Postgraduate research

Our research takes place predominantly within large, cohesive groups.

These groups use state-of-the-art facilities and provide postgraduate students with unique opportunities to pursue a variety of topics.

Many of these topics have a multidisciplinary flavour and are underpinned by strong industrial links which have resulted in successful spin-out companies.

Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT)

The University of Surrey hosts a prestigious EPSRC funded Centre for Doctoral Training:

The Centre for Doctoral Training in Micro- and NanoMaterials and Technologies (MiNMaT) which offers a EngD programme.


SCENARIO is a postgraduate centre in the Science of the Environment: Natural and Anthropogenic pRocesses, Impacts and Opportunities. The centre will play a major role in advancing the quantitative science of the environment, in understanding the interaction between people and environmental change, and in the exploitation of environmental science and engineering by industry and policy makers.

Join our research community

As a SCENARIO PhD student based at the University of Surrey you'll have the opportunity to participate in our leading research. For available PhD studentships take a look at the SCENARIO NERC Doctoral Training Partnership website which is part of the University of Reading.


Verification of security and privacy in modern threat landscapes

Funding information:
A stipend of £16,000 per annum, tax-free, subject to nationality and residence status.

Mathematics, fluids, meteorology and symmetry

Funding information:
Competitive departmental funding.

Mathematics of life and social sciences

Funding information:
Competitive departmental funding


From time-to-time a number of funded studentships are available from the Faculty’s EPSRC Doctoral Training Account (DTA). If you think you might be eligible you should contact potential supervisors or departments within the University in your area of interest to find out if funds are available.  

Some of our funds are available specifically to enhance interdisciplinary activity that span the Faculty's portfolio. If you are eligible for EPSRC DTA and would like to undertake research in more than one discipline or more than one Research Centre, please contact Ms Janette Reffell or Beatrice Spedicato for more information and closing dates.

The Surrey EngD programmes are aimed at researching broadly-based projects designed to address the needs of an industry sponsor. Projects come with a generous stipend, and for more information, application forms and eligibility criteria please visit the EPSRC pages.

In addition a number of specific project grants normally exist within Faculty’s Centres/Divisions/Departments, these are usually advertised on our Studentships page or on sites such as Jobs in Research, Science, Academic and related Professions and Find A PhD. These studentships are normally only open to UK/EU residents/nationals and eligibility is usually explained in the advertisement. To apply for one of these posts you should follow the instructions at the end of the advertisement.

To find out about this studentship, please go to our Doctoral College site.

A number of University Research Scholarships (URS) are available each year with our Faculty. These pay a living allowance (stipend) in addition to fees (at rate appropriate for UK residents or EU nationals).

In addition, a number of Overseas Research Scholarships (ORS) are available to overseas students, these pay the difference between the home/EU and overseas fees.

Both the URS and ORS attract a large number of high quality applicants and are highly competitive.

For further information on please contact Ms Janette Reffell or Beatrice Spedicato for more information and closing dates.

A number of national governments and international agencies also support PhD studies at the University of Surrey.

UKCISA UK Council for International Student Affairs

Designed specifically for international students planning to study in the UK, UKCISA provides comprehensive guidance on postgraduate study.

The British Council

The British Council can help in finding funding through their own scholarship schemes and links to appropriate websites.

Marshall Scholarships

Marshall Scholarships finance young Americans of high ability to study for a degree in the United Kingdom. Up to forty Scholars are selected each year to study at graduate level at an UK institution in any field of study. Each scholarship is held for two years.

Chevening Scholarships

These scholarships, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and administered by the British Council, are prestigious awards which enable overseas students to study in the United Kingdom.

Scholarships are offered in over 150 countries and enable talented graduates and young professionals to become familiar with the UK and gain skills which will benefit their countries.

The Chevening programme currently provides around 2,300 new scholarships each year for postgraduate studies or research at UK Institutions of Higher Education.

Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Awards (DHPA)

Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Awards (DHPA) are highly prestigious awards for students from the developing world to come and study for PhDs in top-rated UK research universities. Awards are funded by the UK Research Councils, and are administered by individual universities. They are based on outstanding academic ability and research potential: students are normally expected to have achieved the equivalent of a UK first-class honours degree in their first degree course. The award covers the cost of the overseas fee and living expenses for 3 years.

Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowship Plan (CSFP)

Since its inception in 1959, the Commonwealth Scholarships and Fellowship Plan has grown to be one of the most prestigious schemes for international study and professional development in the world. Over 25,000 Commonwealth citizens have held awards - many going on to reach the very highest levels of their profession.

CSFP has several distinctive features. It is a genuine partnership between developed and developing countries, involving both home and host country in the selection process. It offers awards in a wide range of countries. It is probably the only international scholarship scheme in the world to be reviewed by an international gathering of Education Ministers on a regular basis. Awards combine academic excellence with the desire to make a real difference in some of the world's poorest countries.

Please see the website of CSCUK to find out more details about eligible countries and making an application.

Overseas Research Student Awards Scheme

This scheme is open to overseas applicants who want to follow a postgraduate research degree in the UK. The scheme pays the difference between the home and overseas fees for full-time students of outstanding merit and research potential. You must hold an offer from the University to study for a MPhil/PhD before applying for an ORSAS award. Awards are extremely competitive and only a strong first-class UG degree or MSc distinction (achieved or realistically predicted) puts you in the running.

British Federation of Women Graduates (BFWG)

The BFWG offers funding to women research students studying in Great Britain, moving into their final year of study in 2009/10. They also offer International awards and fellowships. 

Further information is available on the BFWG website.

Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU)

Gives information on awards run by the ACU in partnership with government departments for students from the Commonwealth and the USA.

The Association of Charitable Foundations

Gives guidance on making applications to charitable trusts and foundations and has links to charitable bodies that may have funding available. For more details please see the website of the Association of Charitable Foundations.

Education UK

British Council-run website specifically for study in the UK, includes a searchable database of funding opportunities and extensive guidance on studying in the UK.

International Education Financial Aid

Guidance on financial aid and college scholarship and grants for US and international students wishing study in the UK.

Commonwealth Scholarships to developed countries

The key features of the scheme are:

  • Co-funding for full-time doctoral study in UK or up to 12 months study in the UK on a split-site basis
  • Awards are not restricted to particular subject areas.
  • Grant covers tuition and exam fees, maintenance, travel, fieldwork and other expenses (bench fees are unlikely to be funded)
  • Scholarships are available for candidates from: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Cyprus, Malta, New Zealand, Singapore and the Bahamas.
  • Applications should be made through the candidate's local agency in their home country.

This scheme may be of interest to those with existing applicants from the eligible countries.

To give a sense of scale, there are 68 participating institutions for only 16-18 awards. It is therefore essential that any applications receiving initial support from the University are from candidates that are able to clearly demonstrate outstanding research potential. Please note the scheme will require co-funding from within the University.

Schlumberger Faculty for the Future Fellowships

Faculty for the Future fellowships are awarded to women from developing and emerging economies who are preparing for PhD postdoctoral study in the physical sciences, engineering and related disciplines* to pursue advanced graduate study at top universities in their disciplines abroad.

Launched by the Schlumberger Foundation in 2004, Faculty for the Future has grown to become a community of 110 women from 35 countries.

The long-term goal of the Faculty for the Future program is to generate conditions that result in more women pursuing scientific disciplines. Grant recipients are therefore selected as much for their leadership capabilities as their scientific talents and they are expected to return to their home countries to continue their academic careers and inspire other young women.

Faculty for the Future grants are in the range of USD 25,000 to 50,000 per year, and may be renewed through to completion of studies subject to performance, self-evaluation, and recommendations from supervisors. The amount of the grant depends on the actual costs of study and living in the chosen location.

Candidates should be enrolled or applying to their selected graduate schools when submitting their Faculty for the Future grant request.

Candidates must have a proven track record of teaching experience, demonstrate active participation in faculty life and outreach to encourage young women into the sciences and hold an excellent academic record.

Sample versions of new forms are now available for consultation at the link below so candidates can start preparing their application content.

Further information about the Faculty for the Future fellowship program can also be found at Faculty for the Future.

Call for applications poster is available for download for your notice boards.

*Awards in biological sciences are limited.

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University of Surrey