Value: Tuition fees plus stipend at the UKRI level for three years
Eligibility: OPENING SOON. Applications are invited from first year applicants for PhD research projects that take advantage of the leading research expertise across ECA. Home and Overseas applicants welcome. Funding for full-time, part-time (pro rata) and PhD by Distance study.


The College Research Awards scheme is designed to attract high quality students applying for PhD research study.  Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) is one of eleven Schools within the College of Arts Humanities and Social Sciences offering the award.

As a student with us you will work with some of the most influential academics in your chosen field and learn about the very latest developments in your subject. Those chosen exemplify the high standards the University of Edinburgh sets for its research students and the investment that we make in their potential.

ECA Schools offer a rich and vibrant postgraduate research community with a broad range of academic research interests. ECA is proud of its world-leading research, which stretches across and beyond the disciplines of its five Schools covering Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Art, Design, History of Art, and Music. 

Applications are invited for research projects that take advantage of the leading research expertise across the ECA Schools.  ECA will aim to provide a supervisory team which will consist of at least two supervisors.  Applicants may indicate potential supervisors in their application.

College Research Award holders are expected to be energetic members of the ECA postgraduate community, and engage with opportunities to present their work to the wider student and staff body during the period covered by their award.  We offer our postgraduates a range of training and development opportunities appropriate to their programme of study.


ECA has one award for academic session 2024-25.  The award provides full tuition fees (Home or Overseas level) with an annual stipend for 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time study pro rata.  The stipend will be set to the UKRI level for 2024-25.  The UKRI level for 2023-24 is currently £18,622 for full-time students, or the pro rata equivalent for part-time students.

Who can apply

The College Research Award scheme has a high number of applicants, and as a result are highly competitive. Applicants with an outstanding track record of academic achievements and research potential are encouraged to apply. Those candidates with research areas that fall under UK Research Council Awards and meet eligibility criteria are advised to apply to the relevant Research Council as well. 

Tips for writing a successful proposal

Your proposal should provide insight into what you plan to research, how you will conduct your research, and the contribution(s) it will make. At this stage your proposal provides evidence of your ability to write, think, create, and argue. It also helps indicate how your research will fit into the institution and its goals. A strong proposal contains a clear proposition and/or question, sets up outcomes that can be delivered, contains several propositions which are then connected to for the structure, is intelligible to non-experts, has a relevant audience, and shows critical thinking.


Candidates for the College Research Award must be seeking to start their first year of full-time, part-time or distance PhD study in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences within the academic year 2024-25.  MSc by Research programmes are not eligible.

If wishing to commence a new programme of study at ECA in September 2024 you must ensure that you have fully completed and submitted your PhD programme application for admission using the University's online system by no later than 18th January 2024.

Applicants must have submitted their fully completed PhD programme application in order to be considered for scholarship funding.


Eligible applicants should complete an online scholarship application.

Please note you will not be able to access the online application form unless you have applied for admission to the University of Edinburgh.

The scholarship deadline is 23:59 GMT 1st February 2024.  

Applications for the College Research Award should be submitted via the University's online scholarship application system by no later than 1st February 2024.  Applications submitted after this date will not be considered.


In order to gain access to the scholarship application system applicants must have applied for admission to the University of Edinburgh.  Please note that, following the submission of an application for admission, it can take up to 5-10 working days for all system checks to be completed and for access to be granted.

The online scholarship application form is located in EUCLID and can be accessed via MyEd our web based information portal at 

When logging in to MyEd, you will need your University User Name and password. If you require assistance, please go to

Please note: the Personal statement for your scholarship application should clearly state why you are applying for this scholarship, why you feel your research proposal best fits with subject area expertise and what benefit the scholarship will have for your research. We are looking for evidence on how the PhD programme fits with your career aspirations, how you plan to take best advantage of the opportunities on offer and we are also looking for your thoughts on how you might contribute to the research community within ECA. Please also consider the selection procedure criteria below.

Frequently Asked Questions - Scholarships System FAQs for Applicants (511.17 KB PDF)


Applicants must be of outstanding academic merit and research potential.

Selection procedure

The ECA Selection Panel will score the applications in relation to the following marking criteria:

  • Qualifications or relevant professional experience
  • Quality of research proposal, knowledge exchange, public engagement and Impact (including academic impact)
  • Preparedness for research
  • Supervisory expertise and research environment
  • Training needs, plans and provision

- Read the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH) assessment criteria for AHRC PhD Studentships (PDF)

The ECA Selection Panel will meet in late March 2024 to review the scholarship applications.


All scholarship applicants will be contacted with the outcome by mid April 2024.  

Please note: if successful in obtaining funding from any other University of Edinburgh or Research Council funding sources, recipients must relinquish their College Research Award.

Contact us

Please contact the ECA Postgraduate Research Team – – if you have any questions about the application process.  

If you have an academic enquiry please contact the relevant School Postgraduate Research (PGR) Director for the programme you wish to apply for: