PhD Scholarship

UCD Smurfit School is offering five partial PhD scholarships to the value of €2000 per annum for 4 years for successful applicants who do not qualify for any external fee supports. Programme Start Date – September 2024
Open Date 1st November 2023
Close Date 31st July 2024
Status Open
Value Up to €2,000 per annum

As part of its contribution to the further development of the 4th level in Irish education, UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School is proud to announce a scheme of advanced research awards. These awards are intended to underline the School’s commitment to research excellence and to attract and to retain the very best scholars.

The overall aim is to attract applicants of the highest academic standards to participate, as full-time students, in UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School’s PhD Programme.

Five partial scholarships to the value of €2000 per annum for 4 years are available for successful applicants who do not qualify for any external fee supports.

Programme start date – September 2023

Admission onto the UCD Smurfit School PhD is subject to stringent entrance criteria, the submission of a proposal outlining your intended line of research, references and, where appropriate, proof of linguistic and academic ability.

Before submitting an application, potential candidates are encouraged to consult the subject area webpages for the Business School or those of the other UCD Colleges to identify a suitable supervisor(s). Potential candidates should contact them directly by email (attaching research proposal, CV, etc) to request if they would be interested in supervising them.

Candidates are strongly encouraged to have secured funding for the duration of their studies (4 years minimum) prior to commencement. A guide to estimated costs is available here.

After securing supervision support, potential candidates can then submit an application and other materials using the on-line system and completing an application pack consisting of:

  • On-line Application Form
  • Research Proposal
  • Transcripts
  • Two References
  • Sample of Scholarly Work
  • Satisfactory English Language Test Score where applicable

To apply for this scholarship, candidates must submit a course application for the PhD Programme by the application deadline 30th June 2023.

