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BSPS Doctoral Scholarship Competition

The British Society for the Philosophy of Science is offering a scholarship for doctoral work in the philosophy of science at a UK university, subject to a candidate of sufficient merit presenting themselves.

About the Scholarship
The competition is open to both UK/EU and international students. The scholarship will cover UK/EU fees at Research Council rates. International fees will be covered in part or in full, depending on the case, but will be covered at least up to UK/EU levels. The scholarship also includes a maintenance grant of £13,863 (£15,863 in London). The scholarship will be awarded for a period equal to the institutional norm for PhD study at the student's institution minus any time already spent on the PhD. (For example, applicants in their first year of postgraduate study at institutions that follow a 2+2 (Masters + PhD) model may apply for three years of funding to begin in the second year of their masters degree.) Applicants must apply for all other sources of funding for which they are eligible. The scholarship is conditional on being accepted onto an appropriate doctoral programme in philosophy of science at a UK university in time for the start of the 2015-16 academic year.


The closing date for applications is 27 February 2015. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that complete applications, including references, arrive by the deadline.

The timing of the announcement of awards may be constrained by the timing of decisions by other funding bodies. Applicants with offers of funding from US institutions who require information prior to 15 April 2015 are encouraged to contact the BSPS at that time to enquire about the provisional outcome of their application.

How to Apply

A) Applicants should send (as a single PDF):

1. A curriculum vitae (no more than 2 sides of A4);

2. An outline of the proposed research (no more than 750 words);

3. A statement that:
   i) confirms either that the applicant is not eligible for AHRC funding or that they have taken the necessary steps to be considered for such funding;
   ii) states how much other funding, if any, the applicant has already secured; and
   iii) states what other sources of funding have been applied for and the dates by which they will hear whether these applications have been successful.

In addition:

4. If the applicant has already been accepted onto an appropriate doctoral programme, they should provide evidence that this is so. Otherwise, the award will be made to the successful candidate subject to confirmation at a later date of their having been accepted onto an appropriate programme.

B) The proposed supervisor should send a brief statement (no more than 500 words) explaining why they are happy to supervise the applicant on the proposed project and how and why the supervisor’s institution is a good fit for the person and project. [See, also, Note 2 below.]

C) Two academic referees (one of whom may be the proposed supervisor) should write reference letters directly to the Honorary Secretary.

All documents should be sent by email to the Honorary Secretary at Oliver Pooley.

Any queries should also be directed to the Honorary Secretary.

Additional Information

1. A full BSPS scholarship will not be made to anyone with another source of funding. In cases where an awardee has partial funding from other sources, the size of the BSPS grant will be set accordingly. (For example, a successful applicant who has a fees-only award from elsewhere would still be eligible to receive a maintenance grant from the BSPS.)

2. Applicants may be in the position of considering a number of different departments for their doctoral studies and thus have a range of possible supervisors in mind. In this event, they should ask their currently preferred supervisor to write for them. Should an applicant be successful in the BSPS doctoral scholarship competition, but end up being accepted onto a PhD programme at a different institution from that of the supervisor who initially wrote for them, it would still be possible to hold the award at the new institution, subject to a suitable endorsement from the new supervisor. It should be noted that where it is obvious that a given applicant and project is a good fit to supervisor and institution, supervisors’ letters may be rather brief without thereby disadvantaging the candidate.


  • 2004 - Ulrich Stegmann, for his study of philosophy of biology, at King's College London.
  • 2005 - Elizabeth Hannon for her work in philosophy of biology and psychology, at the University of Durham.
  • 2006 - Dennis Lehmkuhl for his doctoral work in philosophy of physics at the University of Oxford.
  • 2007 - Stefan Dragulinescu for his work in the philosophy of medicine at Lancaster University and Chuanfei Chin for his work on the philosophical foundations of pain research at Oxford University.
  • 2008 – Andrew Goldfinch for his work on the foundations of evolutionary psychology at LSE and Elizabeth Irvine for her work on the scientific understanding of consciousness at Edinburgh University.
  • 2009 - Milena Ivanova for her work at Bristol on Structural Realism and Conventionalism, and to Katherine Puddifoot at Sheffield, who is working on debates about rationality in the philosophy of psychology and cognitive science.
  • 2010 - Matteo Colombo for his work at Edinburgh "Complying with Norms: An Exploration from Computational Cognitive Neuroscience”.
  • 2011 – Aarne Talman for his work at the LSE on confirmation and reliability of chaotic models and Lena Zuchowski for her work in Cambridge on theories at the edge of Laplacian determinism
  • 2012 – Sorana Vieru (Bristol) and Alexandru Marcoci (LSE)
  • 2014 - Tushar Menon (Oxford) and Carina Prunkl (Oxford)