Application Process

Applications for 2023 Entry open Friday 29 September 2022 

How to Apply

Applicants must complete and submit an online admissions application, via the King’s Apply system. You will need to register an account to log onto the system.

Selecting the programme to apply to (as shown in the image below):

  • Under Programme Name type ‘MRC DTP Studentships’
  • The MRC DTP Programme will be listed
Once the programme has been selected, please select the start date (only one date is available) and read the on-screen information about how to progress through the application. Please pay careful attention to the on-screen information; it is the applicant’s responsibility to submit all required documents.

Please be sure to complete the following sections of the form with all relevant information (all questions with an asterisk are mandatory and you will not be able to submit without answering these):

  • Personal Information*
  • Education*
  • Employment history* (you will be able to enter up to five sets of employment information)
  • CV*: upload a PDF copy of your CV as an attachment to the Employment History Section.
  • The ‘Nature of work’ field allows only 50 characters, but you can upload further employment information on the references screen
  • Personal statement*. Please include your personal statement in this section. You should type your personal statement directly into the Personal Statement free text box (Personal Statements uploaded onto the application as a separate PDF will not be accepted). There is a 4000-character limit, so please ensure that any text you plan to copy and paste into the box is within these limits (you should note that the Personal Statement character limit includes punctuation and spaces and so may differ from the character count in your source text).
  • Research Proposal*: This a sub-section of the personal statement part of the application form.
    In the research proposal section, please enter the funding code that corresponds to the theme in which your first choice project is listed as the ‘Project Title’ (see drop down menu below for all funding codes). Please list three projects of interest (from only the 2022 MRC DTP Catalogues) in order of preference in the free-text box under the Research Proposal section (see below drop down for an example). Please do not write your own research proposal in this section.
  • Fee Status Questionnaire: If you are an EU or International Applicant, please attach and complete the Fee Status Questionnaire for Applicants to the Personal Statement section, this is a mandatory requirement of all EU and International Applicants.
  • References*: Contact details for two academic referees or relevant employers in research institutions/companies (we will then contact your referees directly). 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. We understand that in some cases this might not be possible to provide, please read the reference section for further information.
  • Funding*: In the funding section of the online application form please enter the funding code that corresponds to the theme in which your first choice project is listed (see drop down menu below for all funding codes).
  • Finally, check and submit your application.

Additional Support


Personal Statement

Your personal statement should include the following elements:  

  • Why do you want to join this PhD programme?
    Try to convey your enthusiasm and motivation for research. Do you understand the demands of postgraduate research?
  • Why have you chosen the three projects?
  • Why King’s College London? 
  • What is the relevance of your first degree to this study?
    Comment on relevance of courses you have taken at university. Point out any circumstances that may have effected your academic results, that you think should be considered.
  • What academic skills have you got to offer?
    Knowledge of relevant scientific topics and techniques. Experiences of research projects you have done, if you have not had opportunities to undertake research projects (for example: lack of availability at your university, caring responsibilities preventing you taking up summer research projects), explain why. Academic prizes you have been awarded.
  • What personal skills can you offer?
    Demonstrate that you have considered your strengths and weaknesses for postgraduate research. Can you demonstrate the dedication and resilience required to complete a PhD?
  • What are your strengths?
    In what ways are you better than other applicants?
  • What are your career aims?
    Tell us your short-term aims and long-term career ambition.


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). If you already have two academic references, you can scan and upload these to the online application instead (note that they must be signed and on headed paper).

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.

Please remember that it is your responsibility to ensure we have received the references by application deadline; ensure to start your application before the deadline and contact your referees to let them know we will be requesting a reference from them.

NOTE: referees will only be contacted once an application is submitted.

Fee Status Questionnaire

Home, EU and international students are all eligible to apply. We have funding available for up to nine studentship places for EU and international applicants. 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 for clarification.

To ensure that EU and International students applicants meet this eligibility requirement, all EU and International students applicants must complete and attach a Fee Status Questionnaire for Applicants for Applicants to the Personal Statement of the online application form.


In the funding section of the online application form please tick box 5 (I am applying for a funding award or scholarship administered by King’s College London)* and enter one of the following codes that corresponds to the theme in which your first choice project from the MRC DTP 2022 Catalogues is listed:

  • MRCDTP2022_BE-MI
  • MRCDTP2022_CM-HD
  • MRCDTP2022_NS-MH

For example if your first choice project falls under BE-MI: Biomedical Engineering and Medical Imaging, the code that you should enter is ‘MRCDTP2022_BE-MI’.

Only projects listed in the 2022 Entry MRC DTP Catalogues are available for funding.

* Please read the application instructions for your chosen scholarship carefully to ensure whether you need to submit a separate application form for the funding.

Contact Us

If you have any questions about the application process, please get in touch with the MRC DTP Team.

For queries relating specifically to King’s Apply, please contact the Admissions Department.