Frequently Asked Questions


Do I meet the residency requirements to apply?

Home, EU and international students are all eligible to apply. We have funding available for up to 30% of our cohort for EU and international applicants. That is approximately 10 studentship places per year. All MRC DTP studentships are fully funded; including tuition fees, stipend and bench fee. If you are unsure if you meet the eligibility criteria, contact our Admissions Team clarification.

What are the academic requirements?

The programme welcomes applications from a diverse range of backgrounds. Applicants will be reviewed on qualifications, experience and potential to undertake a research degree.

The minimum entrance qualification is an Upper Second Class Honours degree in a relevant subject, or an equivalent overseas qualification. Applicants who do not meet the minimum entrance requirements may be admitted if they hold an alternative qualification of an equivalent or higher level in a relevant subject, or can prove relevant professional experience which demonstrates that the applicant can follow and complete the programme.

I have a medical degree, can I apply?

The MRC-DTP in Biomedical Sciences is a non-clinical programme and is designed for non-clinical students to undertake their PhD, as the programme does not allow time for clinical duties.

However, if an applicant with a clinical degree is not clinically active, they can apply, and they will be assessed against our criteria as to whether they are suitable for our programme.

Note: The appropriate route for clinicians to undertake a PhD with MRC funding is through the Clinical Research Training Fellowship scheme, which aims to support clinicians (including medics, surgeons, dentists, allied health professionals and nurses) who are currently undertaking their speciality training.

Does the MRC DTP cover international tuition fees?

The MRC DTP Studentship is fully funded for both home and overseas students, this award includes covering the full tuition fee amount per year, including any international fee rate.

Does the DTP cover visa costs and associated healthcare surcharges?

No. It is students responsibility to cover these costs.

Please visit the King’s College London Student Visa Interactive Guide for more information.

Before your start date at KCL, home and overseas students will need to register with a local GP (General Practitioner). You may want to get familiar with the NHS website, where you will find useful information and advice on how to get help and medical care as a student.

Can I apply if I am in my final year of my undergraduate degree?

Yes. Please upload your predicted grades as part of your application. If successful at interview stage you will receive a conditional offer. Your offer status will update to an unconditional offer after your certificates/transcripts have been received by the Admissions Team.

If you are unsure, please contact the Admissions Team via the messaging service on the portal.

Stage One Application

Can I apply to both the Core & iCASE pathways?

Yes, please input up to 3 projects on the application form. These can be a mix of Core & iCASE projects.

How do I apply?

Applying to this programme is a two-stage process.

Stage One consists of completing an online application form to inform us of your qualifications and relevant experience, your motivation for applying and your future career plans.

Applications will be reviewed and successful candidates will be contacted by email and invited to progress to Stage Two.

To access the Stage One Application Form please visit the Application Process Page. Please note, you should first prepare your answers, using the Microsoft Word document provided on the Application Process Page prior to completing the online application form. Please do not submit the Microsoft Word document. Applications will only be accepted via the online application form.

Who can be a referee?

Your references must contain contact details for two academic referees or relevant employers in research institutions/companies (we will then contact your referees directly). Note that academic referees must have university email addresses and employer references should have the official email address of the company (gmail, hotmail etc addresses are not acceptable).

In some cases, we understand that this is not always possible to provide. Please read below for further information:

Do I have to have two academic referees?

If the candidate is a current/recent student then we expect two academic references. If they have worked (and this could include a year in industry during their studies) then one of the referees could be a line manager.

Can I use a potential supervisor as a referee?

We are instructing candidates not to do this (there may be exceptions where this is permissible,  we advise a candidate to contact us to explain why they cannot find another referee).

Can a PhD student be my referee?

A PhD student is not appropriate. If a student has worked under the supervision of a post-doc that would be acceptable.

When is the deadline for applications?

Please have a look at the Application Timeline page for the main deadline as well as detailed information on the application stages. Applications submitted after the closing date will not be considered.

We advise that you do not wait to submit your application until close to the deadline, in case there are problems with uploading documents etc. Applications missing mandatory attachments may not be considered for shortlisting.

How many referees do I need?

On your application you must provide the contact details of two academic referees. If you feel it would be more appropriate, we can accept one reference from a non-academic research environment, e.g.: an employer from a research institution or company.

To avoid any conflict of interest, please do NOT name as a referee any supervisor whose project you are likely to choose from in the project catalogue. References from prospective supervisors will be discounted, and therefore disadvantage your application.

Academic references must list a university email address and employer referees should list the official email address of the company. Be sure to start your application before the deadline and contact your referees to let them know we will be requesting a reference from them.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure references are submitted to

What is the deadline for submitting references and any documents requested by Admissions?

Please have a look at the Application Timeline page for this deadline. We advise you inform your referees of this deadline.

When will my referee receive a notification to submit my reference?

