How to Apply for Students

UPDATE: We’ll be open for student applications for the GW4 BioMed2 MRC DTP 2023-24 (cohort 2) intake from Friday, 2nd September until Friday 21st October. Check back for our new list of advertised projects.

What We Offer

The GW4 BioMed2 MRC DTP operates across four research-intensive universities (Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter) providing students within our programme access to the combined research strengths, training expertise and resources of each institution. Many DTP projects are co-supervised across two or more of these universities, allowing students to join existing and emerging research partnerships

The GW4 BioMed2 MRC DTP offers competitive, fully-funded studentships in one of our three research themes:

All projects within our programme reflect on the collective strengths of the DTP:

  • Quantitative skills (including mathematical modelling)
  • Using data for discovery
  • Interdisciplinary skills and approaches (including physics, engineering, chemistry and health economics)

Students in the GW4 BioMed2 MRC DTP have access to a broad range of training opportunities across all four universities. In addition we provide bespoke training specific to students within the DTP, that spans the three strands of our training programme including research skills, professional and career development skills and opportunities to broaden horizons.

Key Documents

2022/23 Student Application Form Template

Overseas Degree Equivalency Table

GW4 BioMed2 MRCDTP – Full list of available projects 2022-23

Application Timeline

Monday 11th October – Friday 26th November 2021 Projects advertised for student applications
Wednesday, 27th October 20211pm -2pm Candidate Support Webinar. Register to attend here
Wednesday, 3rd November 20214pm -5pmCandidate Support Webinar. Register to attend here
Friday 26th November 2021By 5pmStudent application deadline
Friday 3rd December 2021 – Monday 24th January 2022Panel triages, scores and shortlists applicants
Thursday 27th January 20221pm – 3pmStudent shortlisting panel
Friday 28th January 2022By 5pmDTP notifies candidates and supervisors of successful applications
Friday 11th February 2022By 9amSupervisor interviews all candidates
Friday 11th February 2022By 9 amCandidates send references and transcripts to the DTP
Wednesday 16th February – Thursday 17th February 2022DTP interviews
Wednesday 23rd February 20221pm –3pmStudent shortlisting panel
Thursday 24th February 2022 – Friday 1st April 2022Clearing period
w/c Monday 26th September 2022Local induction events
Saturday 1st October 2022Official funding start date

How to Apply

Students can apply to the GW4 BioMed2 MRC DTP online beginning 11th October 2021 using this online form. Applications will be accepted until 5pm on Friday, 26th November 2021.

NEW! Candidate Support Webinars

To support your application we held two live webinars that provided an overview on what doing a PhD entails and, in particular, what the GW4 BioMed2 MRC DTP can offer you. We also spent time on how applications are assessed and provided information on what is expected within each section of the online application form.

We will also be holding a webinar to support those candidates who are invited to interview. We will contact shortlisted candidates with further details at the end of January.

Here are the presentation slides and we hope to upload a recording of seminars here soon – watch this space!


GW4 BioMed2 MRC DTP studentships are available to UK and International applicants. Following Brexit, the UKRI now classifies EU students as international.

The GW4 partners have all agreed to cover the difference in cost between home and international tuition fees.  This means that international candidates will not be expected to cover this cost and will be fully funded, but need to be aware they they will be required to cover the cost of their student visa, healthcare surcharges and other costs of moving to the UK to do a PhD.


  • All studentships will be competitively awarded
  • There is a limit to the number of international students we can accept onto our programme (up to 30% cap across our partnership per annum)

Academic Requirements

Applicants for a studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a UK degree, or the equivalent qualification gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of medical sciences. However, the DTP also welcomes students from non-medical backgrounds, especially in areas of computing, mathematics and the physical sciences. Please check the entry requirements of the home institution for each project of interest before completing an application. Academic qualifications are considered alongside any significant relevant non-academic experience.

English Language Requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to have achieved at least 6.5 in IELTS (and no less than 6.0 (Bath) or 6.5 (Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter) in any section) by the start of the programme. Please refer to the relevant university for further information.


