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ESRC Named Doctoral Studentship 2013 - Methods

24 October 2012

Logo for the WJEC, the ESRC and Cardiff University

The Nature of Quantitative Methods & Analysis in A-Level Social Sciences

Applications are being sought for a prestigious (1+3 or +3) full time PhD Studentship, to be based in the Cardiff School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University, to begin in October 2013.

About the project

The studentship is in collaboration with the WJEC (Welsh Joint Education Committee) and will compliment two ESRC projects within the school looking into the teaching of quantitative methods. The aim of the studentship is to investigate the quantitative methods content of Social Science subjects at A-Level and to understand the implications of this for degree level Social Science. A particular focus will be on whether students are averse to subjects with numeric (mathematical) content, and if so, whether this aversion continues when students are making decisions about university level study.

(Please see ‘Related Resources’ on the right for further information on the project details).

Information about the School

Cardiff School of Social Sciences is a large School with over 160 staff and a thousand undergraduate and postgraduate students. The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise rated almost all of its research to be of an international standard, with 55% of it either “world leading” or “internationally excellent”. This rating, together with the size of the School, places it amongst the top five centres in the UK. Since its creation in 2000, the School has attracted over £18 million of research funds.

Cardiff University is the home of the ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Centre, part of a national network of 21 accredited Doctoral Training Centres across the UK judged by the ESRC to deliver truly excellent postgraduate training provision.

About the studentship

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 appropriate master’s degree.

Studentships will commence in September 2013 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 2012 the maintenance grant for full-time students was £13,590 and the RTSG was £750.


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. Applications are invited from exceptional candidates with a first class, or upper second class, honours degree or appropriate masters degree.

How to apply

Applicants must complete and submit the following documentation by the deadline of 12.00pm, 30th November 2012. Note that the deadline is absolute and applications received after this specified time and date will not be accepted.

  • Covering letter and CV - Please send in a covering letter outlining what makes you a suitable candidate (this should cover what skills/knowledge you bring to the project, what aspects you find particularly interesting and any ideas you may they have on how it could be developed). This should be no more than 2 pages. Please also specify whether you wish to apply on a +3 or 1+3 basis. You will also need to submit a CV with this.
  • 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, click here.
    Note: (Please specify the School of Social Sciences – Research Degree – Doctor of Philosophy (Social Sciences) with a start date of October 2013 whether you are applying for a +3 or 1+3 award).
    Note: Applicants should complete the ‘Research Proposal’ section of the application form (approx 500 words) to summarise how they would approach the given specified research project.  They should use the ‘Personal Statement’ section (approx 500 words) of the application form to compliment the information given in the covering letter and talk more about their background and interest in postgraduate study.
  • Academic References – all 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.

If you have any queries about the application process, these should be directed to Vicky Parkin at

All applicants are strongly advised to contact potential supervisors before submitting an application: Prof David James ( and Dr Luke Sloan (

How applications will be assessed

The closing deadline for applications is 12pm, 30th November 2012. Application forms will be assessed by a panel made up of the project supervisors and the Director of Graduate Studies, following which short-listed applicants will be invited to interview. We expect interviews to take place in early January 2013 with candidates notified of the date in mid December.


If you have any queries regarding this studentship please contact Victoria Parkin using the details below.

Telephone: 029 208 70855 (9am - 1pm)