2024-25 PIC Masters Studentship Scheme in Population Studies

The Population Investigation Committee (PIC) established a scholarship fund in 1996 to facilitate further training in demography past undergraduate level.  Eligibility for the studentship is restricted to students accepted on a PIC-approved Masters degree course at a PIC-approved institution.  The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) currently offers two London-based MSc programmes which have a high demographic content and are therefore PIC-approved Masters degree courses.

Two studentships funded by the Population Investigation Committee (PIC) are open for application to those planning a career in demographic research or in an area where demographic skills are a necessity.

Award information

The full value of each studentship award is GBP 15,000.00.

PIC will give LSHTM the full award amount.  LSHTM will deduct tuition fees, at the agreed UKRI indicative fee rate, from the value of the award.  The remainder of fees due (to the Home/UK rate) will be subsidised by LSHTM. The remainder of the award will be paid out as a stipend to the student directly in 12 monthly instalments. This living allowance is tax-free.

Eligibility criteria

Candidates will be expected to be planning a career in demographic research, or in an area where demographic skills are a necessity.  Previous experience of quantitative methods is not essential but would be welcomed, although candidates should be able to demonstrate that they have the numerical skills needed to acquire these essential research methods. 

Residential criteria

Studentships will only be awarded to students who are assessed as having a Home/UK fee status and who meet the residency requirements as defined by ESRC Studentship regulations.  These are found on the UKRI website (Annex B of the UKRI Training Grant Guide), and are summarised here.  All candidates must have settled status in the UK; have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK; and, have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least three years (not wholly for the purpose of full-time education). Residence in the UK as a full-time student does not automatically qualify non-UK nationals for an award. LSHTM will determine fee status and residency based on the information provided in/with the applications for study and PIC funding.

Academic criteria

Candidates must have qualifications of the same standard as a good honours degree at first or upper second class level from a UK academic institution. In the majority of cases, candidates will have undertaken an undergraduate course at a recognised UK higher education institution. However, some may have qualifications from outside the UK, or be able to offer a combination of qualifications and/or experience. LSHTM will ascertain whether these qualifications can be equated to an honours degree and at what level, based on the information provided in/with the applications for study and PIC funding. A less-than-sufficient first degree may be enhanced by the attainment of a Master’s degree. If a candidate is applying who has enhanced their degree, enough information should be given to show that this has sufficiently enhanced the candidate’s knowledge to the standard required.

To be eligible for consideration for this funding applicants must:

How to apply

Applicants must:

  1. submit a complete LSHTM application for the London-based MSc Demography & Health, or MSc Reproductive & Sexual Health Research via the School’s online application portal, and
  2. submit a PIC Application form and TWO references to

by the closing date of 23:59 (BST) on 19 May 2024.

Applicants should contact the relevant Programme Director for the MSc they are interested in to discuss their application before the deadline (Dr Sarah Walters for MSc Demography and Health; Dr Melissa Palmer for MSc Reproductive and Sexual Health Research). 

Application notes

  • Please note that although the PIC application form states a closing date of 13 June 2024, applicants must submit both a study application and a PIC application by the internal LSHTM deadline of 23:59 (BST) on 19 May 2024 to be considered for this studentship.
  • Preferably, references should be from people able to comment on your academic ability and potential.  It is strongly recommended that your previous undergraduate tutor(s) supply a reference, if possible. Alternatively, prospective tutors may comment on prospective student’s ability, as may previous employers.
  • A complete study application includes all necessary supporting documents, including references, transcripts, and CVs.  Applications without these are unlikely to be considered for this funding.
  • Applications for part-time studies (over two years) will be accepted. The value of any awards made for part-time study will remain static (i.e. at GBP 15,000.00 in total) pro-rated over the period of study.
  • PIC studentships may not be held in conjunction with other major awards such as Research Council Studentships. Students who are subsequently awarded other/additional funding should make their institution and the PIC aware of this immediately.
  • LSHTM will shortlist and nominate up to three applications to the PIC for consideration.
  • Applications will be graded based on the evidence of initial qualifications & references provided, (although the qualifications themselves do not attract a specific grade), outline of proposed research area, demonstration of commitment to demography, relevant experience, & the demonstration or development of quantitative skills. 
  • Awards will be made by the PIC Scholarships Committee. Their decision is final.
  • Successful candidates will be informed of the outcome of their applications by July 2024. Any candidate who has not received confirmation of an award by this time should assume that their application has been unsuccessful.
  • Successful candidates will be expected to take a high proportion (75%) of modules with demographic training content, and will be monitored to ensure module selection meets this requirement.
  • On completion of their course, successful candidates will be required to return an assessment of their course on the form provided, which will also ask for information about future work or study intentions to aid the PIC’s internal monitoring and assessment of the scheme.
  • The closing date for applications is 23:59 (BST) on 19 May 2024.
  • By applying for this funding applicants agree to its Terms & Conditions.

Please note that all applications will only be reviewed and processed after the deadline. All applications that are submitted before the deadline will be considered equally, regardless of submission date.