The MRC is a non-departmental public body funded by the UK government through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The MRC fund research, grants and postgraduate study that is dedicated to improving human health. They support research across the entire spectrum of medical sciences, in universities and hospitals.
Basic stipend amounts are confirmed each year for all the UK Research Councils by their governing body, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). Most awards will provide funding towards fees and an annual maintenance grant award.
The specific structure of your doctoral training will vary depending on the type of MRC studentship that you were awarded. Types of MRC studentship include:
How your award is paid to you
Stipends are paid directly into your bank account in monthly in advance instalments.
To receive your stipend payment, you must have completed a FIN 41 form and submitted this to your School and the Finance Office. You should contact your School directly if you have not completed one of these forms.
Proof of your award and funding
The University Graduate School can provide you with written confirmation of your current registration status at the University of Birmingham and of your Research Council funding.
Please email to request this (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your ID number, full name, and specifics of any information that needs to be confirmed. Please note it can take up to two weeks for this letter to be processed.
Leave of absence
The MRC does allow leave of absences to be taken from funded studies for medical and personal reasons, including maternity leave. In addition to this, leave of absences can also be taken if you have been offered a temporary research position or internship which will be of benefit to your overall funded research, or if you need to take a holiday from your research for an extended period of time.
While you are in your leave of absence you will not receive any funding from the MRC, but your payments will resume once you have confirmed your return to your studies. In addition to this, your registration dates on your study will be automatically altered to take any leave of absences into account.
PhD students receiving a stipend from a doctoral training grant are entitled to receive a stipend during maternity leave in line with statutory maternity provision. They will also have their studentships extended by a corresponding length of time.
Retrospective leave of absence requests will only be considered by the MRC under exceptional circumstances.
Extending your registration or submission date
Extensions to your normal period of registration should be discussed with your Supervisor as part of your annual progress review meeting. If you are in writing up status, an extension to the submission date of your thesis may be approved for personal or medical reasons. Retrospective extension requests will only be considered by the MRC under exceptional circumstances.
As the MRC only fund their students when they are normally registered, you will not receive additional funding for an extension in your writing up period
Changing from full-time to part-time
The MRC will support a transfer from full-time study to part time study (or vice versa) if the request is supported by your School and College. You should discuss any potential changes to your registration status with your Supervisor. Transfers between full time and part time study are only permitted during your period of normal registration. Retrospective transfer requests will only be considered by the MRC under exceptional circumstances.
Disabled Students Allowances
To find out if you are eligible for a DSA please visit the UKRI website and read the following guidelines:
To apply for a DSA you will need to contact Disability Services, who will provide you with the relevant forms and can give you further advice about eligibility.
Need more help?
Please contact the University Graduate School if you have any queries about your funding which have not been answered on this page.
Before you send an email, you should make sure you have read the information for students funded by the MRC and the Research Council training grant guidance: