Department of Engineering / Postgraduates / Funding opportunities for applicants

Department of Engineering

Funding opportunities for applicants

Funding opportunities for applicants

There are a number of funding opportunities for prospective postgraduate students available with the department and the University, which can be applied for via a number of different routes. Some funders require separate applications, whilst for other funding opportunities you only need to tick a box indicating that you wish to be considered for funding on the online application form for admission, without needing to submit further information. Further details can be found on the Postgraduate Admissions website.

Search for funding opportunities

The University Funding Search allows you to search for funding opportunities across the University and its Colleges, although it is currently not completely comprehensive. Details of how to apply for each source of funding, including deadlines, can be found within the database.

Sources of funding

The majority of postgraduate students in the Engineering Department are funded via one of the sources listed below.

Tips for finding funding

Research early

Start researching funding opportunities at least a year before your course begins.

Apply early

Many scholarship deadlines are around early December, for admission in the following year. If your course starts in January you may need to apply for funding 18 months in advance.

Get funding or financing before you start studying

Without proof of finances you will not be admitted to the University and will not be able to study here. Do not expect to be able to find funding after your course starts.

Apply for many funding opportunities

Apply for all the funding sources you’re eligible for, both internal and external to the University. If you’re applying for a departmental award or funded place do also apply for other funding schemes – so that you won’t miss the deadlines for other funding opportunities if the department does not offer you an award.

If you are awarded more than one full scholarship, you have to choose just one and reject the others. But you are allowed to hold multiple scholarships for smaller amounts that total a full award.

University Postgraduate Funding Competition

The annual Postgraduate Funding Competition is coordinated by a dedicated student funding team within the University, and awards students through a variety of sources, including;

How to apply

In order to be considered you need to ensure that you complete the relevant funding section on your application form, and select 'Yes' for each funding option you wish to apply for. Please note that if you wish to apply for funding from the Gates Cambridge Trust, you will need to supply some additional information as part of your application. Further information can be found on the Gates Cambridge website.

The department will review your application, score it based on internal criteria and submit this information to the funding bodies.


These deadlines encompass both Michaelamas Term 2023 and Lent Term 2024;

Round Application Deadline Awards Offered
US citizens resident in the USA who wish to be considered for Gates Wednesday 12 October 2022 From Monday 31 January 2023
All other nationalities (Including US citizens who wish to be considered for other funding) Thursday 1 December 2022 From Tuesday 1 March 2023*

*Please note that if you have not received any notification of funding by the end of July you should assume you have not been successful in this funding round. 


If your application is not completed and submitted by the published deadlines, we will not be able to include you in the funding competition. It is crucial that you ensure ALL of your supporting documents are submitted by the deadline, including your references. Remember, you can check on the Applicant Portal whether these have been submitted, and chase them if not.  

EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnerships 

The EPSRC provides funding for Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) studentships to support doctoral training in engineering and physical sciences. The Engineering Department DTP funds up to 20 new students in the department per year. 

The awards are a minimum of three years in duration, and provide an annual stipend at the minimum UKRI rate, in addition to covering fees and providing a small contribution towards additional training costs, such as attendance at conferences. 

A number of our DTP studentships are offered in collaboration with an industrial partner, giving students with this type of award the opportunity to take up a placement with the industrial partner during the PhD, to broaden their experience. 


EPSRC DTP funding is predominantly available to Home (UK) students. Home students who meet the residency requirements (resident in the UK for three years before the start date of the course) are eligible for a full, ie fees and maintenance, award. A limited number of DTP awards are available each year for EU and international students, but these may not cover the full international fee rates. In 2023/24, the University is offering a fee waiver for these students, so that the award covers their full financial commitment.

How to apply

The department allocates studentships to specific projects under named academic supervisors. The available projects are advertised on the University jobs website. Most adverts are published between October and March, although they may close early if a suitable candidate is identified. It is therefore advisable to keep checking the listings, and to apply early if you see an opportunity that interests you. Details of how to apply will be given on the advert. Any offer of funding will be dependent on you being made an offer of admission and meeting all its associated conditions.

All applications must be made via this route, it is not possible to make an application for the PhD and automatically be considered for our DTP funding. 


Each studentship has its own application deadline to observe, and these are advertised year round, so if you are interested in applying please keep checking the jobs website. 

EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training

The EPSRC Centres for Doctoral Training (CDT)  offer four year studentships which provide funding for both for the initial MRes year and the first three year of the PhD. Students are encouraged to ensure that they submit their PhD thesis within the funded period.


As with the EPSRC DTP studentships, Home (UK) students who meet the residency requirements (resident in the UK for three years before the start date of the course) are eligible for a full, ie fees and maintenance, award. There are a very limited number of funded CDT places available for EU and international students, and these may not cover the full international fee rates.

Applicants to the CDT can also apply for funding from the Cambridge Trusts and other sources.

Applicants to the CDT programmes will be automatically considered for funding by the CDT. Information on how to apply can be found on our website.

Other funding opportunities for Engineering students

WD Armstrong Studentship

The School of Technology also administer the W.D Armstrong studentship, a three year award that is usually open to home, EU and overseas students.The studentships are offered for full-time postgraduate work in a field related to the application of engineering in medicine. Each Armstrong scholar will be co-supervised jointly by academics from the School of Technology and the School of Clinical Medicine.

How to apply

The W D Armstrong managers offer studentships to specific projects that are managed by the academic members of staff in the department. The studentships are then advertised on the University jobs website. 

Usually interested applicants will need to contact the supervisor with a CV and discuss the opportunity further, and if successful will conditional upon submitting an application for the PhD via the applicant portal.


Some supervisor have funding available for projects that they are working on, although this is usually partial funding. Opportunities may be advertised on the University jobs website or may be directly offered by supervisors in discussion with applicants.

Industrial partners

Applicants may be able to secure funding directly from industrial partners to sponsor projects of interest to them.


The Cambridge ESRC DTP usually fund one or two Engineering Department students per year who are working under the remit covered by the research council. These students are generally based within the Institute for Manufacturing and Management. Studentships are allocated by the DTP grant managers directly to supervisors and projects, who may advertise them on the University jobs website, or they may be offered directly by supervisors in discussion with applicants. 


Many students self-fund, either through savings, family support or through postgraduate loans (especially Masters students). Almost all of the funding competitions are only open to applicants, not to current students. Once you have commenced a course of study, there are no internal sources of funding available that would cover fees and maintenance, so it is important to ensure that you have full funding in place at the outset. You will be asked to sign a declaration to confirm that you have funding in place for the duration of the course, as a condition of your offer.