ESRC-funded studentship opportunities: Scottish Graduate School of Social Science

The Scottish Graduate School of Social Science's Scottish Doctoral Training Partnership provides studentship awards each year to doctoral students pursuing research in the social sciences.

Key facts

Fee status

All fee statuses

Your country/region

All EU, All international, England, Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Wales


Postgraduate (research)

Number of awards


Value of awards

Full fees and stipend of £18,622


Deadline for the current round of applications has passed. We're waiting on funding confirmation for the next round.

The University of Stirling is a member institution of the ESRC Scottish Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP). The DTP is led by the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGSSS), which facilitates funding, training and support for doctoral students in the social sciences. The DTP offers a range of studentship awards each year for students to undertake a PhD research project of their own design. Successful students benefit from a high-value scholarship package, a wealth of supervisory expertise across the social sciences, and numerous training and development opportunities.

Challenge-led pathways

SGSSS awards are made to six training pathways organised around a set of key societal challenges. These challenges represent the kinds of social science research that SGSSS students do and reflect the themes of the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. They are

  • Communication, AI and New Technologies
  • Environment, Migration and Demographic Change
  • Governance and Institutions
  • Health, Wellbeing and Communities
  • Securities: Justice, Economies and Conflict
  • Social Inequalities

Before applying to the student-led open competition applicants should contact the relevant PGR lead (listed below)  for their discipline,  and must have engaged with your proposed supervisor(s), you can identify and contact a potential supervisor via our Find a Supervisor tool. You should discuss your research proposal with them and inform them that you wish to apply for an ESRC studentship via SGSSS.  Confirmation of supervisory support is required at application stage.

Research discipline and lead
Column 1 - research discipline, column 2 - lead

Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy 

Sinead Currie and Elaine Cameron

Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience 

Dimitrios Kourtis

Business and Management Studies 

Dionysia Dionysiou


Diana Miranda


Alison Cathcart

Social Work and Social Policy 

Sandra Engstrom


Greg Mannion


Alison Cathcart

Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management 

Iain MacRury

For information about the University of Stirling's areas of research visit our research degree pages

For information on all the pathways supported by the scholarship, visit the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science website

Eligibility and availability

The ERSC-DTP competition is open to:

  • UK and international students who have completed (or expect to complete) a Masters qualification in a relevant discipline from a recognised institution (+3 award).
  • UK and international students planning to undertake a Masters qualification followed by a doctorate degree (+3 award).

For more information on eligibility please visit the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science website.

How to apply

Applying to the ESRC-DTP studentship competition

Please see the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science website for details and dates for each of the various schemes available.

Applying to the University of Stirling

Applications to the University of Stirling and to the ESRC-DTP studentship awards are submitted in parallel. You must apply to undertake either a Masters degree or a relevant PhD programme at the University of Stirling and - if nominated - apply through the SGSSS processes described above in tandem.

Only those candidates with an offer to study at Stirling can receive a studentship through the ESRC-DTP.

Contact us

If you have a query about your proposed PhD project, please contact either your relevant pathway representative (see table above) or

If you need support with your online application for a University place, you can contact