How to apply for a YGRS PhD scholarship: a step-by-step guide

These steps should help you navigate the application process.

Information for 2023/24 entry will continue to be updated, so please check this page throughout the year.

Scholarship timeline



November 2022

Applications open

7 December 2022 (11:00am GMT)

Online webinar for applicants and supervisors 

22 February 2023 (2:30pm GMT)

Online webinar for applicants and supervisors 

31 March 2023

Applications close

End of April

Invitations extended to successful interviewees. 

Early May

Interviews to take place.

End of May

Deadline for applicants to accept offer and invitation to make formal application to York. 


Campus visits for successful applicants


New academic year starts

  • Browse our PGR degrees
  • Consult the University’s admission requirements (2:1 or equivalent with flexibility in academic entry requirements for applicants with extensive relevant experience) and respective York departmental web pages for additional entry guidance, eg any expectations around performance at Masters level.

York has many departments and multidisciplinary research centres. There are three main ways that you can find a PhD project or supervisor/s:

  • Many departments and supervisors advertise potential research opportunities on - some of these might be funded, but others might not be.
  • Look at our University research pages where you can find out more about our research, and also search the York Research Database. You can search by keyword to help you to find supervisors who are publishing and working in the subject area that you are interested in.
  • Search our departmental pages to discover more about the academics and facilities available for research projects.

All prospective applicants to the YGRS scholarship scheme are expected to have made contact with a potential supervisor:

  • Start with sending an informal research enquiry, either directly to the academic you are interested in working with, or the departmental contact. 
  • If you are not sure who is the right academic for your project, then the departmental contact or Graduate Chair can help. The name of the Graduate Chair is listed on the YGRS Departmental contacts webpage.
  • Making the first contact can seem intimidating, but University of York academics are used to receiving such enquiries. However, they are busy people so make sure that you are sending an enquiry that relates to their research expertise. Highlight your strengths and interests, and mention that you are applying for a YGRS scholarship.
  • Making a research enquiry helps define your interests, contributes to making your application successful, and also ensures that you identify the best possible supervisor for your needs.
  • Once you have identified a suitable and willing supervisor, then you can work to refine your application
  • Your application is likely to take at least several weeks to prepare - so start early.
  • You can download a pdf of the application form and write each section in advance before you start pasting them into the live application form.
  • Remember to keep saving your application form.
  • There are four main sections to the application form (and strict character limits): Contact information and eligibility; Outline of the proposed research topic; Personal statement outlining your aspirations and ambitions; CV evidencing your academic, work and other relevant skills and experience.
  • We also ask you to provide academic transcript/s from previous institution/s (not provided to short-listing or interview panel)
  • If you are shortlisted for an interview, then we will ask you for the contact details of two academic referees (see York’s Admissions Policy and further guidance on PGR references).
  • For shortlisting and interview stages, applicants will be scored against the following criteria and their answers to questions similar to those outlined in this document.
  • Before sending applications to the shortlisting panel, our administrators will redact names, educational history and other information that may indicate gender, ethnicity and other protected characteristics.
  • YGRS will be asking your potential supervisor for a supporting statement as part of the shortlisting process. So, make sure that you have a conversation with your potential supervisor and keep them informed of your application. 
  • YGRS will send your potential supervisor a copy of your completed application form, but you can also do this in advance to help them to best prepare a supporting statement for you.
  • Your application will be shared with an ethnically diverse panel of staff for shortlisting.
  • Interviews will take place very shortly after shortlisting is announced, so you might want to start preparing in advance. You will be notified directly by the YGRS team if you are invited to interview. 
  • The interview panel membership will consist of (but not limited to) the Dean of YGRS, an expert in the subject field, and a representative from the Equality and Diversity team or the Staff Race Equality Forum.
  • If the interview takes place in person at the University of York, then YGRS will reimburse you for reasonable travel and subsistence costs.
  • Interviews will take place either in-person or online and will comprise:
    • A five-minute presentation on your proposal (with a maximum of three presentation slides) (strictly timed)
    • 20 minutes of questions from the Interview Panel.
  • YGRS will contact successful candidates with award offers within a week of the last interview.
  • If successful, you will be asked to formally accept the offer within two weeks. The successful candidates will be invited to submit a formal application (via SELECT) on the University of York Admissions website. We can help you to do this.
  • YGRS PhD scholarship holders will be offered the funded opportunity to visit the campus and be paired with a ‘buddy’ prior to them starting their PhD programme at the University of York.