This page lists details of current funded PhD opportunities for new candidates applying to undertake a research degree at the University of Cumbria.

Industry-focused PhDs

Looking for a PhD with a difference? The University of Cumbria has funded PhD opportunities starting in 2017 for real-world research with leading local businesses, supported by the European Regional Development Fund.

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 Look out for updates on new funded industry focussed PhD opportunities

Opportunites for industry-focused three year funded PhDs for home/EU students will be open for are expected soon. Express your interest now for these highly competitive opportunities, by emailing For more information on the project, see

This is an excellent opportunity for those wanting a career in research and development by gaining a doctorate whilst gaining first-hand experience and skills working with a Cumbrian business. You will be working with a leading high-growth business undertaking intensive R&D on a specific research project to underpin the development of a new product or service, using this work as the basis of your PhD programme of study. This collaboration between academia and business aims to increase the number of businesses engaging in knowledge exchange and collaborative research so that they are able to bring new products to the market. We are looking for graduates with a background in a wide range of subjects, including environmental science, eco-system assessment, low-carbon energy, forensic science, biomedical science, chemistry, technology enhanced learning, sports science (biomechanics, physiology and psychology), health science, radiation protection, ecology, conservation and more…

Why do an industry-focused PhD?

  • Do you want to develop your skills and experience to undertake a rewarding and well-paid career?       
  • Have you considered doing a PhD but thought that was just for people wanting to be academics?       
  • Are you interested in how new products, processes and services are developed?       
  • Do you want undertake a research degree, but want to be sure it will have positive and immediate effects in the real world?
  • Do you want to work alongside the people in businesses doing your dream job whilst gaining a PhD?      

If the answer is yes, contact Research Student Admissions ( now to register your interest and receive further information once projects become available for application.

Successful applicants could:

  • Receive £15,000 tax-free per year
  • Undertake a substantive collaborative project with a business with a base in the North West of England
  • EU/UK candidates - have your postgraduate research tuition fees fully funded for by your partner business, worth £4,052/year 
  • Become part of a cohort of graduates working with an award-winning team on business-led R&D
  • Develop new products, processes and services
  • Be in an enviable position to develop a long-term well-paid career
  • Complete a PhD in a strong position to enter a competitive job market in the UK and overseas


Sellafield Bursary

The University of Cumbria has up to two bursaries available for females resident in the UK and wishing to undertake a PhD in a STEMM subject.

To apply for the Sellafield Ltd - University of Cumbria Bursary, you will need to submit a University of Cumbria Graduate School application form and a research proposal (see How to apply for details), as well as supporting documents as listed below to with 'Sellafield Ltd - University of Cumbria Bursary' in the subject line.

Subject areas for research proposals could include:

  • Analytical, Materials Chemistry and Materials Science
  • Biomedical sciences
  • Catchment Management
  • Conservation biology
  • Ecology (behavioural, population, landscape)
  • Ecosystem Assessment
  • Exercise Physiology
  • Forestry and forest management
  • Human health
  • Infection studies
  • Medical imaging sciences
  • Upland management sustainability
  • Viral epidemiology

The bursary is not intended to fully cover the costs of undertaking a PhD, and provides a bursary of up to £3000 per annum for up to three years as a contribution towards the cost of study. This is a competitive opportunity, and applicants are expected to provide a brief statement on how successful award of a bursary would impact your study. Additional information may also be requested, and other terms, conditions and eligibility criteria may apply. Successful applicants are expected to act as an ambassador for the University of Cumbria and take part in ambassador activities on behalf of Sellafield Ltd with associated media coverage and promotional events.

For more information on this opportunity, or to express an interest, please contact

Check this page regularly for future funded PhD opportunities...