Prospective Students and Fellows


The deadline for ESRC-Funded Postdoctoral Fellows for September 2018 entry has now passed.  ESRC Postdoctoral fellowships for 2019 entry will be advertised in late 2018. Please revisit later in the year for further details.

The ESRC is investing £7 million for new research grants that qualify for funding through the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). 

The deadline for ESRC-Funded Studentships for September 2018 entry has now passed. ESRC Studentships for 2019 entry will be advertised in late 2018. Please revisit later in the year for further details.

The SWDTP supports doctoral students by developing not only their research skills, but by offering a wide range of training, placements, activities and events as well.  We work in a collaborative way across the five institutions and have SWDTC students that will also form part of your cohort.  The SWDTP is funded by the Economic and Social Sciences Research Council (ESRC).

We have 45 fully-funded studentships from the ESRC available through twelve disciplinary pathways that span the social sciences and five innovative interdisciplinary pathways, to offer students the broadest possible approach to their studies with us.

All students have the opportunity to take part in a work placement during their time of study with us. Placements provide the opportunity for students to further develop their research and transferable skills in a non-academic environment.  For more information on placements, please visit our collaboration pages.

What is an ESRC studentship?

An ESRC studentship is funding provided by the ESRC to make up at least 50% of a student’s postgraduate research programme. The programme supports part-time as well as full-time students, in recognition that students have different needs (i.e. caring responsibilities) and can require different flexibilities.  Where the ESRC funding is less than 50%, the remainder of the funding must be found from an institution or other external sources.  The ERSC has established 14 Doctoral Training Partnerships across the UK, of which the SWDTP is one.

A Masters is not a prerequisite for studying at the SWDTP.  A range of training programmes are available based on an assessment of the applicants prior learning and training needs.  All studentships are offered on a full or part time basis.

Who is eligible for ESRC funding?

To be eligible for a full award (stipend and fees), you must have:

  • Settled status in the UK, meaning there are no restrictions on how long you can stay, and
  • Been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for three years prior to the start of the studentship grant. This means you must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences), and
  • Not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education (This does not apply to UK and EU nationals who were ordinarily resident in the EU immediately before the period of full-time education).

To be eligible for a fees only award, you:

  • Must be ordinarily resident in an EU member state, in the same way as UK students must be ordinarily resident in the UK.

How do I apply?

Students applying for ESRC funded scholarships are encouraged to speak to their chosen school/college prior to application in order to discuss their research ideas with a suitable supervisor. Students are also encouraged to look at ways of incorporating collaboration with external partners into their research proposal.  Collaboration does not always have to be a financial arrangement and could take the form of a placement, voluntary work, data sharing or other activities.  Students considering overseas fieldwork, overseas institutional visits or difficult language training must mention this in their application to ensure that funds will be available.

Applicants for any of the disciplinary or interdisciplinary pathways should apply for the appropriate MRes or MPhil/PhD programme following instructions on the pathway links. Please note, if the studentship for which you wish to apply is led by a supervisor at the University of Exeter, you will be required to apply for the funding first, and the PhD only if you are successful in obtaining the funding.

If your proposed project will involve the use of ESRC Datasets, it is vital that you include full details on your application as the ESRC have asked the SWDTP to steer four studentships per year.

For more information on SWDTP entry and collaboration requirements, please read the Admissions Statement.

How much is an award?

The standard maintenance award for October 2018 is £14,777 per annum. The ESRC will also cover fees to the value of £4,260 per annum. Students are also eligible for an annual nominal allowance of £750 Research Training Support Grant (RTSG).

Further funding information

More detailed information about different kinds of ESRC funding is available on the ESRC website.





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