To qualify for a DTA3/COFUND Marie Skłodowska-Curie doctoral fellowship opportunity, applicants must


    • Be an ‘Early-Stage Researcher’ (i.e. in the first four years of their research careers and not have a doctoral degree). See Guidance from the EU for the definition of an early-stage researcher.


    • Not have been resident, nor carried out their main activity, in the UK for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the call deadline, 14th October 2019. Applicants will need to provide details of the periods spent in the UK in the past 3 years (between 14th October 2016 and 14th October 2019) as part of their application.


    • Not already be permanently employed by the entity where the DTA3/COFUND opportunity will take place.


    • Have a postgraduate master’s degree or a first/upper second-class honours degree or equivalent in a subject relevant to the chosen research topic (see individual project details for more information as to which degrees are relevant, this is not an exhaustive list.)


    • Demonstrate English language competency, as specified by the respective university.


    • Successful candidates will be offered a contract of employment that will be conditional upon satisfactory references, the fulfilment of any conditions specified in the offer of a place on a PhD programme, and confirmation of the candidate’s right to work in the UK or ability to secure a valid visa, if required, from UK Visas and Immigration.Successful candidates will need to evidence their right to work in the UK, recruits who are settled workers and EU/EEA citizens have the right to work in the UK without a visa. Successful recruits who do not currently have the right to work in the UK will need to secure a visa. Please note that as DTA3/COFUND PhD Fellows will be full-time employees of the host university, therefore a student visa (Tier 4) would NOT be counted as a valid visa for the position. The reason for this is that a Tier 4 visa only allows part-time working-hours and this is a full-time role.


      Host universities are able to provide Certificates of Sponsorship (CoS) for a Tier 2 visa to successful recruits who do not have the right to work in the UK. However, the CoS can only be issued to successful candidates who can be classified as a ‘New Entrant’ in line with the following requirements:

      • be under 26 years old at the point of application for the visa.


      • if aged 26 years old or over, hold a current Tier 4 visa. If switching from a Tier 4 visa to a Tier 2 visa candidates will be classified as a New Entrant regardless of the applicant’s age.

      (NOTE! Candidates currently holding a Tier 4 visa because they are currently studying in the UK must comply also with the MSCA mobility rule).


      Host universities are unable to provide a CoS for a Tier 2 visa to successful candidates who are not classified as New Entrants, as the gross salary of £22,300 does not meet the threshold for an ‘Experienced Worker’. The role is for an Early-Stage Researcher therefore the pay reflects the expectation that the recruit will be in the early stages of their career. For further information in relation to the rates of pay for New Entrants please see the Home Office guidance.


      Successful candidates may be able to self-secure a visa that permits them to work in the UK, examples of these include:

      NOTE Successful candidates will be requested to proactively research, determine and evidence (in accordance with UKVI guidance) whether they meet the eligibility criteria for self-secured visas. The candidates will need to make the relevant applications themselves, without a CoS from the host institution.

      Further guidance can be sourced from UK Visas and Immigration.


For full details of requirements see the DTA3/COFUND Marie Skłodowska-Curie doctoral fellowship job description and person specification.

All participating universities have a commitment to equality and diversity and welcome applications from under-represented groups. In addition, all participating universities are ‘Disability Confident’ or equivalent employers.

How to apply

Programmes and Projects

Frequently asked questions