Economic and Social Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership (ESRC)


Key facts

  • Number of scholarships: Approx 35
  • Value: Home tuition fee & stipend for eligible candidates
  • Opens: 3 October 2022
  • Deadline: 8 December 2022
  • Helps with: Tuition fees, Living costs
  • Duration: 3-4 years (may include required research methods training)


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 funding across 15 subject pathways).  This includes the University of Strathclyde. The SGSSS is funded jointly by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the Scottish Funding Council (SFC).

The ESRC DTP PhD studentship Scheme is now open for applications; the deadline is Thursday 8 December 2022 at 5pm, via the SGSSS Apply webpage.

NOTE: The deadline for applications for the School of Government and Public Policy is Monday 14 November 2022 at 5pm. Please see "Further Information" for details.


Academic qualifications

A good honours degree at First Class or Upper Second Class level, or equivalent, from a recognised academic higher education institution.

UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) Studentship Eligibility

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.

UKRI have stipulated that a maximum percentage (30%) of students recruited each year against individual training grants can be International (exceptionally, in Economics, the International student award cap will be 50%). The final funding decisions 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.

The residency requirements are based on the Education (Fees and Awards) (England) Regulations 2007 and subsequent amendments. Normally, to be eligible for Home fees, a student must have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship (with some further constraint regarding residence for education).

If a student does not meet the criteria above, they will be classed as an International student.

Please note that for Economics applicants the residential eligibility rules may allow some students without prior residency in the UK to qualify for a full fee and stipend award.

Subject eligibility

Accounting & finance, Economics, Education, Entrepreneurship, History, Law, Marketing, Politics, Psychology, Business, Management, Social policy, International relations, Social work

Levels eligibility

Postgraduate Research

Study modes eligibility

Full Time, Part Time

Fee Status

Home (Scottish), England or N. Ireland or Rep. Ireland or Wales, International

Student type


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Further information

The ESRC DTP PhD studentship Scheme is now open for applications; the deadline is December 8th at 5pm, via the SGSSS Apply webpage: 

NOTE: the deadline for the Politics and International Relations pathway is Monday 14 November 2022 at 5pm. Please see below for details.

Further details can be found on the SGSSS website and MUST be read prior to registration and application via SGSSS Apply: SGSSS Student-led Open Competition 2022/23

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 for their chosen discipline.

Pathway Representatives


School of Government and Public Policy PhD Studentships 2023/24

The School of Government and Public Policy is pleased to invite candidates to apply for nomination to 1+3 and +3 PhD studentships offered by the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science. These awards will cover student fees (UK or international rates) and a stipend at UKRI rates for the length of the PhD and master’s degree (where appropriate). Promising candidates will have already or be expected to obtain, a first-class honours degree or a master’s degree with distinction.

The HaSS Faculty offers high quality facilities within its purpose-designed Graduate School premises ( and world-leading training through the University’s PG Certificate in Postgraduate Researcher Development (

To be considered by the School of Government and Public Policy for nomination to the above awards, apply by Monday 14 November 2022. We invite applications from candidates across all fields of empirical political science.

Enclose the following documents with your application:

  1. 1500 word research proposal
  2. A 2-page CV, including your academic achievements and any professional experience.
  3. Academic transcript
  4. 2 Academic References.

Please email your application including the requested documents to the PGR Director of the School of Government and Public Policy, Dr Heinz Brandenburg [


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How to apply

Application Process

  • Applicant contacts a Pathway Representative (see "Contact Us" section)
  • Register on SGSSS Apply:
  • 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 8th December 2022
  • Faculty decision of nominated candidates to go forward to next stage by 31st January 2023
  • Successful applicants will submit final versions of their applications to SGSSS by 12noon on 9th February 2023
  • When SGSSS announce awards, on 12th May 2023, 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.


NOTE: For applications in the Politics and International Relations Pathway, please see "Further Details" for information on how to apply. This Pathway has an earlier deadline of Monday 14 November.

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Contact us

Nine pathways have designated representatives at Strathclyde. Before applying to the Student-led Open Competition please contact the relevant Pathway Representative – see the SGSSS website - as well as a potential PhD supervisor – see the University website.

You should discuss your research proposal with the supervisor and inform them that you wish to apply for an ESRC studentship via SGSSS. Please note, you must have engaged with your proposed supervisor(s) before applying to the Open Competition. Confirmation of this is required at application stage.

You may apply for an ESRC studentship through only one of the 12 SGSSS institutions; however, you may apply to multiple pathways within that one institution (up to a maximum of 5 pathways).

Pathway Representatives