The Franklin PhD programme is fully funded for four years, where successful students will be offered:

  • £18000 tax-free allowance each year for four years
  • ‘Home’ tuition fees for their entire degree*
  • All associated project costs
  • Free ‘Unlimited’ bus travel pass for four years or free parking
  • Free affiliate student membership to Pembroke College, University of Oxford

*This PhD studentship programme has been funded by the UK Government through the UKRI – Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (ESPRC). Research councils are public bodies that provide research funding for grants and scholarships.

‘Home’ students are defined as UK and Irish Nationals, have settled status, have pre-settled status, or have indefinite leave to remain or enter. Whilst applications from international students are welcome at the Franklin, we are not a Tier 4 organisation and so regretfully cannot provide support for visa application costs and the immigration health surcharge. Furthermore, international applicants would need to find funding to cover the cost of the gap between ‘home’ and ‘international’ tuition fees at the awarding university.

Click here to start your application process.

Franklin Culture

It’s important for PhD students to maintain a healthy work-life balance, supporting their mental and physical health.

The Rosalind Franklin Institute is based in Harwell Campus, which boasts a number of specialist research organisations, some of which have their own PhD students, and local services including a dentist, a gym and sports leagues and teams. As well as active LGBTQ+ and Green networks, there is also a ‘Nxt Gen’ programme specifically for early-career researchers, and they hold social events on a frequent basis. We also have subsidised access to the RAL canteen and coffee outlets on campus, who provide a variety of hot and cold food options.

The Harwell Campus is based in Oxfordshire, with frequent and direct transport links to Oxford via bus, train and the A34. Students can take advantage of an ‘Unlimited’ bus travel scheme, a cycle-friendly workplace, free electric car charging points and free parking in Harwell Campus. Local amenities can be found here.

As PhD students at the Franklin, successful applicants will also be eligible to join and participate in societies at Pembroke College,  University of Oxford. Internally, our institute offers weekly wellbeing activities and have friendly Mental Health First Aiders and a Training Coordinator to support students throughout their time with us. PhD students will have an annual 25 days’ entitlement to leave, not including bank holidays.



We aim to provide an environment for students and staff to flourish personally and professionally, and support our students until their next steps – in whatever field that might be. This is why our training courses have been mapped out against the national Vitae Researcher Development Framework. We believe in a strong research culture, which our staff and students can imbibe and take with them in their future careers.

Students will participate in higher-level researcher data skills, and a range of seminars and workshops tailored specifically to their projects and career aspirations. Training materials will be accessible throughout their time at the Franklin. Our students will cover a wide range of topics from coding to publishing research, with optional courses that are directly relevant to their projects.

There are also mentors available to provide one-to-one support for grant writing applications, scientific engagement events and support placements in industry or other partners during the four years of the programme.

If you have any questions, please email us at