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How to apply

Postgraduate Studentships:

Residential Guidelines for Research Council StudentshipsFor further information on residential eligibility guidelines please refer to Residential Eligibility Guidelines for Research Council Studentships

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 Head of Academic Affairs & Training at


Essential Documents: Your application will only be considered if we have received the following documents:

  • Application Form - download as a Word or pdf document
  • CV
  • References – *please see below for further details

Optional Document:

  • Equal Opportunities Questionnaire – download as a Word or pdf document.  Whilst this is an optional document, it is important that you understand why this information is needed by the Institute. As a reputable and fair employer, The Pirbright Institute subscribes to the certification standards for Employers offered by Athena Swan. This evidences why we are a good employer but is dependent on data provided to us by applicant and staff. Rest assured that if you do provide us with this detail we will not use your name and details in any of our reporting or sharing without stakeholders. All records and data we use for the Athena Swan certification are anonymised.

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 & Training Officer, 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

If you apply for a position with The Pirbright Institute we will only use the information you provide us for purposes to assist in the recruitment and selection process. In line with the new UK & EU Data Privacy Legislation* (Legislation) effective from 25 May 2018, the information that you supply about yourself is known as your ‘personal data’ and includes general details about you like your CV and contact details.  More detailed information such as any unspent criminal convictions or your ethnic origin is referred to as 'sensitive personal data' and categorised as ‘special category data’ under the Legislation. Our Privacy Policy provides clear information on how we process and safeguard your personal and sensitive information which you provide us when considering a role at The Pirbright Institute. By submitting your application you will be confirming that you have read The Pirbright Institute Privacy Policy.

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

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

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