Length of PhD studentships

Full-time PhD studentships can last for any length of time between three and four years, depending on the nature of the project. On average, students are funded for 3.5 years.

Writing up

We do not fund a 'writing up' period after an award has ended.

Part-time PhD students

Students can be supported part-time using EPSRC funding. We expect that the length of funding will reflect the percentage of time the student spends on their PhD, and that the amount of funding is pro rata to a full-time studentship. For example, if a typical project lasts 3.5 years, a half-time student should get support for seven years at a level of half of the stipend.

Maternity leave

PhD students receiving a stipend from a doctoral training partnership are entitled to receive a stipend during maternity leave in line with statutory maternity provision. They should also have their studentships extended by a corresponding length of time.

We expect universities to meet the costs of maternity leave from within the cash-limit of their training accounts. If a university has a very small doctoral training partnership and no expectation of future funding from us, they can request additional funding above the cash-limit. The university will need to show that payment for maternity leave cannot be made from the doctoral training partnership and that there is no other contingency funding or doctoral training partnership to draw on.


If students need to take time off from their studies due to illness, they should keep their supervisor informed.