Prospective Students and Fellows

Funding.picOn this page you will find the information required to apply for ESRC Post-doctoral fellowships and ESRC funded PhD studentships

ESRC Post-doctoral fellowships

The call for ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowships for October 2019 entry is now open. Follow the link for further details on the call specification, frequently asked questions and the application form.

ESRC funded studentships

The deadline for SWDTP studentship applications for October 2019 entry, has now closed. 

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 ESRC 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?

In order to receive ESRC studentship funding you must have qualifications/experience equal to the standard of a good honours degree at first or upper second class level from a UK academic research organisation.

Degree qualifications gained from outside the UK, or a combination of qualifications and/or experience that is equivalent to a relevant UK degree, may be accepted.

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.

The SWDTP, in agreement with ESRC, have relaxed the residential rules for international students in Economics and Advanced Quantitative Methods.  This may allow one student in each of these pathways without prior residency in the UK, to be eligible for a full fee and stipend award.

The full ESRC guidelines are available in the Postgraduate Funding Guide.

How do I apply?

Students applying for ESRC funded studentships 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, please follow the link below and carefully read the instructions on how to apply in the advertisement for the relevant pathway.  Do not apply directly to a programme of study at this stage.  You must submit via the ‘apply now’ button in the advertisement for your intended pathway.

ESRC are keen to develop capacity within the academic community to make best use of datasets and therefore they require SWDTP to allocate four studentships from the annual allocation of 45 to fund projects that utilise ESRC Datasets. Click on the link for further information.

ESRC are also keen to support interdisciplinary cross-council research capacity within the academic community and therefore have steered the SWDTP to allocate a minimum of four studentships from the annual allocation of 45, to fund projects that cut across the subjects and disciplines of the Research Councils.  Click on the link for further information.

For more information on SWDTP entry and collaboration requirements, please read the Admission Statement & FAQs 2019 Entry.

Download a copy of the Student Statement Form 2019

** Follow the application procedures of the institution at which you wish to be based**

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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