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Advancing Access PhD Scholarship

Applications now open for the academic year 2024/25

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

Liam and Kaye Cronin generously made a gift to Cork University Foundation to support students, at PhD level, from under-represented socio-economic backgrounds.  This Scholarship was launched in 2022 and the inaugural award was made in Sept 2022 to the first recipient.

It provides 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 was created at University College Cork (UCC) in honour of Liam’s parents for this purpose. The Scholarship is now beginning the process of awarding the second award.

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.


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.

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

3.2  All applicants must have completed their degree within 4 years of the start date of this Scholarship (i.e., for Sept 2024 PhD entrants, they must have completed their undergraduate degree no earlier than the end of the 2019/20 academic year).

3.3 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.

3.4  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.

3.5 All applications require an academic supervisor willing to guide the proposed research project and one referee 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 apart from the Supervisory Statement which must be emailed directly by the Lead Supervisor.
  • an application does not have all the required participant forms, i.e., academic referee form and CV uploaded, completed in full and submitted via the online system by the relevant deadline.
  • The Supervisory statement 2024 is not fully completed and emailed directly by the Lead Supervisor to by the application deadline. This cannot be submitted by the applicant.
  • 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 Throughout the process it is highly recommended that you should also consider the following- You should not add an academic supervisor to your application without their prior approval.  

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

5.3. Please include any links that your PhD proposal has with the (i) Sustainable Development Goals and (ii) UCC Futures in your application. 

5.4. 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. (The Review Board reserve the right to call selected applicants to an interview for further discussion and clarification of their proposal and application.)

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 areas:

50%: PhD Proposal, Description – Aims & Research questions, Background, Impact etc. 

50%: Personal Statement, Supervisory Statement Form, Other Information and Academic Reference 

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.  

6.5. Applications will be assessed by a review board comprising of a representative from each of the 4 colleges in UCC and chaired by a UCC academic nominee. 

6.6. The Final Selection Committee will comprise of representatives from: 

  • Access UCC PLUS 
  • Review Board  
  • Independent Academic Colleague 
  • Alumni and Development Office

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

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