Studentships & Funding

Our academic staff are always pleased to hear from talented students who are interested in pursuing an advanced degree. We are also eager to support academically gifted students in their applications for funding. 

There are generally two sources of available funding: (1) funding for studentships that individual UCC researchers have as part of their research grants, and (2) funding that is awarded by an external funding agency directly to the student. Each of these options has their own deadlines and requirements, and both are competitive processes. For studentships advertised by members of the School of Chemistry, interested students should contact the person involved directly (preferably by e-mail first) providing a cover letter, CV, and academic transcripts. For applications to external funding agencies, suitably qualified students should get in touch with their desired PhD advisor well in advance (preferably one to two months) of the deadline. In this case, the student and PhD advisor will discuss a suitable project and then apply for the funding together.  

Please note that students from outside the European Union pay higher tuition fees to the university, which is not always figured into studentship funding.

Alternative funding sources:

A limited number of studentships are granted each year by the various funding bodies and competition for these awards is very intense.  Typically, students wishing to apply for these studentships should have excellent academic credentials: a first (or equivalent) would normally be a prerequisite for these awards. The award would require some effort from your side and would be applied for in conjunction with your desired PhD advisor, who would have to prepare a project proposal for the award.  These competitive awards are an excellent option if you are a high academic achiever and think that you are a serious contender for one of these awards.  While the awards typically cover fees, a stipend for living expenses, a laptop, and conference travel expenses, their real value lies in being able to list the award on your CV, which would be a very strong point in your favour in future job applications.  As such, you should consider applying for one of these awards even if your desired advisor has their own funding for studentships. Remember to contact potential advisors well in advance of the funding deadline. The following is a list of funding sources in Ireland.

Irish Reseach Council for Science, Engineering, and Technology (IRCSET)

Degrees funded: MSc, PhD (& postdoctoral fellowships)

Applications for IRCSET studentships are generally due in April or March of each year. Only a very limited number of awards are granted every year and competition is open to all students wishing to study in Ireland and is across all science and technology subjects.  For more details, please visit the IRCSET website,

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Degrees funded: MSc, PhD (& postdoctoral fellowships)

Applications for EPA studentships are generally due in April or March of each year. Competition is open to all students wishing to study in Ireland and whose topic of research is on a topic of environmental relevance. More details are available on the EPA website,

Health Research Board (HRB).

 Degrees funded: Postdoctoral fellowships

The HRB provides postdoctoral funding to carry out research in medical and health-related fields. Applications are generally due in October.  Please see for more details on the award.

Other funding sources:

The above are the major funding sources for chemistry and related research in Ireland. Depending on where you come from, however, you may also be able to secure funding from other sources, typically at a national level.

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