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Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) Studentships 2011-12

17 February 2011



Having won a coveted place in the national network of training centres accredited by the ESRC, the Wales Doctoral Training Centre (Wales-DTC) is awarding a number of ESRC-funded postgraduate research studentships to support doctoral research and training in the social sciences at the Cardiff School of Social Sciences.

Cardiff School of Social Sciences has an international reputation for its research in the areas of:

We expect to have approximately 13 ESRC funded PhD Studentships available for the 2011/12 academic year and welcome applications in these subject areas: Criminology, Education, Science and Technology Studies, Social Policy, Social Work and Social Care, and Sociology.

The School also welcomes Interdisciplinary applications and Advanced Quantitative Methods applications.

Awards are available on either a 1+3 or +3 basis. A 1+3 studentship provides funding for four years, completing the Msc in Social Science Research Methods in the 1st year, followed by 3 years funding for a PhD. A +3 studentship provides funding for the three years only, and assumes that the applicant will already have had research training from an ESRC Research Training recognised MSc degree (please see ESRC guidance on this).

Studentships will commence in September 2011 and will cover your tuition fees as well as a maintenance grant and an additional Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) for three years for full-time students. In 2010-11 the maintenance grant for full-time students was £13,590 and the RTSG was £750, but the award levels for 2011-12 have yet to be published by the ESRC.



ESRC studentships are available from the Wales DTC for UK and EU students who meet residency requirements set out by the ESRC. Please consult the ESRC Postgraduate Funding Guide for full details on residential eligibility requirements.

ESRC studentship funding is highly competitive. In view of the limited number of awards and the very high standard of applications received, successful applicants are likely to have a very good first degree (a first or upper second class BA or BSc Honours or equivalent), and/or an appropriate Masters degree (with an average mark of at least 65).


How to Apply

pplicants must complete and submit the following documentation by the deadline of 12.00pm, 25th March 2011. Note that the deadline is absolute and applications received after this specified time and date will not be accepted. 

  • A completed application form for admission to doctoral study in the School of Social Sciences – submitted to the Academic Registry via the online admissions portal: make an application to the PhD in Social Sciences regardless of whether you are applying for a 1+3 or +3 studentship)
  • Academic References – all admissions applications require two references to be submitted in support. Please ensure that your chosen referees are aware of the funding deadline, as we will be using these to help us evaluate your ESRC studentship application.
  • Academic Transcripts – where applicable, academic transcripts must be submitted with the online admissions application by the funding deadline. We will be using these to verify your academic qualifications.
  • Wales DTC ESRC Doctoral Studentship extended proposal form – applicants must submit a copy of this form which is available here as an emailed attachment to by the deadline above.

We recommend that applicants approach academic staff to be potential supervisors before submitting their application (research profiles can be found on the School’s website under the various Research Themes). If you have not secured a supervisor then this can be done by the Graduate Office during the initial vetting process.

If you have any queries or concerns about the ESRC studentship application process, they should be directed to Vicky Parkin at 


How Applications will be Assessed

Applications will first be assessed against the School’s PhD admissions criteria. Successful candidates will then be put forward to the School’s ESRC assessment panel which is made up of senior academic staff drawn from across the School. Further details of this will be forwarded to applicants after they have submitted their application form.

Applications will be allocated to an appropriate research theme supported by the Wales-DTC in the broad areas of Sociology, Social Policy, Criminology, Social Work and Social Care, Education, and Science and Technology Studies. The panel will make collective academic judgements of quality based on: 

i) evidence of the candidate’s research potential, as provided by academic references; academic transcripts, degree results, and other credentials such as prizes, academic awards; and, where applicable, professional qualifications and/or relevant experience;

ii) the quality and impact of the proposed doctoral research;

iii) relevance in regard to the School’s research themes.

Selection panel recommendations will be ratified by the Wales-DTC, and its judgements are final. 

We anticipate that the selection process will be completed by early to mid May. Applicants will then be notified if their studentship application has been successful, or if they have been placed on a waiting list or rejected. Successful applicants will be asked to provide a letter of acceptance or decline by a given deadline. If a successful candidate fails to respond by the deadline or declines the offer, their award will automatically be transferred to the reserve candidate who is next on the list.


Research Degree Proposal Form

ESRC Doctoral Studentships 2011-12 Research Proposal [48.5 Kb]

Guidance for Research Degree (MPhil/ PhD) Proposals, Cardiff School of Social Sciences


Research Degrees at the Cardiff School of Social Sciences


Contact Details

Miss Victoria Parkin
Administrative Assistant, Research and Graduate Studies

Telephone:+44 (0)29 208 70855Extension:70855