Economic and Social Research Council Doctoral Training Partnership (ESRC)


Key facts

  • Number of scholarships: Approx 20
  • Value: Home tuition fee & stipend for eligible candidates
  • Opens: 2 October 2023
  • Deadline: 1 December 2023
  • 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 Friday 1st December 2023 at 4pm, via the SGSSS Apply webpage.

Students successful in this competition will commence studies in October 2024.


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. 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.

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 1st at 4pm, via the SGSSS Apply webpage: 

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 2023/24

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

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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 4pm, Friday 1st December 2023
  • Faculty decision of nominated candidates to go forward to next stage by 31st January 2024
  • Successful applicants will submit final versions of their applications to SGSSS by 12noon on 22nd February 2024 at the latest
  • When SGSSS announce awards, on 17th May 2024, 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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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