PhD scholar in the UK

The call has been extended till 22 October 2019

Call for applications

About the programme

On behalf of the Department for Business Energy & Industrial Strategy, United Kingdom (UK) and the Ministry of Science and Technology, India, the British Council in India, the Department of Science and Technology (DST), the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and Indian Higher Educational Institutions (HEIs) are inviting applications for funding to support short-term PhD placements between UK and Indian institutions.

The Newton-Bhabha Fund is offering the opportunity for UK and Indian PhD scholars to spend a period of their study (up to two to four months) in Indian and UK higher education institutions, to take place between March 2020 and December 2020.


Key dates

Deadline for receipt of applications: 22 October 2019

Selection results announced in December 2019

Placements to take place between: March 2020 and December 2020

Aim of the programme

The programme aims to: 

  • Develop individual capacity through international training and development opportunities.
  • Increase the number of highly trained researchers in the UK and India with international experience, able to contribute to the absorptive capacity for research and innovation and thus bring about economic and social benefits.
  • Build cultural understanding and foster long-term sustainable research collaborations.
  • Develop international joint training pathways.
  • Increase awareness of the research strengths of the UK and India.

Eligibility criteria

In the UK, the scheme is open only to UK scholars pursuing their PhD at a UK higher education institution in area of STEM and Life Sciences. Please see the list of eligible UK institutions in the downloads section below.

In India, the scheme is open only to Indian scholars enrolled at public-funded Indian higher education institutions with the following criteria:

  1. INSPIRE PhD Senior Research Fellows (SRFs) of Batch 2016 are eligible to apply for a STEM and Life Sciences subjects.
  2. PhD Scholars (other than INSPIRE Fellows) who have qualified through national level test and are pursuing PhD in mid second or third year of Life Sciences are eligible to apply. The following national level tests are considered: CSIR/UGC-NET, GATE, BET, ICMR-NET, ICAR-NET
  3. PhD scholars (other than INSPIRE and those applying for Life Sciences) pursuing PhD in second or third year from public funded Indian HEIs, that submitted a response to British Council’s Expression of Interest (EoI) are eligible to apply. List of Institutions that submitted their EoI can be accessed in the downloads section.

Please refer to the call guidelines in the Download section below for full details.

Costs covered

  • Visa fee, economy class international airfares and overseas medical insurance incurred by PhD scholars.
  • In-country costs including accommodation and stipend for PhD scholars
  • Bench fees (if applied for) by UK host university


How to apply

The application should be submitted by PhD scholar with endorsement from both the sending and receiving Head of Department (or equivalent) with the latter’s confirmation that they will host the PhD scholars; duration of the stay and level of bench fees if they charge (bench fees is applicable only for UK host universities).

UK applicants apply here

Indian applicants apply here

Please read the call guidelines document available in the downloads section.

To help you to prepare your application, a sample application form is available in the Downloads section below. Please note, the form has been provided for reference only and is not to be used to submit an application.


For British Council India
Write to Purti Kohli at

For DST – India
Write to Tamana Arora at 

For DBT – India
Write to Dr. Amit Parikh at