Referees will only be contacted if applicants have successfully been invited to interview.

It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure references are submitted to by the application deadline. We advise to submit your application before the deadline and contact your referees to let them know we will be requesting a reference from them.

Do I have to take my IELTS test before making my application?

You do not need to take an English Language Test before making submitting the application. However, should you be successful in gaining a place of the programme, this will become a condition of your offer and an IELTS test must be taken before we can make an unconditional offer.

Further information is available on English Language requirements.

Where can I find the list of projects available?

All available PhD Projects for next year’s September Entry will be advertised on our Projects Page from early October. There are four project catalogues: one per theme. Only projects listed in the coming year’s catalogues are available for funding.

Will more projects be advertised for later entry?

The MRC Doctoral Training Partnership will award a number of fully-funded MRC postgraduate research studentships to support research and training in Biomedical and Translational Science. We offer two types of studentships: MRC DTP Studentships (available as a one-year MRes followed by a PhD (‘1+3’), or as a 4-year PhD (‘0+4’)). If we do not fill all of our studentship places in our October – January recruitment round, we may run another recruitment process in the Spring.

The MRC DTP also open applications for MRC DTP iCASE Studentships – these studentships are available full-time (or pro-rata as part-time studentships) as a 4-year PhD. iCASE Studentships follow the same recruitment timeline as our standard studentships but will have individual iCASE Projects on offer. iCASE Projects are only available as a 4-year PhD (not as a one-year MRes followed by a PhD ‘1+3’).

Why am I asked to list 3 Projects of interest in the application form?

Student choice and flexibility is core foundation of the KCL MRC DTP. We ask students to list three projects of interest, in order of preference, to ensure they have the flexibility to conduct further research via discussions with supervisors; we appreciate that applicants may change their preference via this process and do not hold students to the choices listed on their application as being those they select if offered a place on the programme.

Do I have to pick three projects from the same theme?

You can pick any three projects; they do not need to be within the same theme.

Can I apply for just one project?

Applicants can select one project on the application form if they wish, however we strongly encourage students to consider the breadth of projects available in the MRC DTP catalogues and select three projects of interest, listed in order of preference.

If you are applying to an individual iCASE project, it is acceptable to enter details of only one iCASE project.

What can I expect over the recruitment period?

Please have a look at the Application Timeline page.

When will I know if I have been shortlisted for interview?

Please have a look at the Application Timeline page for detailed information on shortlisting as well as each of the application stages.

If you have not been informed of the outcome by the dates provided in the Application Timeline page, please contact the MRC DTP Team.

Where and when will the interviews take place?

Interviews will take place via Microsoft Teams. Candidates may be required to deliver a presentation via sharing their screen. We advise all applicants to familiarise themselves with Microsoft Teams prior to interview. 

What can I expect from the Interview Day?

Each Theme of the MRC DTP host their own interview days and so the exact format in which the days are run will differ slightly across the themes.

  • Applicants will be asked to prepare a 5-minute presentation and to present this to the panel.
  • Applicants will be asked to critically evaluate a research paper in a discussion scenario with the panel; applicants invited to interview will receive the paper when they are invited to interview.
  • Applicants will be asked to address interview questions relating to their application to the programme.

If I choose projects across different themes, will I be interviewed by each theme panel?

No. You will only be interviewed once; and in most cases this will be with the panel corresponding to your first choice project.

Can I speak to and meet supervisors?

When invited to interview, candidates are expected to arrange their own meetings with supervisors they are interested in working with; the meetings will not be organised nor facilitated by the MRC DTP Team nor the supervisors. You will find the contact details of all supervisors who have projects available on the Projects page – applicants are to contact supervisors to arrange a convenient time to discuss their project in greater depth.

You can contact supervisors at stage one. For example, if you need to refine the potential fit, ask questions about the project, and see if it would fit with your plans. This would be especially important if you wanted to do a 0+4. Depending on the reply you receive we would suggest you then organise a meeting with the supervisors if you are successful to stage two.

Stage Two Application – King’s Apply

I have just finished my MSc and do not have transcripts or certificates yet, what should I do?

Please ensure that you include your MSc as part of the Education section of the application. Documents can be uploaded at a later date once you have them. Please upload the certificate/transcripts from your Undergraduate Degree as part of your application. If you are unsure, please contact the Admissions Team via the messaging service on the portal.

I need to upload a document to King's Apply but I've already submitted my application, what can I do?

The Admissions Team can add any attachments to your application if you send it as an attachment to a message via the King’s Apply portal. If you have any problems, please get in touch with for support.

I have a question about the King's Apply Portal, who can I contact?

If you have any queries about the King’s Apply portal, please get in touch with the Admissions Team directly via the messaging service on the portal.

How do I contact Admissions?

