How to apply

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CENTA offers studentships through two main pathways. 

You can apply directly to a project, or, if eligible, you can apply directly for one of our Science Opportunity Scholarships (or both).  The routes have different eligibility criteria and application deadlines.

Our project-based studentships

To apply for one or more of our project-based studentships, you will need to apply directly to the university that is hosting the project through their application system. A respective link is given in the project description. If applying for a project-based project hosted at one of the Research Centres, you should apply via the partner university and inform the point of contact at the Research Centre.

You may only apply to one project at any one university but you may apply to more than one CENTA project if they are hosted at different universities.

Once you have decided on which project to apply for, you will need to follow the links to the local submitting instructions (given in the project description) and submit:

  • A CENTA application form (Word document – 58kb)
  • A CV with the names of at least two referees (preferably those who can comment on your academic abilities)
  • The application form of the university you are applying to.  This maybe online or to an email address.

Deadline

The deadline for applications is 11th January 2021.

Eligibility

Our project-based studentships are open to all applicants who meet the academic requirements (at least a 2:1 at UK BSc level or at least a pass at UK MSc level or equivalent).  Please note that unless you are eligible for a Home award, you will need to consider how you will be able to meet any shortfall in funding for tuition fees.  Different institutions will have different requirements for this, please contact the supervisors listed on the project for more information.

To be eligible for a full (Home) award a student must have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship.

(For further information please see Annex B in the following document:  https://www.ukri.org/files/funding/ukri-training-grant-terms-and-conditions-guidance-pdf)

Interviews

Your application will be considered by a local university-based recruitment team.  If successful at the shortlist stage, you will be invited to an interview, most likely during the week of the 15-19th February 2021.  It is likely that all interviews will be conducted online this year but as soon as is practically possible, you will be invited to visit your host institution and meet your potential supervisors in person.

Our CENTA Science Opportunity Scholarships (CSOS)

In order to address a historical imbalance, it is our ambition to offer up to 3 fully-funded scholarships to Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic (BAME) Home-award-eligible applicants who meet the academic requirements.

These scholarships are awarded to candidates prior to any project development. Once awarded, CENTA will put you in contact with academics who conduct research in your area of interest and who, with your help, will design a suitable project for you.

If you are interested in any of the CENTA projects that have been advertised, you may apply directly to that project as well, through the separate project-based studentship pathway (see above).

To apply for a CSOS scholarship you will need to send:

to: centa-admin@contacts.bham.ac.uk

Deadline

The deadline for applications is on or before 5th January 2021.

Eligibility

Our CSOs scholarships are open to all home-award-eligible BAME applicants who meet the academic requirements (at least a 2:1 at UK BSc level or at least a pass at UK MSc level or equivalent).  

To be eligible for a full (Home) award a student must have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship.

(For further information please see Annex B in the following document:  https://www.ukri.org/files/funding/ukri-training-grant-terms-and-conditions-guidance-pdf/ )

Interviews

Your application will be considered by a CENTA recruitment team.  If successful at the shortlist stage, you will be invited to an interview, most likely the week commencing 11th January 2021.  Your interview will be conducted online.

If you’re offered a scholarship

If you are offered a studentship, CENTA will put you in contact with academics who conduct research in your area of interest and who, with your help, will design a suitable project for you. Depending on your subject of interest, there may be projects offered by a number of supervisors at different institutions or research centres. By mid-February, your decision which one you would like to work on should be available. CENTA will support you in this process.

Successful candidates – acceptance deadline

Successful candidates on both pathways will be made a conditional offer in late February. In order to facilitate offering studentships to wait-list candidates, we ask you to make a decision about whether to accept or reject your offer by 12 noon GMT, 17th March 2021.

This deadline is the same for all NERC-funded studentships. Its purpose is to ensure that PhD applicants who have applied for multiple studentship opportunities and may therefore receive multiple offers, do not have to make a decision on the studentship they wish to accept before knowing the outcome of all of their applications.

Applicants who receive a NERC-funded PhD studentship offer are not required to accept an offer formally before this date unless they wish to do so. 

Further information

Please contact the CENTA Manager at centa-admin@contacts.bham.ac.uk  for more information.