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ARC East Midlands PhD applications 2023: Frequently asked questions

General advice

Please also see the PhD funding application forms (on our website under each announcement) and also our advice guide on thinking about a PhD.

We also suggest that you have a look at the work we have funded to date, both our main research studies and our PhDs:

Applications need to address one of our 6 priority areas, and not duplicate work that has already been funded.

  1. Building Community Resilience and Enabling Independence > ageing, frailty, rehabilitation and stroke.
  2. Data2Health (big data set analysis).
  3. Ethnicity and Health Inequalities.
  4. Mental Health and Wellbeing > adult and child mental health.
  5. Multiple long-term conditions (multi-morbidity).
  6. Translating and Implementing Sustainable Service Improvements > Implementation science research.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the interview date?

100% studentship interviews will be held between 10am-3pm on Thursday 8th June 2023 (via a Teams call).

How can I find out what work CLAHRC / ARC has funded so far?

Details of all our funded work – live and legacy studies can be found here.

What kind of research can I do?

Your proposed PhD research needs to involve applied health / social care research, that will have a direct benefit to patient / public care and services. As with all NIHR funded work, the research should aim to make an impact within 5 years.

What we do mean by “applied research”?

In ARC East Midlands, we see applied research as high quality, rigorous scientific research that seeks to provide an answer to a practical problem, which in this case, should be in health or social care.

Our work focuses on high quality, generalisable, applied health and care research that addresses specific health or care issues in the East Midlands region, leading to the development of evidence-based frameworks, which drive up standards of care and saves time and money.

For a clear overview of what is basic science and what is applied research.

What is applied research and where does it fit in the research specrtrum?

Where should I conduct my research / collect my data?  

Your research should, at a minimum, be conducted within the East Midlands region – if it can go further than this, that’s great. The counties of the East Midlands are: Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire and Rutland. A piece of advice: get support / approvals in kind from collaborator sites at the point of application – it will save time later!

Who should apply?

Applications should be made by the student – not by their supervisory team. These are personal awards made to the doctoral applicant.

Do you need supervisors confirmed?

Yes; the names of two academic supervisors are needed for the application. We strongly advise that research ideas are discussed with supervisors, and the application form and research proposal are completed collaboratively. However, the proposed research should be the student’s own ideas.

What is the funding for?

The funding is to be used for the completion of PhD study only (not professional doctorates or Masters awards). The funding is to be used for / as a contribution towards a stipend (monthly payment in lieu of a salary – note, this is untaxed, but as a PhD student you are not eligible to sick-pay, maternity pay, pension contributions) and your university registration fees.

Is co-funding needed?

No – but if applicants can secure co-funding, it may mean they can increase their stipend or have more support for research and dissemination costs. Co-funding can come from Universities, NHS Trusts, Charities, Local Authorities, Industry….anyone! We prefer not to see students offering self-funding, as this isn’t in the spirit of our partnership awards. Co-funding can be cash, or a fee waiver, paid study leave, or a combination of these.

Will you fund work that is similar to that which you have already have funded?

No. Each of the studies (including PhDs) that we support must be novel and have its own distinct focus, responding to a gap in the literature / practice-based problem to which there is no identified solution.

Does my supervisor have to be based in the EM region?

Yes. Your primary supervisor must be employed by the East Midlands University you are registered at. Some universities may allow your second supervisor to be based elsewhere – this isn’t an ARC decision, so you will need to discuss this with your proposed supervisors.

Who are UK home / International students?

We recommend if you are unsure of your status, that you seek advice from the University you wish to study at.

(From University of Reading website).

Home students are those living in the UK or Republic of Ireland, and EU nationals with settled status in the UK.  In order to be classed as a home student you normally need to meet all of the following criteria on the first day of the first academic year of the course:

  • You are settled in the UK (this means there is no immigration restriction on the length of your stay).
  • You are ordinarily resident in the UK, and have been for the full three years before the first day of the academic year. (Ordinarily resident means that your main home is in the UK, and you are choosing to live in the UK.)
  • The main reason for you being in the UK was not to receive full-time education.

If you do not fall under the home fee definition, then you will be classed as an international student. From 1 August 2021, new EU students will also pay international tuition fees.

For more detailed information – and to see whether you fall into any of these, or any other category – please refer to the UKCISA guide 'Will I pay Home or Overseas fees?'

What are international fees?

International registration fees differ according to Universities – you should seek confirmation from your chosen university about what amount you will be charged; however – as a guide, the minimum level for international postgraduate research fees is expected to be over £20,000 per year (for full time registration). Any shortfall between the UK fees and International fees will need to be covered by the applicant (or their organisation) – how these fees will be covered will need explaining and evidencing in the application form. It is not acceptable to suggest using the stipend part of the award to cover registration fees.  


Last updated: 15/03/23

This list will be updated regularly as/when new questions are received.