DTP ESRC Studentships

IMG_5201_smallerESRC Studentships (Current Students)

The above link directs students, who are currently funded by the ESRC (Economic and Social Research Council) at the University of Leeds, University of Sheffield and University of York and who commenced their studies between October 2011 and October 2016, to information about their award and additional funding schemes available to them.

WRDTP ESRC STUDENTSHIPS 2017/18 (Prospective Students)

The White Rose Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership, accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council in 2016, is a collaboration across the social sciences at the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield, York, Bradford, Sheffield Hallam, Hull, and Manchester Metropolitan.

The DTP is offering a range of social sciences PhD Studentships starting in September/October 2017.

The awards on offer are either/or:

+3 programme: funding for a three-year PhD (assumes that a student has already met the majority of the core social sciences research methods training requirements and that the PhD focus is largely on more advanced training)

1+3 programme: an integrated Masters programme precedes the three-year PhD which will deliver the core social sciences research methods training requirements (e.g. MA Social Research)

ALL awards are available for study part-time.

The deadline for candidates to apply for the following WRDTP ESRC Awards is 1 February 2017:

  • WRDTP Pathway Awards (50% funded by DTP and 50% funded by Dept/School etc)
  • WRDTP Advanced Quantitative Methods Awards (100% funded by DTP)
  • WRDTP Interdisciplinary Research Awards (50% funded by DTP and 50% funded by Dept/School etc)

The deadline for academic colleagues to submit a proposal for the following WRDTC ESRC Awards is 30 January 2017:

  • WRDTP Network Awards (100% funded by DTP and WRUC)
  • WRDTP Collaborative Awards (100% funded by DTP)


The seven Universities of WRDTP offer 3 and 4 year programmes of full-time study leading to the award of a PhD (part-time versions of both are also available). PhD students are based within the Department of their primary supervisor, and in addition to one-to-one support with their supervisory team, are able to access a range of training provided by their Departments, Schools, Faculties, their University, and the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership (drawing on a network of Universities within the region). This ensure that the PhD study not only involves detailed, original research in an area of social science, but also provides doctoral students with wider skills and methods training that support them in the transition to employment within a postdoctoral research position, either within academia or beyond.

The 4-year PhD programmes, called 1+3, combine comprehensive research training in social sciences with the pursuit of an original research topic. The first year of these programmes is provided through an MA Social Research framework. This introduces students to research design, quantitative and qualitative methods, develops their professional skills, and allows them to take specialist and advanced subject-based courses in the field of their research topics. Students then work on their own research projects, alongside ongoing advanced training which is undertaken across the period of their doctoral studies.

The 3-year PhD programmes, called +3, are aimed at students who already have significant social science research experience. They are able to extend their existing training through taking modules in four key areas:

  • Discipline-based training: provides a high-level understanding of academic debates in their field, and a supportive research environment in which to develop PhD topics
  • Professional skills for research leadership: develops experience of how academic work is funded, published and translated into practical use beyond the university
  • Advanced research methods: provides exposure to cutting-edge methods that support students’ own projects and their future research ambitions
  • Interdisciplinary working: enables students to articulate how their PhDs contribute to wider societal challenges through work within one of the seven thematic pathways of the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership.

The individual Universities and Departments should be consulted directly for the range of doctoral provision that they offer.


Students do not apply to the DTP directly.  All applicants MUST first contact the relevant school/department at the University in which they wish to study to be advised on how to then submit an application for a research degree programme (and Masters programme if applying via the 1+3 route) and also how to apply for an ESRC DTP PhD studentship/award.



  • These awards are only available to nationals from the UK and EU and are not open to applicants who are liable to pay academic fees at the international fee rate. UK applicants will be eligible for a full award (paying fees and maintenance at standard Research Council rates). EU applicants are normally eligible for a fees only award, unless they have been resident in the UK for 3 years immediately preceding the date of the award.
  • The ESRC have relaxed the residency eligibility rules in the strategic areas of Advanced Quantitative Methods (AQM).  This means that UK, EU and international applicants wishing to study in these areas may apply for a full award paying tuition fees and stipend.  As the DTP only provides fees at the UK/EU standard Research Council rate, the difference between the home and overseas fee will have to be met by Schools/Departments where the student is based.  RCUK has stipulated that students must not pay any shortfall in fees.
  • For 1+3 and +3 awards, applicants must hold at least a UK upper second class honours degree or equivalent.
  • Applicants applying for a +3 award must demonstrate that they have already completed the full social sciences research methods training requirements at masters level. i.e. to be eligible for a +3 award, the student must demonstrate that they have already completed substantial social sciences training in research methods which would enable them to undertake an independent research project in a particular discipline or interdisciplinary field. A candidate must have at least 60 credits at M level of core social sciences research methods training acquired in the last five years. This must include a broad range of methods, including quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods and the use of appropriate software/tools for their application, and comprehension of principles of research design and strategy, and an appreciation of alternative approaches to research.  For more details on +3 eligibility see the FAQs above.

Collaborative Awards

The White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership is pleased to announce 12 fully funded ‘Collaborative PhD Awards’ starting September/October 2017.

Academic colleagues must submit a proposal for a studentship project by 12:00 noon, 30 January 2017.

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Other awards

AQM Awards 

The White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership is pleased to announce 4 fully funded Advanced Quantitative Methods Awards starting September/October 2017.

These are available via open competition to all DTP eligible schools/departments that have a strong track record of AQM or are looking to expand into this area.  The DTP will give priority to those who will be working with large data sets (an ESRC priority).

When considering whether a candidate should be nominated for an AQM Award the department/school must be able to demonstrate the appropriateness of the AQM in relation to the proposed research question and must ask themselves the following questions:

  • Does it go beyond simply applying standard quantitative methods to a particular substantive research problem?
  • Will it contribute to quantitative methodology in that area?

Interdisciplinary Research Awards

The White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership is pleased to announce 2 Interdisciplinary Research Awards starting September/October 2017.

These are available to projects that straddle other research council remits.

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Pathway Awards

The WRDTP is required by the ESRC to offer awards through open competition and not based on internal discipline/departmental quotas.

40 WRDTP ESRC interdisciplinary Pathway Awards are now available.

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White Rose DTP ESRC Network

The White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership is pleased to announce one new Network starting September/October 2017.

Academic colleagues must submit a proposal for a studentship Network by 12:00 noon, 30 January 2017.

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