Home Careers & Study PhD Studentships Questions?

When will you start recruitment for the 2025-26 academic year?

Applications for the 2025-2026 academic year will open in Autumn 2024, please check back at this time to apply.


Do you accept international PhD applications?

Yes! We are able to offer a fully funded studentship to one international student per year.

If you are uncertain as to whether you are a home or international student, please see the definitions below.

‘Home’ students are:

  • UK and Irish Nationals,
  • Individuals with settled status,
  • Individuals who have pre-settled status, or
  • Individuals who have indefinite leave to remain or enter.

What should I include in my PhD application?

We will ask about these details in the application:

  • Your contact details
  • The contact details of two academic referees
  • Education and employment experience
  • Degree transcripts and degree certificate (if applicable)
  • Research experience
  • Personal statement 800-word limit

Please click here for suggestions on what to include in your personal statement and how to choose appropriate referees.

How do I apply?

We accept applications through our online application system. Applications for the 2025-2026 academic year will open in Autumn 2024.

I have no lab experience due to the pandemic. Can I still apply?


The Franklin is a research institute, and we are well aware of the restrictions that have affected universities and students worldwide. We welcome applications which demonstrate your enthusiasm, your academic merit, and your proactive commitment in finding out more about your subject – in and out of lab research.

I don't have a degree from a Russell Group university. Can I apply?


There are many reasons why students choose a specific university for their undergraduate degree and none of these reasons should be unfairly penalised during an application to join a PhD programme.

We welcome applicants from all UK and international universities, as we recognise that students with potential can come from anywhere. Almost 50% of our current intake of PhD students completed their undergraduate degree in a non-Russell Group university.

Can I start my application now and continue later?


The ‘submit’ button at the end of each section saves your progress, so that you can return (and add) to it later.

Where are students based during their PhD?

Students are primarily based at the Franklin (Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire) for the entire four years of the programme. Although students are registered with Edinburgh University during their first year and at their respective awarding universities for the remaining three years, it is expected that they will not spend more than 20% of their time away from the Franklin over the duration of the programme as a whole.

Do I contact a supervisor before applying for the PhD programme?


Our Franklin PhD programme is a cohort of students, which means you are applying to us directly, and not to individual supervisors or projects. Please click here to read what you will need to complete your application.

I have a degree in [scientific subject]. Can I apply?


We very much encourage applications from individuals from all scientific, mathematical, computing and engineering backgrounds. We are building unique cohorts of candidates who have different expertise to collaborate and learn from each other.

Do I need to create a research proposal for the application?


We are recruiting for a cohort of students rather than for specific projects. During Y1, students will be provided with a choice of different proposals for their 12-week project. All of them will be based around Franklin technologies. Students will then select one based on their research interests and background.

Do you accept part-time students?


Our PhD programme is for full-time students only, as the first year is a unique interdisciplinary project-based system. This has been specifically created for a cohort of students working together.

When will you contact my referees?

Your two academic referees will only be contacted, through email, following a successful interview process. We will notify you when we begin to contact them. Please click here for suggestions on how to choose appropriate referees to support your Franklin PhD application.

How will I know if I am successful?

Submitted applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. All applicants will be informed at touch-points throughout the year – either to be invited to an interview, or if they are unsuccessful. Unsuccessful applicants will be welcome to apply to our Franklin PhD programme in the following year.

My question is not answered here.

Please email us at training@rfi.ac.uk and we will get back to you regarding your enquiry.

Rosalind Franklin Institute