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Skills & careers

Minimum stipend and allowances

The table below provides students in receipt of an MRC award with some financial details of their award and other allowances they may be eligible for. The quoted figures show minimum stipend and allowances. Individual levels of support are determined by the research organisation.

Students supported by a full PhD award:

Payment Type Amounts per annum Description
Minimum Stipend

Outside London: £15,285
Inside London: £17,285

Outside London - £15,609
Inside London - £17,609

This is a tax-free payment made to the student based on the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) minimum rate.1

Indicative fee level

2020/21 - £4,407

2021/22 - £4,500

Sessional fees including tuition, supervision, registration and bench fees.4 Since 2011 this includes an uplift to support researcher development and transferable skills training sometimes referred to as ‘Robert’s Money’.  
Research training and support grant (RTSG)

2020/21 - £5,000

2021/22 - £5,000

Contribution towards consumable costs of training research students.3
Travel & conference allowance

2020/21 - £300

2021/22 - £300

Contribution to the costs of attending scientific conferences, workshops or visits to collaborators.



  1. Students awarded a ‘fees only’ award are not eligible to receive a maintenance stipend.

  2. London rates are payable to institutions located within the City of London and Metropolitan Police Districts.

  3. All MRC PhD studentships should be allocated a minimum £5k MRC-funded RTSG per annum.  Exceptionally, the research organisation may allocate a lower MRC-funded RTSG, where £5k per annum is in excess of individual project requirements (eg “dry-lab” based projects or where consumable funds have been leveraged from external sources).  Research organisations are required to keep a record of such exceptional cases, which the MRC may request for monitoring purposes. MRC units and institutes should award a minimum of £1k RTSG per student.

  4. College fees are not provided as a separate, additional fund and UKRI-approved tuition fees do not include payment for college membership costs.  Research organisations may use the flexibility provided by the training grant to pay college fees, provided that (i) all other reasonable external sources of college fees have been exhausted; and (ii) the student benefits in terms relevant to their research training.  Students should not be required to pay college fees from their stipend.

  5. For industrial CASE studentships, the industrial company is expected to make a financial contribution to the cost of the studentship. See our page on industrial CASE studentships for details.