  1. The overall aim is to attract applicants of the highest academic standards to participate, as full-time students, in UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School’s PhD Programme.
  2. Five partial scholarships to the value of €2000 per annum for 4 years are available for successful applicants who do not qualify for any external fee supports (i.e., only self-funded applicants are eligible to apply).
  3. The scholarships will be in the form of a UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School grant to cover fees (EU/non-EU). (All Students are obliged to pay the Student Centre Levy.)
  4. All self-funded applicants for a place on the PhD program who have applied for admission by the standard deadline and have been offered a place will be considered for one of these scholarships.
  5. Applicants must specify in their application for admission to the PhD program that they are applying for a scholarship.
  6. Applications will be accepted from suitably qualified applicants regardless of nationality or residence. Applicants, however, must make their own visa/consular arrangements to ensure that they are eligible to reside in Ireland for the duration of their studies.
  7. Applicants are expected to have a first-class honours undergraduate degree (or equivalent) and/or a master's degree from a reputable institution and be qualified for direct admission to the PhD programme. If examination results are not known at the time of application, the Business School may make a provisional offer of a Scholarship subject to the student achieving a specified grade in their degree, or such other conditions as the School may impose.
  8. All offers are subject to the receipt of official transcripts.
  9. Successful applicants must be formally enrolled by 11th September 2023.
  10. Successful applicants with be required to comply with the Regulations of the Structured PhD Programme
  11. Successful applicants will be assigned to a specific principal investigator/supervisor and a Co-Supervisor. It will be the norm for the academic progress and welfare of research doctoral students at UCD to be monitored and supported by a Research Studies Panel.
  12. Scholarships will be awarded only to those who are full-time students and who engage full-time in research during the period of the Scholarship. Scholarships will normally be awarded for a period of four years, subject to annual review and according to the original date of the applicant’s registration. Where a student withdraws indefinitely from doctoral study, the Scholarship will terminate.
  13. Scholars are expected to maintain a real presence within the Business School during the period of their Scholarships. However, the Business School recognises that Scholars may benefit from travel/research elsewhere, such as:
    1. taking courses which are relevant to the Scholar’s training and providing that the case for taking such courses has been made to the Scholar’s Research Studies Panel and with the agreement of her/his Head of School.
    2. spending part of the academic year resident at specialised labs, production facilities, archives or other appropriate research sites. Where such research trips are conducted during the regular teaching term of the Scholar’s institution, Scholars must have the prior approval of their Research Studies Panel and Director of the PhD Programme.
  14. UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School considers that the PhD programme should normally be four years' duration and will normally fund for up to four years. A formal review of the Doctoral Scholar’s progress, in the form of the Stage 1 to Stage 2 PhD Transfer Assessment, will be undertaken after approximately 12 months. Satisfactory progress must be demonstrated at the Transfer Assessment before the Doctoral Scholar is permitted to enter stage 2 of the PhD programme. Successful applicants under this Scholarship Scheme must transfer to Stage 2 within two years of their registration as graduate research students. Failure to do so will automatically terminate a Scholarship.
  15. Doctoral Scholars will be required to attend taught courses including modules on generic and transferable skills as recommended by their supervisors, Research Studies Panel or Graduate School Board. A minimum of 30 relevant/substantive taught credits must be gained in the course of a student’s PhD studies
  16. Doctoral Scholars may be afforded the opportunity to hone their academic skills by ongoing academic training as a Research Assistant (RA) and/or Teaching Assistant (TA) with the intention of exposing the Scholar to a range of research projects and methodologies as well as gaining experience in other aspects of academic work, including exposure to teaching and examining. This process is an important component of the PhD programme of education, and it also ensures that students benefit from the expertise and knowledge of high performing PhD students. Doctoral Scholars are encouraged to engage on TA & RA activities when requested.
  17. UCD is committed to the maintenance of the highest ethical standards in its research. Where ethical issues may arise, applicants will be required to submit a written statement to the effect that full consideration has been given to the ethical implications of the research proposal. This statement must further demonstrate the applicant’s proposed resolution of the ethical issues arising. Such applications will be referred to the UCD Ethics Committee. All research should be conducted in accordance with the UCD Code of Good Practice in Research. If a research project requires access to archival material in private custodianship or archival material with restricted access, written evidence of appropriate permission to consult such material must be furnished to UCD.
  18. UCD attaches considerable importance to procedures for monitoring Scholarships. Doctoral Scholars will be required to submit annually their completed-to-date Research and Professional Development Plan (RPDP), which has been signed by their supervisor, to the UCD Business School Director of PhD Programme.
  19. Doctoral Scholars are required to give an individual presentation once per year as part of the School’s doctoral seminar series. The student’s Research Studies Panel will normally attend this presentation.
  20. Scholarships will automatically cease on completion of the Ph.D. Programme.
  21. A student in receipt of a UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School Doctoral Scholarship is precluded from receiving another internal (UCD) scholarship. The terms do not preclude Doctoral Scholars from applying for, or benefiting from, external funding to support a research project in which the Doctoral Scholar will participate during the term of their Scholarship, and indeed the School encourages Scholars to do so. The value of the Business School Scholarship may be adjusted should such funding be obtained.
  22. Scholars unable for any reason (including medical reasons) to pursue their studies in accordance with the Terms and Conditions of the Scholarship, must inform their Director of PhD Programmes in the Business School (via their supervisor) within two weeks of such a situation coming to their attention. Given the basis on which Scholarships are awarded, UCD reserves the right to withdraw, suspend, reallocate or seek reimbursement of all or part of the Scholarship.
  23. UCD recognises that for personal, professional or other reasons; Doctoral Scholars may wish to terminate their Scholarship. This should not be done without prior consultation with the Director of PhD Programmes in the Business School.
  24. All publicity, including public lectures, publications, print materials and press releases, television and radio advertisements, website content, film, video and audio recordings associated with or arising from the research undertaken by a Scholar while in receipt of a Scholarship must contain acknowledgment of funding received from the 'UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School Doctoral Scholarship’.
  25. All recipients of UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School Doctoral Scholarships must participate in publicity and events associated with the scheme, including providing information on their research for inclusion in the School’s website. Scholarship holders are required to acknowledge the scholarship in a note accompanying any publications derived from research done during the term of the scholarship.
  26. It is the responsibility of the Scholar to inform the University of any change to the circumstances on which the award of the Scholarship was based. All applicants for UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School Doctoral Scholarships must inform the University of any other scholarship funding applied for. The School reserves the right to reduce the funding under the UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School Doctoral Scholarship scheme in the light of other scholarship funding received
  27. The Scholar must also take responsibility for updating their personal records including any change of address, telephone, or e-mail on the UCD Student Web system within two weeks of such a change. Scholars are also required to provide and update their profile on the School’s website.
  28. UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School Doctoral Scholarships are held subject to these Terms and Conditions. If any of the above are breached by a Scholar, UCD reserves the right to suspend or terminate the Scholarship and/or will require the Scholar to reimburse UCD for such payments as have already been made to the Scholar.
  29. Successful applicants will be required to sign a form of consent under the Data Protection Act 1988 in relation to records on data concerning their registration status and academic record.
  30. All issues relating to intellectual property will be subject to the University’s practices and policies.
  31. UCD reserves the right to revise the Terms and Conditions of this scheme at any time.
  32. Doctoral Scholars will be subject to the general regulations, policies and codes of practice of the university, and the specific regulations, policies and codes of practice governing doctoral studies and research, as may be amended from time to time by the university.


If you would like more information on this scholarship or our PhD programme, please contact

Scholarships Notice

Candidates may apply for a number of scholarships, if they are successful in attaining more than one scholarship, however, they may only accept one scholarship bursary. Scholarship bursaries cannot be added together or combined.

Candidates will be awarded the higher amount. Candidates cannot transfer or use one scholarship or bursary between or against another programme. Scholarships and bursaries are also not allowed to be deferred to a future academic year, it is only applicable and awarded to the student for the year they are offered a place in UCD Smurfit. If a student, subsequently, decides to defer their offer they will lose their scholarship or bursary and be required to apply in the future.

If candidates are in receipt of a SUSI grant they are not eligible to receive a scholarship .

UCD Smurfit School Scholarships are not applicable to courses in UCD Smurfit Executive Development, UCD Belfield campus or programmes run in conjunction with UCD Belfield including the MSc in Biotechnology and Business, MSc in Biotherapeutics and Business and MSc in International Law and Business.

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