career development tracks for scholars to choose from:


Scholars will be enrolled on the Edinburgh Teaching Award and work towards this qualification through a range of theoretical and experiential training activities, which may include paid employment. Availability of opportunities for paid teaching varies widely between schools but, in addition to traditional face-to-face teaching, may also include on-line tutoring, and preparation on on-line teaching material, for example. Wherever possible, cross-school teaching will be used to broaden the teaching experience of the scholars.  Oversight of the scholars on the Teaching Track will be coordinated by the Enlightenment Scholarships Management Group and, while studying for the Edinburgh Teaching Award, mentorship will be provided by the Institute for Academic Development (IAD).

Professional Development

Scholars on this track will be enrolled on the Edinburgh Award.  Experiential learning activities may include activities such as public engagement or policy work, impact training, international experiences, external placements, and paid placements or internships with student services.  For example, Information Services will offer a variety of sustained employment opportunities, allowing the scholar to gain in-depth practical experience in information technology, one of the largest employment sectors in the UK.  Oversight of scholars on the Professional Development track will be coordinated by the Enlightenment Scholarship Management Group.

Enlightenment scholars will be required to engage in a programme of developmental activity.  This activity, comprising training and experiential learning (including paid employment) will approximate to the equivalent of one day per week.  For some scholars, this will operate as “day release”, with a regular pattern of one day per week away from the research project.  For others, such as language students or students who spend extended periods of time away from Edinburgh at central research facilities, an equivalent volume of career development activity would have to coalesce into intensive periods, interspersed throughout the scholarship.

Oversight of the career development tracks and each scholar’s participation will be entirely separate from their PhD programme.

In consultation with the scholar, a bespoke package of developmental activity will be agreed to build a framework for development, encouraging individual goal setting and providing support. The framework may include elements delivered by the Institute for Academic Development (IAD), training and support delivered by schools and/or colleges, and paid employment.


The awards are open to UK, EU and overseas students applying to an eligible PhD programme commencing their research degree in the between August 2018 and December 2018 of the 2018-2019 academic session.

Eligible participating Schools and criteria:

School of Biological Sciences  

Full-time or part time study on the following eligible programmes will be considered:

PhD Cell and Molecular Biology (Cell Biology)

PhD Cell and Molecular Biology (Plant Sciences) 

PhD Evolutionary Biology, Immunology and Infection Research (Evolutionary Biology)

PhD Evolutionary Biology, Immunology and Infection Research (Immunology and Infection Research)

PhD Quantitative Biology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology 

PhD Stem Cell Research 


School of Geosciences

Full-time study only on the teaching developmental track will be considered on the following eligible programme:

PhD Geology and Geophysics


School of Informatics

Full-time study only within the following programmes with be considered:

PhD Informatics: ANC: Machine Learning, Computational Neuroscience, Computational Biology

PhD Informatics: ICSA: Comp. Architecture, Compilation & System Software, Networks & Communication

PhD Informatics: LFCS: Foundations of Computer Science, Databases, Software & Systems Modelling

PhD Informatics: CISA: Automated Reasoning, Agents, Data Intensive Research, Knowledge Management

PhD Informatics: IPAB: Robotics, Computer Vision, Computer Graphics and Animation

PhD Informatics: ILCC: Language Processing, Speech Technology, Information Retrieval, Cognition   


School of Mathematics

Full-time or part time study on the teaching developmental track will be considered on the following eligible programme:

PhD Mathematics Education


Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies

Full-time or part time study on the following eligible programmes will be considered:

PhD Clinical Veterinary Sciences

PhD Developmental Biology

PhD Genetics and Genomics

PhD Infection and Immunity  

Applicants must have already applied for admission for an eligible PhD research programme of study at the University.    We encourage applicants who wish to apply for this scholarship to make contact with their academic school regarding any admission deadlines.

Candidates are required to have good English Language skills.  For applicants for whom English is not their native language, the required level of English proficiency will vary according to the requirements of the individual programme of study applied for.


For both tracks, student selection and admission processes will include appraisal of a personal statement and the applicant’s suitability for their proposed career development routes.  

Eligible applicants should complete an online scholarship application

Please note you will not be able to access the online application form unless you have applied for admission to the University of Edinburgh.

The scholarship deadline is 1st February 2018: you are strongly advised to ensure that you have submitted your application for admission at least five working days before this date.

The online scholarship application form is located in EUCLID and can be accessed via MyEd our web based information portal at

When logging in to MyEd, you will need your University User Name and password. If you require assistance, please go to


All short-listed applicants will be interviewed (this may be by video-conference, if necessary).  Participating schools will conduct the interviews with a format and guidance determined by the Enlightenment Scholarship Management Group.

While the selection process is intended to match each scholar to one track or the other, students who prove unsuitable for their allocated track may apply to the Enlightenment Scholarship Management Group to transfer to the other track, during their first year. 

Terms and Conditions