Per an email from the vice chancellor Chris Higgins:
A University priority is to increase institutional support for postgraduate research students. UEC approved an increase in the number of our prestigious Durham Doctoral Fellowships (DDFs) this year from 25 to 27, and the Scholarship budget allocated to Departments by 33%. UEC also agreed to simplify allocation. DDFs will be able to be awarded more speedily, to ensure we continue to attract the best candidates from around the world, and the Scholarships money will be given to Departments on a pro rata basis cutting out the current centralised ‘application’ process.
From what I’ve heard, the fellowships are divided roughly equally between the three faculties. The Department of Theology and Religion falls in the Arts and Humanities faculty and makes up a large percentage of it (about 30-40%). So this should bode well for the DT&R, which in the past got on average one fellowship per year.
[UPDATE: As of 19 Feb, the number of Fellowships has been increased to 30!]