Scholarships & funding opportunities

Economic and Social Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership (ESRC)

The Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGSSS) facilitates world-class PhD research and is the UK's largest doctoral partnership providing funding, training and support for postgraduate research students in social science by combining the expertise of sixteen universities across Scotland (of which 12 are accredited to receive Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding across 15 subject pathways). 

The ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership Scotland is nested within the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science.  As a collaboration of Scottish HEIs involved in Social Sciences, SGSSS is dedicated to making the best possible provision for doctoral researchers in these areas.  It is supported by both the Scottish Funding Council and the Economic and Social Research Council and aims to create a supportive community of doctoral graduates, capable of being research leaders in whichever sector they choose to enter upon graduation.

  • Number of scholarships Approx 50
  • Value Home tuition fee & stipend for eligible candidates
  • Opens 20 October 2021
  • Deadline 9 December 2021
  • Help with Tuition fees, Living costs
  • Duration 3-4 years


Academic qualifications

A good honours degree at first- or upper second-class level, from a UK academic higher education institution. In the majority of cases, students will have undertaken an undergraduate course at a recognised UK higher education institution.

UKRI Studentship Eligibility

The eligibility criteria for UKRI funding changed for studentships commencing from the 2021/22 academic year onwards. Now, all Home and International students are eligible to apply for UKRI funding which will cover the full stipend and Home tuition fees. *The international portion of the tuition fee cannot be funded by the UKRI grant, but will be covered for successful applicants by the University of Strathclyde.

Under the new criteria, UKRI have stipulated a maximum percentage (30%) of International students that can be recruited each year against individual training grants (in all subjects except Economics, for which the International student award cap will be 50%). The final funding decision will be made by the SGSSS and ESRC.

To be classed as a Home student for fee purposes, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK national (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have settled status, or
  • Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have indefinite leave to remain or enter.

If a student does not meet the criteria above, they will be classed as an international student. The international portion of the tuition fee cannot be funded by the UKRI grant but will be covered by the University of Strathclyde.

Further Information

Candidates for ESRC funded studentships, which can be of either three years (PhD funding for students with Masters research training already) or four years (Masters training plus PhD) and should contact the University Pathway Representative (see contact details below) for their chosen discipline.

Pathway Representatives


Contact us

Pathway Representatives


How to apply

Application Process

  • Applicant contacts a Pathway Representative
  • Register on GradHub :
  • Read the essential information at
  • Applicant/supervisor develop a proposal
  • Applicant/supervisor submit proposal, supporting statement and cv to the Pathway Lead
  • Applicant will upload stage one of the application onto SGSSS Apply by 5pm, Thursday 9th December 2021
  • Faculty decision of nominated candidates to go forward to next stage by 31st January 2022
  • Successful applicants will submit final versions of their applications to SGSSS by 12noon on 9th February 2022
  • When SGSSS announce awards, on 13th May 2022, the applicant will apply to University of Strathclyde via the Pegasus portal


Please note that certain Pathways may have earlier internal deadlines. Check with the relevant Pathway Representative for confirmation of deadlines.



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