Advancing Access PhD Scholarship

Applications are now closed

About Access UCC PLUS – The Daniel and Margaret Cronin Advancing Access Scholarship

Liam and Kaye Cronin have generously made a gift to Cork University Foundation to support students, at PhD level, from under-represented socio-economic backgrounds.  This Scholarship will provide the necessary financial and mentoring support for the successful student(s) to pursue doctoral studies in UCC once they have completed their undergraduate degree. The Daniel and Margaret Cronin Advancing Access Scholarships will be created at University College Cork (UCC) in honour of Liam’s parents for this purpose.

Key Dates

Call Open

Wed 6th July 2022 - 12 noon

Application Deadline

Monday 29th August 2022 - 5pm

Call Outcome

Mid-September 2022

Expected* Start Date

1st October 2022

*Other start dates within academic year can be considered

What we offer

2.1. The Daniel and Margaret Cronin Advancing Access Scholarship will support one suitable qualified doctoral candidate intending to pursue full-time research in any discipline in UCC.  Initially one scholarship will be offered for four years. UCC reserves the right to vary the number of scholarships on offer for any year it is offered.

2.2. The duration of a Daniel and Margaret Cronin Advancing Access Scholarship will be for a maximum of four years for each successful candidate.

2.3. The value of the scholarship will be up to a maximum of €25,000 per annum in any approved year and will consist of the following:

  • a stipend of €18,450; a contribution to fees, including non-European Union fees, up to a maximum of €5,770 ; and


  • eligible direct research expenses up to €780 to enable the awardee to carry out the research project.





3.1   Potential applicants should carefully ascertain whether or not they are eligible in advance of applying for this PhD Scholarship. All applicants will be required to submit and provide all relevant documentation as required of the application and selection process.

3.2  All applicants must have been registered with and supported by the Access UCC PLUS programme for the duration of their undergraduate degree in UCC.

3.3  All applicants must have completed their degree within 4 years of the start date of this Scholarship (i.e., for Sept 2022 PhD entrants, they must have completed their undergraduate degree no earlier than the end of the 2017/18 academic year).

3.4 All applicants must have a first class (1H) or upper second-class (2H1) honours bachelor’s, or the equivalent, degree (NFQ Level 8). If undergraduate examination results are not known at the time of application, UCC may make a provisional offer of a scholarship on condition that the scholar’s bachelor’s, or the equivalent, degree result is a first class or upper second-class honours. If the applicant does not have a first class or upper second-class honours bachelor’s, or the equivalent, degree, they must possess a master’s degree (NFQ Level 9). UCC’s determination of an applicant’s eligibility on these criteria is final. Please visit for further general details on eligibility criteria for UCC.

3.5  All degree results as entered in the application form and endorsed by UCC must be the applicant’s overall results and verifiable as such on official transcripts. If such transcripts cannot be presented, or do not verify the information exactly as detailed in the application, any conditional offer of an award will be withdrawn.

3.6  All applications require an academic supervisor willing to guide the proposed research project and this is an essential part of the application.

3.6.1        Once applicants know which area or topic they wish to research, they then need to find supervisors. This site offers a list of academics listed under a wide range of schools/departments/disciplines. 

3.6.2        Applicants can also contact a UCC academic unit directly to enquire about the availability of appropriate supervisors.

3.6.3        You must choose your supervisors and discuss your research proposal with them before applying. Your supervisors will let you know if you need to prepare a research proposal and will need to approve your proposal before you submit it. 

3.7  One referee reference is also required, who knows the applicant sufficiently well to provide a reference. 


Ineligible applications

4.1. In addition to section 3 above, applications will be deemed ineligible and will not be considered for funding if:

  • an applicant submits more than one application for this call;
  • an application has not been submitted via the online system by the relevant deadline. No hardcopies or email forms will be accepted;
  • an application does not have all the required participant forms, i.e., academic supervisor and one referee reference, completed in full and submitted via the online system by the relevant deadline. No hardcopies or email forms will be accepted;
  • an application is incomplete or exceeds the word limits;
  • an application includes additional materials other than those requested;
  • an application includes materials in a format other than those requested
  • it is found at any stage during the process that any section of an application has been plagiarised or is not the applicant’s own work;
  • any information supplied in an application is false, misleading or unverifiable with appropriate documentation;
  • canvassing on behalf of the applicant occurs.

Thinking about applying?

5.1 Please make yourself familiar with this documentation and the requirements of the online application form and submit any queries to

5.2. Prior to creating an application, you should contact and discuss your research project with your proposed academic supervisor.

5.3. It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to inform the proposed academic supervisor and referees of their nomination. This should be done well in advance of completing the online application.

Assessment process

6.1 Applications are first checked by UCC for eligibility.

6.2. All applications will be assessed solely on the basis of the material provided at the time of submission.

6.3. Award holders will be selected following a transparent, merit-based, impartial and equitable selection procedure.

6.4 .Applications are assessed under the following headings:

  • applicant personal statement;
  • excellence and impact of the PhD project;
  • training and career development aspects of the proposal; and
  • environment – supervisory team and suitability
    • Applications will be assessed by a review board comprising of a representative from each of the 4 colleges in UCC and chaired by a nominee of the Dean of Graduate Studies.
    • Eligible candidates will be ranked based on the above criteria and this ranking list will be submitted to the Final Selection Committee for verification and awarding of the above-named Scholarship.
    • The Final Selection Committee will comprise of representatives from:
  • Access UCC PLUS
  • Review Board
  • Independent Academic Colleague (e.g., Dean of Graduate Studies)
  • Alumni and Development Office

6.8 UCC’s determination of the successful awardee(s) is final.


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