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Guidance for applying to TRANSFORM

These guidance notes are intended for those who wish to apply for a Leverhulme TRANSFORM PhD Scholarship at the University of Warwick from October 2023. It sets out the awards on offer, eligibility and the procedures for application. It is therefore critical that you read these carefully before making your application.

The scholarship programme and funding provided

A TRANSFORM scholarship provides funding to enable students to study Global Sustainable Development at doctoral level at the University of Warwick. The scholarship provides funding for four years (48 months) of doctoral study comprising full tuition fees and an annual stipend for living expenses at the UKRI rate (£17.668 pa for 2022/23).


Academic eligibility

  • Applicants should normally have qualifications equivalent to a good honours degree (first or upper second class level) from an academic higher education institution. Degrees awarded outside the UK are recognised. Students should normally possess or be studying for a Master's or equivalent postgraduate degree. Students can also offer a combination of qualifications and experience. The University of Warwick bases its assessments of qualifications attained outside the UK on the British Council’s NARIC guide.
  • Candidates who have already gained or completed the requirements for a doctoral degree in any subject, however funded, are not eligible to apply for Leverhulme TRANSFORM funding.
  • Candidates are required to declare whether they have previously been enrolled on a doctoral programme and provide an explanation for not having completed it.

Residential eligibility

  • All funded PhD students, will be eligible for a full award which includes a stipend to support living costs, and tuition fees (home fee status only).
  • To be classed as a Home student, candidates must meet the following criteria:
      • Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
      • Have settled status, or
      • Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
      • Have indefinite leave to remain or enter.
    • If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classed as an International student, and would not be eligible for an award.
    Application process

    There is a two-stage application process. Step-by-step guidance on the process can be found here.Link opens in a new window

    Stage 1

    Under the Leverhulme TRANSFORM scholarship programme, applicants must submit a full application for admission to the MPhil/PhD in Global Sustainable Development prior to applying for the scholarship. We advise that this is done early as it is expected that applications will have been submitted in full including all supporting documents such as references.

    Applicants MUST have applied to the GSD MPhil/PhD programme or their TRANSFORM funding application will not be eligible.

    Stage 2 (deadline 12th June 2023)

    Candidates must submit a completed Leverhulme TRANSFORM funding application by 11.59 pm (GMT) on Monday 12th June 2023, applications received after 11.59 pm on this date will not be considered.

    You can read more about the timeline for applications here.Link opens in a new window

    In order to be considered for a scholarship you must have submitted both a full application for admission to the University of Warwick MPhil/PhD in Global Sustainable Development and the Leverhulme TRANSFORM Application Form by the deadline of 11.59pm on 12 June 2023. Please note that there is just one deadline and it will not be possible to extend the deadline.

    Please see here for full information on the application process for the Warwick MPhil/PhD in Global Sustainable Development. We recommend that you complete this application around two weeks prior to the scholarship closing date in order that there is time for references and other supporting documents to be submitted in support of your application.

    The Scholarship Application Form should be submitted online.

    Both the programme application including supporting documents such as references, and the scholarship form will be considered in the selection process.

    In June 2023, a panel of academics will consider all applications and agree a shortlist for interview. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview in June/July 2023. All interviews will take place with a minimum of two selectors and are currently planned to take place virtually using Microsoft Teams.

    Outcome of application

    Successful applicants will be notified by the end of July 2023. If you are successful in being offered an award, you will be asked to confirm whether or not you wish to formally accept the scholarship and the associated terms and conditions. You will be given a deadline by which to confirm your acceptance in writing, which will be two weeks from the date of the notification. Candidates may also be placed on a reserve list, and will be asked whether they wish to remain on this list.

    Start of scholarship

    Award-holders are expected to begin their PhD at the start of October 2023 and, providing we have received all necessary paperwork, will receive the first instalment of their stipend in mid-October and monthly thereafter.

    All awards must be taken up in the year that the award is made because we are unable to defer places. If you are unable to take up your award, it will be rescinded. You will need to inform us of your decision at the earliest possible stage in order that the award can be offered to a candidate on the reserve list.

    The continuation of doctoral awards is subject to the completion of satisfactory progress and you will be subject to the standard monitoring and progression processes including upgrade from MPhil to PhD.

    Unsuccessful applications

    Candidates who are unsuccessful in one year of the competition can apply the following year if they meet the eligibility requirements at the time of application.

    Feedback and complaints

    We anticipate that competition for awards will be strong. Candidates will be appraised according to assessment criteria including student suitability and best match for specific projects which will differ between research projects. We will unfortunately be unable to give feedback on applications. If you wish to make a complaint, please follow the guidance on the University's complaints and appeals system.