Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) Studentships
Lancaster University forms part of the ESRC's North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP). Each year at least 65 studentships, covering tuition and maintenance, are available for those wishing to study in areas covered by the ESRC at Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester, or Keele.
Candidates may apply for funding towards Master's and doctoral (1+3) study or doctoral study only, and be full-time or part-time. The NWSSDTP does not fund standalone Master's programmes.
The deadline for applications to be submitted is 5 pm GMT on Wednesday 1 February 2023.
Applicants must be planning to study in one of the following ESRC-approved pathways
The relevant FASS programmes are shown in each category.
How to Apply for ESRC funding
Apply for a programme
Apply to a programme in one of the ESRC-approved pathways.
Please indicate in your programme application that you are applying for ESRC funding in the 'Source of Funding' section.
NOTE: If you have already submitted your programme application, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Get offered a place
Students will normally be expected to have been offered a place on one of the programmes eligible for NWSSDTP funding before submitting their NWSSDTP Studentship Application (please see the list of eligible programmes for each pathway above). However, Studentship Applications will be accepted from students who have submitted their institutional application but have yet to receive a formal offer, providing that such an offer has been made by the time of the Studentship Allocation meeting, which will take place on Tuesday 21 March 2023. In no case will an NWSSDTP Studentship be officially awarded until the student has secured a conditional or unconditional place at their university.
Complete the ESRC Application
You will find the application form at the North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP) applications page, along with further information and guidance notes.
It is strongly recommended that the two references required have been written specifically in support of your funding application. Details can be found in the Studentship Application Guidance (Appendix 2). Please note that all references need to be signed on official letterhead and that you will need to provide the two references along with your funding application, otherwise it will not be accepted.
Please check that you meet the academic and residential eligibility criteria on page 2 of the guidance notes before applying.
Apply for ESRC
Applications should be made on the NWSSDTP application form, along with a completed equal opportunities form, two references and copies of your academic transcripts.
Send your completed ESRC application form and supporting documents to email@example.com putting your name and ‘ESRC Application’ in the subject of your e-mail. You will receive a confirmation e-mail once your application has been received. Once we have processed your application we will contact you if we require any further information from you.
Further information about the provision and funding offered by the NWSSDTP is available on the NWSSTDP website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Am I eligible to apply for an ESRC studentship?
Eligibility criteria can be found on page 2 of the relevant Studentship Guidance.
I am an overseas applicant; can I apply for an ESRC studentship?
NWSSDTP Studentships are open to both Home and International (including EU and EEA) candidates. It is crucial to note that studentships will only cover tuition fees up to the fees at the standard UKRI home fee rate. This is £4,500 in 2021/22 (exact rate for 2022/23 subject to confirmation from UKRI).
Please be aware that the NWSSDTP is only permitted to award a maximum of 30% of its studentships - a maximum of 18 awards - to international (including EU and EEA) students per annum.
If I am applying for 1+3 funding do I need to apply for both the Master's and PhD programmes?
Yes. Please complete as much of the PhD application as possible (including a research proposal) and send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to inform us of your intention to apply for 1+3 funding. We will then assist you in completing your application fully.
Do I need to submit references with my ESRC application form?
Yes. The NWSSDTP application must be supported by two testimonials from people able to comment on the academic ability and research potential of the candidate, e.g. previous undergraduate/postgraduate study.
It is strongly recommended that the applicant’s undergraduate/postgraduate tutors complete the testimonials where possible. However, the NWSSDTP accepts that University staff expected to be involved with the candidate’s subsequent studies (e.g. potential supervisors) can sometimes be appropriate if they have tutored the applicant previously. It is also accepted that some students may have undertaken some relevant professional work where the testimonial writer would be able to comment on their suitability for undertaking research. If this is the case then the circumstances should be fully explained. Please view Appendix 2 of the Studentship Guidance and pass them to your referees for guidance.
Can I use the references from my programme application or do the references need to be specific for my funding application?
It is strongly recommended that you submit 2 references that have been written specifically in support of your funding application. Details can be found in the Studentship Application Guidance (Appendix 2).
Please note that all references need to be signed on official letterhead and that you will need to provide the 2 references along with your funding application, otherwise it will not be accepted.
Can I accept the offer of a place on the programme if I do not yet know the outcome of the ESRC application?
Yes. If we offer you a place on one of our programmes please accept this. If your funding application is subsequently unsuccessful you may wish to request a deferral to a future cohort of the programme, or withdraw your application without penalty.
Where can I find the application number required on the first page of the ESRC application form?
This refers to your eight digit programme application number (starting with the number 3)
If you are a current PhD student at Lancaster University applying for a +2 award please provide your student ID number.
I have not yet received an offer on the PhD programme I have applied for; what should I write under the supervisors section in the form?
If you have been in contact with potential supervisors please include their names in this section of the form. Otherwise, please leave this section blank as it can be completed once supervisors have been selected.
Please contact your Pathway Representative in the first instance if you need help completing your ESRC application form. If help is still required contact email@example.com.
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