Frequently asked questions for applications to the PhD Studentship Fund

What are the Trust’s priority areas for support?
The priority areas for support are:

  • Research into the causes and treatments of disease, disability and frailty related to ageing
  • Innovative projects to improve the care of older people, including rehabilitation and palliative care
Where can I find the deadlines for submission of an application?
When will I hear if my application has been successful?
The timetable for application and decision will be published at the time of the call for proposals.
What is the application process?

Submission of a detailed application form is required using the Trust’s grants portal.

How are applications assessed?

Applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • The commitment of the host department to ageing-related research – either currently or as part of a planned strategic development.
  • Credibility and feasibility of plans to achieve benefit beyond the academic community to improve the health and well-being of older people.
  • Credibility and quality of the proposed training programme and wider career development support.
  • Value for money, creativity in the use of available resources and the ability to attract other funding and resources.
Is there a standard application form?

We require the submission of one detailed application form on our Grants Management Portal. Firstly, you will need to register on our Portal and then select either the PhD Studentship Scheme – multiple or PhD Studentship scheme – single. The online application form will only be available to complete when the scheme is open and so do check current deadlines for opening and closing dates. You can download a copy of the application form for a single studentship  or multiple studentships to help you start planning your application. However, please remember that applications will only be considered if they have been submitted on the portal during the submission period. We will not be able to consider any applications that are emailed or posted to the office.

Where can I find help on registering for and using Dunhill's online Grants Management Portal?
We have provided a “how to” guide.  But if you need any further help, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
What costs will we cover?

A maximum of £200k is available. This could cover, for example, a single fully-funded studentship encompassing:

  • PhD stipend (at an appropriate rate, dependent on the location of the higher education institution and pro-rated if part-time)
  • Tuition fees (UKRI home rates)
  • an additional amount to cover research expenses (other course fees; travel; consumables; small equipment etc.)


We would particularly welcome applications that can provide financial support for several studentships as part of a strategic commitment to ageing-related research and be part funded by the host institution either financially* or in kind through the provision of services and/or facilities or tuition fee waiver.

*This may be university internal funds or funding from industry or other trusts, foundations or charities etc.

Please note that we will not contribute towards the Apprenticeship levy or overseas student fees

Guidance on specific non-staff cost items:

  • Travel and subsistence costs for the student. These will normally be met and should be based on the most suitable and economical form of travel.
  • Conference costs. The costs of attendance at conferences by the student may be met where attendance is to disseminate the findings of the research.
  • Requests for project-specific items of equipment costing up to £10k may be met but should be fully justified.
  • Non-UK costs (for e.g. specialist tests or assays) may be met, on condition that full justification is provided. It will, however, be the responsibility of the host institution to reimburse the non-UK institution for carrying out such tests.
  • Computers and other IT equipment dedicated to the project may be met, on condition that full justification is provided.
  • For data storage and archiving, we will contribute 50% towards these costs, up to a maximum of £500 per grant.
  • We will meet justified payments for public involvement at INVOLVE rates
  • Impact-related costs will be met
  • Training course costs will be met
Do you accept applications for research involving the use of animals?
In line with our grant making policy, we will only support the use of protected animals in research where no viable alternative exists and applicants are required to comply with guidance published by the National Centre for the Refinement, Replacement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs). Where an applicant intends to use animals in the proposed research, they will be required to complete a detailed section of the application form.
Do you accept applications for research involving research conducted in a Clinical Trials Unit?
Yes. If you intend to carry out the research in a Clinical Trials Unit (CTU), you will need to complete a detailed section in the application form.
Will the Trust act as a research sponsor?
No. All successful research applicants need to provide evidence of the acceptance of the proposed sponsor to undertake this responsibility before a research grant can be confirmed, or provide a nil return stating that the object of the research does not fall within NHS research governance requirements.
Will I need to obtain ethical approval or a Home Office Licence before I apply?
No. Evidence of Health Research Authority (HRA) approval or a Home Office Licence will need to be provided prior to you starting your project and any grant offer will be conditional upon proof of ethical approval, research sponsorship arrangements, etc. It is not expected that these will be in place during the application process, though.
Does the Trust have an Open Access Policy?

Yes, as a member of a consortium of biomedical and health research funders that contribute to the funding of Europe PubMed Central (Europe PMC). The policy can be viewed here.

Does the Trust provide funding to cover Open Access fees?
In line with its open access policy, the Trust will provide a contribution towards the valid costs of open access fees levied by publishers who support the open access model, but demand payment to allow manuscripts to be made available on Europe PMC within 6 months of the official date of publication.
When publishing papers arising from our funded grants, grant holders must also ensure that the Trust is correctly acknowledged.
Does the Trust have a policy on Intellectual Property Rights?
As described in Clause 7 of Terms and Conditions for Grants, in certain circumstances the Trust may make any grant offer to support research conditional upon securing an Intellectual Property Agreement for the sharing of any commercial revenues that may arise as a result of the work it has funded. The downloadable specimen Intellectual Property Agreement is available from the Resources area of the website.
What is Researchfish?
Researchfish is an online research impact assessment platform developed specifically for collecting research outcomes and impacts. For more details on how the Trust uses Researchfish and what this means for our grant-holders please click here.
Does the Trust have links to the tobacco industry?
No.  The Trust does not receive or seek funds from any external body and promotes the highest ethical practices in scientific and medical research and fully complies with the Joint Protocol of Cancer Research and Universities UK on Tobacco Industry Funding to Universities (2004).  Please read about our history.

PhD Studentship Fund

Take the eligibility quiz, check deadlines and make an application

Governance documents

View and download the supporting policy documents

The Dunhill Medical Trust
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Telephone: 020 7403 3299