Information for prospective PhD students

We've funded PhD studentships for a number of years and are keen to continue to support early stage researchers. Dementia is a wide-ranging topic and can be studied across a range of disciplines including most biological subjects, health, psychology, engineering and social sciences.

A PhD in the UK is traditionally three years in duration, although four year PhDs are becoming more popular and often offer a first year where you might study for a research masters and undertake several rotations in different areas of research before deciding on a topic to study for three years.

PhD studentships are advertised all year round, but the number available is likely to peak between November and January each year for studentships to start in the Autumn of the following year.

Are you a prospective supervisor looking to apply for a PhD studentship?

We fund PhD studentships and Doctoral Training Centre Grants into cause, cure, care and prevention.

Our PhD studentships award up to £85,000 over three years and provide a stipend and cover fees, as well as consumables. Our Doctoral Training Centre Grants enable several investigators to apply for up to four PhD studentships to commence in 2014-2016 in a single bid.

Check out the our Grant Rounds page for the most up-to-date information about upcoming funding rounds.

Can prospective students apply for studentships directly?

Applications for Alzheimer's Society PhD studentships can only be made by the prospective supervisor of the student.

I would like to do a PhD and have a project in mind, what should I do?

If you have a clear idea of the project you might like to undertake then you should consider identifying a supervisor that might lead a research application for funding to support your studentship. There are a number of potential funders for your project (including Alzheimer's Society), though be aware that many funders only fund about one in four projects they receive.  

There is not an online directory of researchers that work in dementia research. However, many dementia researchers have their own homepages. Some universities also have neuroscience networks that can be found online and provide local databases of researchers.

Once you have identified a project and supervisor, it's likely you'll need to find some funding. Getting funding for research can be a frustrating process and it can be difficult to organise dates and timings. You need to keep in mind that it can often take six months between submitting an application and finding out if it has been successful.

There are a number of databases that list funding opportunities although some require a subscription.

How do I find a PhD in dementia research?

There are several ways to start finding a PhD in dementia research. Universities will advertise upcoming studentships that are on offer, which you will need to complete an application for and will likely require an interview to take up the placement. The project will have a named supervisor and university where the project is to be undertaken, as well as a project title. It is usually a good idea to make contact with the supervisor to discuss the project that is being offered and if possible arrange a visit to meet them.  

There are a number of different websites that can help you find a PhD studentship that has already been funded:

Other learned bodies also advertise opportunities such as the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS)

If you are in a position to self-fund a PhD, you might be able to approach a supervisor though you will need to be able to show you can be self-supportive for at least three years.