SOAS University of London


SOAS Research Studentships

Deadline: 2 April 2020

SOAS is pleased to confirm SOAS Research scholarships for the 2020/21 academic year which will be dedicated to supporting research students from specific BME groups within the UK as well as applicants from the Global South who are underrepresented within academia.

Each scholarship provides a remission of tuition fees and a maintenance allowance of £17,285, providing full financial support and doctoral skill development to successful recipients. 

Eligible Programmes

Any full-time MPhil/PhD programme (new admissions only).

Candidate Criteria

This scholarship is open to UK/EU and Overseas fee-paying students. In order to be eligible, applicants should:

  • Be UK-permanent residents (UK fee-paying students) from the following ethnic group:
    • Black (Black or Black British African, Black or Black British Caribbean, Black or Black British other or Mixed Black or Black British)


  • Applicants who are ordinarily resident in one of the following countries:
    • Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Dem. Rep, Congo, Rep., Costa Rica, Côte d'Ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Arab Rep., El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, The, Georgia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bisau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Islamic Rep., Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Korea, Dem Rep., Kosovo, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia, Rep. of North, Madagascar, Malawi, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mexico, Micronesia, Fed. Sts. Moldova, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, State of , Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Romania, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Samoa, São Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Bolivarian Rep. of, Vietnam, Yemen, Rep., Zambia, Zimbabwe
  • Applicants must have an offer of admission to pursue one of the eligible full-time research programmes at SOAS by the time selection takes place.
  • Applicants must meet the English language condition of their offer of admission to study at SOAS as soon as possible but no later than 1 June 2020.  If your offer is conditional on English, please arrange your English test and ensure you meet the English requirements as soon as possible.
  • The scholarship cannot be held along with any other major scholarship or studentship.

Statement of Financial Need

In addition to the above criteria, applicants must provide a statement of financial need with your on-line admission application. The short supporting statement should include the following information:

  • details of family and financial background: your financial situation growing up, your current approximate annual family income, are you the first in your family to go to university?
  • Your parents’ occupations and their highest educational qualifications
  • how did you fund your past education - through scholarships, awards, parental assistance/self-funding?
  • how does your situation now prevent you from funding an education in the UK - do you have family dependents or outstanding debts (student loans for example)?
  • past employment - have your previous salaries put you in a position to be able to afford an education in the UK?
  • further clarity as to how you will use your education at SOAS to help your future goals
  • any additional information you think will help your application - extenuating financial circumstances, other financial burdens

Candidate Assessment

  • Candidates will be assessed on academic merit by an Advisory Panel consisting of at least three academic members.
  • The assessment of your application will be based on the information provided in your scholarship application and in your on-line admissions application. Selectors will be looking at academic attainment – as demonstrated by prior results, references, publications and research proposal and by financial need 

Scholarship Application Deadline

  • Scholarship applications must be received no later than 16:00 (UK local time) on 2 April 2020. 
  • In order to be considered for this scholarship, you must ALSO submit a complete online application for your programme. It is recommended to apply for the programme by 2 March 2020 to ensure you have an offer by the time the selection takes place. It is anticipated that selection for the scholarship will take place in early May 2020. Please note that complete applications for admission can take up to 4 weeks to be considered by the Department, although this duration can vary depending on the time of year. You should be prepared to wait up to 6 weeks in busy periods.
  • Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Notification of Results

Successful candidates will be notified by the end of June.  If you have not heard from us by the end of June, you should assume your application was unsuccessful. 

[UPDATE: 30/06/2020] - Unfortunately we have experienced some delays to our normal processing time which has pushed back the date of notification from the end of June to the end of July 2020. We are now hoping to notify successful candidates by 31st July 2020. 

Scholarship Application Procedures

You must follow two steps:   

  • STEP 1Apply for your programme by 2 March 2020

Applicants must submit a COMPLETE on-line application for admission

Applicants must have an offer of admission to a 12 months full-time degree programme at SOAS by the time the selection takes place. It is anticipated that selection for the scholarship will take place in early May 2020. A complete application for admission includes transcripts, an explanation of the grading system for any degrees obtained outside of the UK, two references, CV and a personal statement. The panel will be considering your scholarship application TOGETHER with your online application for admission.  Please note that complete application for admission can take up to 4 weeks to be considered by the Department, although this duration can vary depending on the time of year.  You should be prepared to wait up to 6 weeks in busy periods.

Our Research Admissions webpage  provides guidance for applying for MPhil/PhD and information on what makes an application complete.

  • STEP 2:  Apply for the scholarship by 16:00 (UK local time) on 2 April 2020.

You must apply for this scholarship via this on-line scholarship application. 

For enquiries, please:

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7074 5083