Carnegie Trust PhD Scholarship Competition 2018

Queen Margaret University has the opportunity to nominate two individuals for the prestigious Carnegie Trust PhD scholarship scheme for study commencing in September 2018. The prospective candidates must hold, or expect to gain, a first class Honours undergraduate degree from a Scottish University and wish to complete the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme at Queen Margaret University.

 The Carnegie Trust makes no restriction on the subject or field. However, in order to be supported by QMU, the PhD topic must be in an area that is aligned with one of the University’s Research Centres.

What is included in the scholarship?


The stipend value for academic year 2017-18 was £16,200, and the value normally rises in line with awards funded by Research Councils. Payment of the Scholarship stipends will be made monthly, in advance, and will normally start on 1st October in each year.

Tuition fees

In addition, the Carnegie Trust will meet the cost of tuition fees for the successful candidates up to the RCUK rate with the University waiving the remainder of the fee.

Research expenses and costs

The Trust will support the Scholars with expenses incurred in connection with their study or research up to £3,000 during the tenure of the PhD Scholarship. Scholars can apply for this funding using the Carnegie Trust’s research allowance form, which will be emailed to them in advance.

Who can apply?

A First-Class Honours degree from a Scottish university is a pre-requisite for consideration for Scholarships. Alongside existing graduates, final year undergraduate students expecting to achieve a First-Class Honours degree are also eligible for nomination. The First-Class Honours degree must be in a subject related to the proposed doctoral studies.

A candidate who has already commenced study on the PhD Programme is not eligible.

The candidate must be nominated by the prospective supervisor of the PhD project and can only be nominated for a Carnegie or Caledonian PhD Scholarship by one university.

The number of nominations per Scottish university is subject to a quota (announced annually by the Carnegie Trust). QMU has been granted two nominations for applications by students starting in September 2018. QMU will manage the selection process and will provide a statement of institutional support to two candidates only.

How do I apply? - QMU Selection Process

Applicants should download the PhD Scholarship Nompination Form and complete Part 1 of the form, relating to academic achievements to date and the project he or she proposes to undertake. The Guide to the Trust’s online application portal provides clarification on how best to approach each section of the form.

Applicants should also develop a research proposal and case for support in line with the guidance provided on the first page of the nomination form, and must include details on:

  • Issue, problem or topic the research seeks to address;
  • Background or rationale behind the proposed research;
  • Aims and objectives of the proposed research;
  • Research hypotheses or questions;
  • Methodology; and
  • Feasibility, significance and potential for innovation.

The prospective supervisor must complete Part 2 of the form, providing information on the supervisory arrangements which will be put in place, including co-supervision if relevant to the proposal, and information on specialist and/or transferable skills training. The supervisor should also explain what particular expertise they will offer in support of the candidate’s research, why the research question is important and worth investigating and what impact it might have. Any ethical issues attached to the research and what arrangements will be put in place to address these should also be addressed in this section.

An academic referee, familiar with the student's academic record to date and potential for postgraduate research should provide a reference, on letter headed paper or electronic equivalent, that comments on the applicants academic ability as evidenced by their academic record and their suitability for doctoral study. The referee cannot be a prospective supervisor.

The completed nomination form, research proposal and case for support, and academic reference should be sent to the relevant Research Centre Director by Friday 19 January 2018.

Research Centre Directors will then complete Section 1 of the Statement of Institutional Support Form and submit all application documents to by Friday 26 January 2018.

A Review Panel will then meet to decide which two candidates will be selected to receive institutional support, and become eligible for application to the scholarship competition. The Graduate School Team will complete Section 2 of the Statement of Institutional Support Form and notify the candidates of the Review Panel’s decision.


How do I apply? - Carnegie Trust Application Process

The candidates supported by the University, and their proposed supervisor, will then be asked to complete the Carnegie Trust’s online application process as per the Guide to the Trust’s online application portal.

The prospective supervisor must then submit the application to the Carnegie Trust no later than 5pm on 28th February 2018.

Application Forms and Guidance

The PhD Scholarship Nomination Form should be completed by candidates and their prospective supervisors.

The Statement of Institutional Support Form should be completed by the relevant Research Centre Directors and the Graduate School.

Guide to the Trust’s online application portal.

Carnegie Trust PhD Scholarships Regulations

Further Information and FAQs

Further information can be found on the Carnegie Trust website, including Frequently Asked Questions.

For enquiries about the QMU selection process, please email

The competition timetable for entry in the academic year 2017-18 is set out below. 



Completion Date

Potential Supervisory Team approach possible candidates to assess interest in the competition

Proposed Supervisory Teams

January 2018

Proposed Supervisory Teams and Candidates send completed application form to Research Centre Directors

Proposed Supervisory Teams and Candidates

Friday 19 January

Research Centre Directors submit nominated applications and letters of support to the Graduate School


Research Centre Directors

Friday 26 January

Review Panel meet to CONSIDER applications

Review Panel

W/C 05 February

Graduate School issue a letter confirming institutional support to the successful candidates

Graduate School Team

W/C 08 February

Supported candidates applications submitted to the Carnegie Trust

Supported Candidates and Proposed Supervisory

Wednesday 28 February (17:00)