Divinity and Theology Scholarships

Divinity and Theology Scholarships

Divinity and Theology Scholarships

The application deadline has now passed for this cycle. Applications will no longer be considered for the listed projects.

The subject of Divinity has been taught at the University of Aberdeen since the time of its foundation in 1495 and continues to go from strength to strength (e.g., the Aberdeen Divinity Department is currently ranked 25th in the world in the QS World Rankings by Subject). Our new scholarships will be open only to Overseas students (i.e., not UK or EU) who apply, and are admitted, to work towards a Ph.D. in any of the sub-disciplines of Divinity as resident students on our campus. Awards will be made on the basis of the thoroughness and originality of the research proposal. The scholarships will thus support the new generation of Divinity scholars that is currently emerging and will provide a creative new impetus to the subject.

This is the list of scholarships now open for competition:

The William Robertson Smith Scholarship in Old Testament/Hebrew Bible

The I. Howard Marshall Scholarship in New Testament 

The Hector Boece Scholarship in Church History

The Donald MacKinnon Scholarship in Systematic Theology

The Iain R. Torrance Scholarship in Theological Ethics

The Allan Main Scholarship in Practical Theology and Ministry

The successful candidates starting in 2020/2021 will receive an annual award equivalent to £1,650, which equals 10% of the total Overseas rate of tuition fee, for each year of supervised study . Successful scholars will undertake a package of training and career development opportunities through the Department of Divinity. This will include a set number of hours of teaching or research assistance. The career development package will be phased in year-by-year and supported by relevant training such as is offered by the University’s Centre for Academic Development and other units.

The competition opens on 1 July and closes on 31 October 2020. Awards will be made in November 2020. The award-holders will start their research at some point between 1 December 2020 and 1 April 2021. For convenience, the annual award will be offered as a reduction off the total tuition fee.


Applicants must be of outstanding academic merit and potential for independent research, as evidenced by the candidate’s academic record, prior qualifications, proposal and references. Selection will be based on this evidence and upon the strength of the proposed engagement with the advertised research project.

Applicants must be classified as Overseas students for fees purposes as set by the University of Aberdeen.

Applicants must hold, or expect to hold prior to commencement of studies, an undergraduate degree at UK first class or 2:1 honours level, or the international equivalent. It is preferable but not a requirement that you hold a Masters relevant to your chosen area of study. Other factors such as financial status and nationality are not taken into account.

Before you Apply

Before applying, contact a potential supervisor within the field you are interested in (more information about the various sub-disciplines and staff members, along with their areas of speciality, can be found here). This is an opportunity to discuss your research interests, whether the person you contact would be the best supervisory option, and how you intend to frame your research proposal.

Application process

The application deadline has now passed for this cycle. Applications will no longer be considered for the listed projects.

Application will be via the PhD application portal. Further information on the process may be found at this site.

You must include a detailed research proposal (1000-1500 words) which sets out your anticipated research topic, degree transcripts and certificates, and be supported by two academic references. Further guidance on the research proposal may be found here.

You should mark your application with the name of the scholarship you are applying for in the Intended Source of Funding.