Global Challenges Doctoral Centre (GCDC) PhD Scholarship (student-led)

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How to apply

For student-led applications, interested students can suggest their own research projects. In this case, we strongly recommend students contact the supervisor/s they have in mind to discuss their research proposal well ahead of completing a formal application. Staff contact details are available on the relevant schools’ websites.

When applying, students should follow the University of Kent’s online application process and include the following:

o explain reasons for study/outline research proposal;

o provide details/evidence of qualifications;

o provide two academic references;

o provide other personal information and supporting documentation.

In addition to the standard online PhD application, student-led GCDC scholarship applicants will be required to complete the GCDC student-led PhD scholarship application form here. As a part of the scholarship application, applicants will be asked to provide:

• A GCRF compliance statement (max 500 words) to demonstrate which principal GCRF challenge area(s) the research project will meet, which UN sustainable development goal(s) the project will meet, which specific DAC-list country (or countries) will benefit from the project, how the project will benefit that country/countries and any future benefits to that country/countries (as envisaged at this stage).

• A 500-word supervisor statement from the potential supervisor/s supporting the student’s application and highlighting how the project meets the criteria outlined above.

Guidance on ODA compliance, GCRF challenge areas and UN SDGs is available on the GCDC website:

Following a school-level shortlisting and interview process, successful applicants will be shortlisted and invited for a second interview by the GCDC panel. The GCDC panel interview will take place on 26 February 2020. The panel will include the Dean of the Graduate School, the GCDC academic director or deputy director and Associate Deans for Graduate Studies from all three faculties. The panel will award studentships based on the quality of applications, as well as compliance with ODA and GCRF funding rules.