Before applying for an Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP studentship, please ensure that you meet all of the eligibility requirements set out below. 

Residency requirements

Any prospective doctoral student wishing to study at a UK research organisation is eligible for studentship funding from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), including the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The number of awards that the DTP is allowed to make to international students, however, is limited (to 30% of total awards made).

All UKRI-funded doctoral students are eligible for a full award, comprising a stipend to support living costs and fees up to the home rate. The DTP partners will cover the gap between the home and overseas fee rates for international students.

Fee status

The university via which you apply is responsible for assessing your fee status; the Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP team cannot advise on this. For further guidance, please see the relevant university webpages:


More information about fee status assessment is available on the UKCISA website. UKCISA is a national advisory body that provides general guidance on international student issues. Please note that UKCISA does not carry out assessments of individual circumstances.

Academic criteria

You should normally have, or be studying for, a Master’s degree or similar postgraduate qualification. If you are studying for a Master’s degree or similar postgraduate qualification, you should have met all the course requirements prior to the start date of the studentship.

If you do not have experience of formal postgraduate study, you may be eligible for a studentship if you can demonstrate evidence of sustained experience beyond undergraduate degree level that is specifically relevant to the proposed research topic, and could be considered equivalent to Master’s study. For academic eligibility please check the admissions criteria for your course.

Subject area

The Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP supports discipline-based projects in all of the subjects covered by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), but also welcomes interdisciplinary research and research in emerging fields of study and creative practice. To be eligible for studentship funding the main focus of your proposed research must fall within one of the AHRC's primary research areas and be supported by the Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP.

The subject remit is divided into three clusters. Further information on the eligible subject areas for each is given below:

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If your research is interdisciplinary and draws on fields supported by another research council, such as the ESRC, your application must clearly demonstrate that at least 50% of the proposed research falls within the AHRC's remit, as demonstrated by the focus of your research questions. Your project should also seek to contribute predominantly to one of the AHRC's primary subject areas that is supported by the OOC DTP, with its main academic audience coming from that discipline or field.

If the focus of your proposed research is evenly split between the AHRC and another research council, you should apply to the DTP that is likely to be the best fit in terms of your training needs.

Please note

  • The use of research methods associated with the Arts and Humanities is insufficient justification for eligibility, if your project’s main concerns and expected contributions lie outside AHRC subject areas.
  • You should not submit the same doctoral research proposal to more than one DTP associated with a single university in the OOC DTP consortium. So, for example, a candidate should not seek support for doctoral research at Oxford from both the Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP and the Grand Union ESRC DTP, unless applying for two different research projects.

If you remain unsure whether your proposed doctoral project and course of study fall within the remit of the Open-Oxford-Cambridge AHRC DTP, please discuss with your prospective supervisor in the first instance.


Your application will be checked for subject eligibility during the first stage of review, which is conducted by the university through which you are applying to the DTP. Information used to assess subject eligibility includes: your doctoral programme; the primary subject area(s) selected on your OOC DTP Application Form; your research proposal.

The subject areas included in the OOC DTP Application Form are drawn from the guidance on the AHRC and DTP subject remit. If your research is interdisciplinary and you cannot find the most appropriate subject area in the list, please select 'Other - please specify' and list in the space below. This will be reviewed alongside your proposal to check for eligibility.

On-course students

If you have already commenced doctoral study at one of the consortium institutions, you are eligible to apply for funding provided that, at the start of the AHRC award, you will have at least 50% of your period of study remaining. Period of study relates to fee liability, i.e. length of time a university charges course fees, not to the maximum time it might take to write up and submit a thesis. This means that if you are studying on a full-time basis, you may be eligible to apply in your first year of study. If you are a part-time student, you may be eligible to apply in your first, second or third year. If you are unsure of your eligibility, please enquire with your department or faculty in the first instance.

The application process for current doctoral students varies for each institution. Further information is available on our How to Apply page.

On-course students will be assessed according to the same criteria as, and in competition with, new applicants for funding. If successful, awards will made in support of the remaining time on course, i.e. they will be adjusted on a pro rata basis to reflect the time already spent working towards the doctorate.