Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme

About the Programme

The aim of the Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme is to support outstanding PhD students in any discipline. At least 25 PhD students across the University of Cambridge will receive a prestigious Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarship annually creating a cohort of the strongest PhD students in any given year across a diverse range of subject areas.


Thanks to the generosity of our alumnus David Harding (1979), through the donation from the David and Claudia Harding Foundation to St Catharine's College and the University of Cambridge, a significant proportion of the postgraduates in the Programme will be based at St Catharine’s (roughly five each year).

Who is eligible?

Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarships are available to candidates applying to pursue a full-time or part-time residential PhD course of study at the University of Cambridge. Scholarships are open to PhD students of any nationality and in any discipline. Find out more about elibility criteria

What does a Harding Scholarship cover?

A Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarship covers the following costs for PhD students:

  • the University Composition Fee at the appropriate rate for the duration of your course.
  • a maintenance allowance (living costs) for the duration of your course (£20,000 for the academic year 2023-24)
  • the option to request maintenance funding during the 12 month writing-up period, should this be required.
  • a personal research allowance (for expenditure on personal research expenses and research-related activities, for example, books and conference attendance) of up to £6,000 over the duration of your course.
  • the cost of an inbound airfare, visa costs and the cost of the Immigration Health Surcharge (for the duration of the visa granted), as applicable for international students.

A calendar of activities and academic events will also be available to Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars over the course of each academic year. 

How can I apply?

You can apply for admission to a PhD course, a College place and various sources of funding via the University’s Postgraduate Applicant Portal. Full details can be found on the Postgraduate Admissions website.

When making your online application, please ensure you indicate that you wish to be considered for funding and complete the funding section. Applicants who do not complete this section will not be considered for Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarships.

When do applications open and how long are they open for?

Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholarships are awarded as part of the University’s Postgraduate Funding Competition so, as per the terms of the competition, the application deadline is determined by the funding deadline for the PhD course they are applying to.  Find out more about the application process.