A GW4 BioMed2 MRC DTP studentship includes full tuition fees at the UK/Home rate, a stipend at the minimum UKRI rate, a Research & Training Support Grant (RTSG) valued between £2-5k per year and a £300 annual travel and conference grant based on a 4 year, full-time studentship.

These funding arrangements will be adjusted pro-rata for part-time studentships. Throughout the duration of the studentship, there will be opportunities to apply to the Flexible Funding Supplement for additional support to engage in high-cost training opportunities.

The Application Process

To begin a GW4 BioMed2 MRC DTP studentship, applicants must secure an offer of funding from the DTP and an offer of study from the home institution of the project for which the applicant was granted funding.

Stage 1: Applying to the DTP for an Offer of Funding

  1. Select your projects from the project descriptions available on this website. You may select up to two projects in your application.
  2. Submit your application using this online form before 5pm on Friday 26th November 2021.
  3. Student shortlisting is conducted in a blind review of studentship applications by theme-specific panels. Up to 60 top candidates who emerge from this deliberation will be invited to interview.
  4. Informal, virtual meetings will be arranged by the successfully shortlisted candidates with the lead supervisors of each project to which they have applied before the formal interview.
  5. Formal interviews will occur virtually by theme-specific panels including representatives from each GW4 institution on 16th and 17th February 2022
  6. Student selection for up to 20 funded studentships occurs after the formal interviews. Projects are allocated based on the rank of the successful candidates, therefore, it is not always possible to offer an applicant their first-choice project.
  7. A clearing period will follow until approximately 1st April 2022 until all places have been offered and accepted. For this reason, it is not possible to provide immediate interview results to shortlisted applicants.

Stage 2: Applying to the lead institution for an Offer of Study

Once you have been offered a studentship with the GW4 BioMed2 MRC DTP, you will need to apply for an Offer of a Place at the home institution of your lead supervisor. Please note that each institution has different application processes.

Applicants for projects based at the University of Bath, the University of Bristol or the University of Exeter should apply to the DTP first to secure an offer of funding. Once an offer of funding is issued by the DTP, you will receive more information on submitting a formal application to the relevant institution, guided by the DTP and local admin contacts.

Applicants for projects based at Cardiff University should submit an application for postgraduate study via the Cardiff University Online Application Service (SIMS) at the same time they submit an application for funding to the DTP. Applicants should apply to the eligible research programme at Cardiff University for the chosen project, with qualification Doctor of Philosophy and with the start date of October 2022. In the research proposal section of the application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, select “I will be applying for a scholarship/grant” and specify advertised funding from GW4 BioMed2 MRC DTP. If you are applying for more than one Cardiff University project, please note this in the research proposal section as the form only allows you to enter one title.

Selection Criteria

Written application forms will be evaluated against the following criteria:

Proven academic quality: normally evidenced by an excellent performance to first degree and/or Master’s level but may also be demonstrated by an equivalent, high quality provision of evidence related to professional practice.
Research potential: evidenced through examples of achievement within academia/research related projects and outside of academia, evidencing relevant skills.
Personal motivation & commitment: evidenced through supporting statement of understanding, motivation and suitability for their first choice project and by their wider enthusiasm, interest and commitment to the MRC DTP programme.
Non-biomedical disciplines: In line with supporting interdisciplinary and quantitative skills, special consideration will be given by the interview panels to non-biomedical applicants. Such candidates should not feel the selection criteria are biased towards biomedical applicants as their unique skills will be taken into account.

Candidates selected to interview will be evaluated against the following criteria:

Critical thinking assessed via discussion of a student-selected piece of data
Fit with the project: The interview panel will evaluate the candidate’s aptitude and understanding of the key issues in the project, supported by feedback from informal meetings with the potential lead supervisor.
Personal commitment & motivation


If you have any queries about the GW4 BioMed MRC DTP or about applying for an Offer of Funding, you can get in touch with the DTP Team by emailing

If you have any questions about applying for an Offer to Study, you can get in touch with the administrative team at your home institution:

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