The University of Bath has launched Research with Impact PhD Scholarships to support talented international and domestic students to work on vital research in areas such as sustainability, health and wellbeing, and digital.

The programme, funded by generous philanthropic donations to the University, will support 28 students over four years with a UKRI-pegged stipend and some study costs whilst the University funds the fees. The University is delighted that at the point of launch 14 scholarships have so far been funded by donors and applications are open for the remaining scholarships.

Professor Sarah Hainsworth OBE FREng, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of Bath, said: “The Research with Impact PhD Scholarships will help us continue to attract the brightest minds from around the world to tackle some of the most pressing challenges we face today and enable us to develop the next generation of research leaders.

“Research is needed in every area of life and society: to discover new drugs to treat chronic diseases; to cope with an ageing population; to tackle the climate crisis. PhD students are absolutely crucial in driving research to find many of these solutions.

“We are incredibly grateful to those donors who have given so generously to fund the scheme, and excited about what the Research with Impact PhD Scholars will achieve here at Bath.”

The PhD scholarships are supported by alumni and friends of the University of Bath like School of Management alumnus Jon Hughes and his wife Catherine Hughes who have generously supported postgraduate research at Bath for more than a decade, including studies into safer vaccines, understanding Alzheimer’s and astrophysics.

Now, in support of the Research with Impact PhD Scholarships, they have pledged more than £670,000 to provide opportunities for six students and further the University’s sustainability research.

Mr Hughes said: “What excited us about sustainability research at Bath is that it’s about finding solutions to the climate emergency through technological advancement, through developing future fuels such as hydrogen or creating biodegradable plastics.

“We both have a real affinity for Bath. Catherine was born here, and I studied business at the University. Bath played a big part in my career, so it’s great to give something back and help advance scientific knowledge.”

Mrs Hughes added: “We want the UK to be a leader in sustainable solutions and Bath to be at the forefront.”

The impact of a PhD

PhD candidates have an enormous and positive ripple effect on their academic communities and beyond. With 30% remaining in academia, they are innovators who can continue to advance teaching and research, becoming the inspirational scholars needed to support new waves of students to excel and change the world.

Those who choose to work outside academia bring incredible skills and expertise to organisations and workforces.

PhD scholar Dr Leen Jabban, who graduated with a PhD in Electrical & Electronic Engineering in 2023, said: “The support from my funders has been instrumental in my PhD journey. Their generosity has turned my aspiration of developing upper-limb prostheses into a remarkable reality. Beyond the financial assistance, their belief in my potential has boosted my confidence and opened doors to extraordinary opportunities.

“The impact of their support goes beyond my own accomplishments, and I am profoundly grateful to my PhD funders for their transformative generosity, which has enriched my academic pursuits and personal growth in immeasurable ways.”

The University would like to thank the generous donors who have pledged to support Research with Impact PhD Scholarships:

The Research with Impact PhD Scholarships
The Sir Julian Horn-Smith PhD Scholarship
The Hughes PhD Scholarship
The Hynes PhD Scholarship
The Ko PhD Scholarship
The Norland PhD Scholarship
The David Parkin PhD Scholarship

If you are interested in supporting PhD scholarships, please contact the Advancement Office.