Home Careers & Study PhD Studentships Questions?

Do you accept international PhD applications?


We can fund the tuition fees and provide £18,000 annual stipend for one international student (providing they register with University of Edinburgh for the duration of their PhD).

However, as the Franklin is not a Tier 4 organisation, we regretfully cannot provide financial support on visa application costs, or the immigration healthcare surcharge.

‘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. We have currently concluded our recruitment for the 21/22 academic year.

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 have a degree from a non-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.

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.

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


Our Franklin PhD programme is a cohort, which means you are applying to us directly, and not to individual supervisors. 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, computing and engineering backgrounds.

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. 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.

Will recruitment change in the COVID-19 pandemic?


Our first round of interviews will take place remotely virtually via Zoom, but shortlisted candidates may also be invited to an in-person interview day hosted at The Franklin. Local measures on COVID protocols and restrictions will be disseminated to candidates nearer to the time.

Will students need to reapply after Year 1?


Students will be registered at University of Edinburgh for Year 1. Their registration will be transferred automatically to another partner university for Years 2-4 (depending on which project they select) and they will graduate with a PhD from this partner university. All students will be based almost entirely at the Franklin hub for the duration of the PhD programme.

Will PhD funding change when Britain leaves the EU?


The funding for our 2021 PhD programme has been provided by UKRI-ESPRC, and their guidelines have been detailed here.

Essentially, our Franklin PhD studentships funded by UKRI are open to all applicants, regardless of ‘home’ (UK Nationals, have settled status, have pre-settled status, or have indefinite leave to remain or enter) or ‘international’ status.

However, we can only provide funding for ‘home’ tuition fee rates, and so applicants will need to provide funding to cover the difference between ‘home’ and ‘international’ tuition fees at the awarding university.

Furthermore, as the Franklin is not a Tier 4 organisation, we regretfully cannot provide support on visa application costs, or the immigration healthcare surcharge.

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