Preface content

How to apply

Postgraduate Studentships:

Studentship Funding Eligibility:  Details of studentship funding can be found in each advert. For further information on eligibility please refer to UKRI International Eligibility Criteria (Annex B)

English Language Requirements: For those whose first language is not English, applicants for studentships at The Pirbright Institute will need to show valid proof of English proficiency. This is essential to ensure safety in the laboratory and also to meet entry conditions for the University at which the PhD is registered. The IELTS is the preferred qualification although equivalent qualifications will also be considered, and dispensation may be made if you do not have one of these formal qualifications but are currently being taught in English. The Institute requires an average IELTS score of 7.0, with no lower than 7.0 in the listening and reading sections and no lower than 6.5 in the speaking and writing sections. However, please note that some of our registering Universities (including Oxford, Cambridge and London) will have slightly higher requirements. The Institute retains the right to ask applicants to take an additional English test if deemed necessary. If you have any questions about English language requirements or qualifications, please address them to the Academic Affairs Manager at


Essential Documents:  Note that your application will only be considered if we have received the following documents:

  • Application Form
  • CV
  • References – references must be sent directly from your referees, please see below for details

Optional Document:

  • Equal Opportunities Questionnaire  As a reputable and fair employer, The Pirbright Institute wants to meet the aims and commitments of its equality policy. This includes not discriminating under the Equality Act 2010 and building an accurate picture of our community to encourage equality and diversity. The organisation needs your help and cooperation to enable it to do this, but filling in this form is voluntary. The information provided will be kept confidential and will be used for monitoring purposes. Any data we process will be anonymous and aggregated with records of other candidates. It will not include any identifiable information. The information you choose to give will not affect the outcome of your application and will not be seen by those responsible for the selection process.

Please email your application (Application Form, CV and optional Equal Opportunities Questionnaire) to by the deadline noted in the advert.

*References: We require two recent references in support of your application. Both referees should be familiar with your academic work, preferably at the institution at which you have recently studied/are studying. A reference referring to specific work experience relevant to the project(s) you wish to undertake can be substituted for one of the academic references. Both referees should be provided with the guidelines below. Please note that consideration of your application will be delayed if we have not received two references for your application. It is your responsibility to contact your referees and arrange for the references to be sent to us directly.

References should be written on official headed paper, addressed to Mrs Yvonne Walsh, Academic Affairs Manager, and emailed to References should include the following points:

  • Full name of applicant
  • Intellectual qualities (e.g. present performance, future potential, ranking in class, current position). Does the referee consider the applicant’s degree result a true reflection of his/her abilities?
  • Suitability for chosen project(s)
  • Powers of expression
  • Interests and future plans
  • Other relevant information (e.g. the length of time the referee has known the applicant and in what capacity). If the referee is the applicant’s present/former employer, please include an outline of responsibilities and an appraisal of their competence
  • Referee's signature
  • Referee's title, name and position

For further information on how we use data supplied to us, please see our Privacy Notice.

For informal enquiries regarding the research project, please contact the project supervisors.

For general enquiries regarding eligibility and the application process, please contact

Trim content

® The Pirbright Institute 2024 | A company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 559784. The Institute is also a registered charity.