If you require any assistance:

  • Yet to Apply? Contact King’s Advisors via telephone on +44 (0)207 123 4843 or by email.
  • Already Applied to King’s? Send a message on King’s Apply. It can take up to 1 week to receive a response to messages at this time.
  • Current Student? Contact King’s via the Student Services Online Helpdesk.


Is September the only entry point each year?

Yes. September is the only entry point each year.

When will I find out about the outcome of my interview?

Please have a look at the Application Timeline page for the date by which you will be informed about the outcome of your interview as well as detailed information on each application stage.

You may request individual feedback from your interview panel.

If offered a place on the MRC DTP, the pathway that you choose (1+3 or 0+4) will be made following a discussion between the student and the theme lead to decide which training route is most suitable for the student’s training needs.

I have been offered a place on the MRC DTP Programme, what happens next?

Following acceptance of the offer of a place, King’s Apply will be updated to initiate the formal acceptance process. All applicants will receive an offer letter from the KCL Admissions Department. For students joining the straight PhD pathway, the official offer will be conditional on submitting a complete Project Approval Form (PAF). The MRC DTP Team will guide you and your co-supervisors through completing this document and the deadlines to meet for submission.

What if I change my mind after accepting the offer?

We understand that in rare instances circumstances do change and you may wish to decline your offer. If you do so, it is important to do the following:

  1. Contact the MRC DTP Team
  2. Contact Admissions
  3. Decline your offer through the portal

I am an EU/EEA/Swiss student. Will I need a Visa?

If you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and you started living in the UK on or before 31 December 2020, you could apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

If you’re coming to the UK from 1 January 2021, you’ll need to apply for a Student Visa to study in the UK.

Please note that visa costs are not covered by the MRC DTP and you need to be able to meet those costs through your own funds.

This guide managed by the Student Visa and International Advice team at King’s College London can help you choose the correct visa for your studies.

I am classified as an International student. How do I apply for a Visa?

All international students (including EU/EEA/Swiss students who do not qualify for Home Fees Status) need to apply for a “Student Visa” to study in the UK. The Student Visa has replaced the Tier 4 visa, as of the 5th October 2020.

When to apply

King’s Admissions Office will contact you via King’s Apply from June onwards, and once your offer is unconditional to start the visa process.

Applying from outside the UK

You’ll usually get a decision on your visa within 3 weeks.

Applying from inside the UK

You must apply before your current visa expires. Your new course must begin within 28 days of your current visa expiring. You’ll usually get a decision within 8 weeks.

Please note that visa costs are not covered by the MRC DTP and you need to be able to meet those costs through your own funds.

This guide managed by the Student Visa and International Advice team at King’s College London can help you choose the correct visa for your studies.

Information about costs associated to a Student Visa applications can be found at:

Specific information about extending your Visa from inside the UK can be found at:

Specific information about switching to a Student Visa from another Visa if you are already in the UK can be found at:

Additional related costs for the Immigration Health Surcharge can be found at:

Please note that these figures and the information are subject to frequent changes.

If you have any additional query you are invited to contact the King’s Admissions Office via King’s Apply, or the International Student Advice team at King’s College London (

Can I keep in touch before I join the programme?

Yes! All new students will be assigned a buddy before you arrive. Your buddy will be a current MRC DTP student; they will send you regular updates about what’s going on in the programme and you can keep in touch with any questions you have. In the early Summer, you will receive an invitation to select the training workshops you would like to attend in your first year on the programme (via email invitation) and our MRC DTP Coordinator will be in touch over the Summer to complete paperwork etc. You can also follow our social media channels and get in touch with the team with any enquiries; visit our ‘Contact us’ page.

When is induction?

For September entry, new students will be invited to the MRC DTP Induction by the end of the spring academic term.

When will I pick my project(s)?

0+4 students: once students have accepted their offer of a place on the programme they will be asked to confirm their project choice. Once this decision has been made, the MRC DTP Team will prepare the Project Approval Form (PAF) to be completed by the student’s co-supervisors. Students will be included in all correspondence regarding the PAF.

1+3 students: project catalogues will be sent to 1+3 students in the Summer. Students are expected to speak with potential supervisors over the summer months and will confirm rotations after meeting with their Personal Tutors in:

Rotation 1: September (following induction)

Rotation 2: December

Rotation 3: March/April

To confirm, the rotation choices do not necessarily have to be those projects originally listed on the application by the applicant; students can amend their choices following discussions they have with supervisors and Personal Tutors as they move through the MRes year.

When can I pick the training workshops for my first year?

In early Summer our MRC DTP Coordinator will send all incoming students information on how to select training workshops and arrange for each student to receive access to SkillsForge, an online course booking system. You will receive details of both compulsory and additional training courses with information about when the workshops are scheduled to take place. You will receive guidance on how to use this system to book your workshops.

If your question is not answered in the FAQ’s, please get in touch with the MRC DTP Team at We will respond to your enquiry as soon as possible.