White Rose Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership (WR DTP) Studentships 2019/20

The White Rose Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership (WR DTP), accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in 2016, is a collaboration across the social sciences at the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield, York, Bradford, Sheffield Hallam, Hull, and Manchester Metropolitan.

Applications for 2020/21 studentships will open on 01 November 2019.

The WR DTP is offering a range of social sciences PhD Studentships starting in September or October 2020
It will give you access to:

  • a wealth of supervisory expertise across the social sciences
  • a wide range of training opportunities particularly focused on maximising the social and economic benefits of your research
  • a network of students and researchers studying in your discipline across Yorkshire
  • a network of interdisciplinary contacts and the opportunity to develop expertise working across disciplines.

Subject to ESRC eligibility criteria, the scholarships cover tuition fees and a grant (stipend) to help towards living expenses. In 2019/20, the basic stipend for ESRC studentships is £15,009. All awards are available for study part-time.

Types of studentship

  • Awards on offer are:

1+3 programme: an integrated Masters programme precedes the three-year PhD which will deliver the core social sciences research methods training requirements (e.g. MA Social Research)

+3 programme: funding for a three-year PhD (assumes that a student has already met the majority of the core social sciences research methods training requirements and that the PhD focus is largely on more advanced training)

  • You can choose to be considered for a pathway award or an advanced quantitative methods award (AQM)
  • Interdisciplinary research awards, collaborative awards and network awards will be available if a successful proposal on behalf of the University is made to the ESRC WR DTP.

The ESRC's eligibility criteria are set out in the ESRC Postgraduate Funding Guide (esrc.ac.uk). You should read the ESRC guidance carefully before applying. In addition to the ESRC criteria, the following stipulations apply specifically to this scheme:


You must have applied online for a place on an appropriate course.


  • UK applicants will be eligible for a full award to cover tuition fees and maintenance.
  • EU applicants are normally eligible for an award to cover tuition fees only.
  • EU applicants who have been resident in the UK for at least three years immediately preceding the date of the award are normally eligible for a full award to cover tuition fees and maintenance.
  • Applicants from outside the EU who are liable to pay academic fees at the international fee rate are not normally eligible for ESRC studentships


International applicants wishing to study Advanced Quantitative Methods may apply for a full award (tuition fees and maintenance). This award will cover fees at the standard UK/EU Research Council rate. Any difference between UK/EU and international fees will be met by your academic department.

Academic requirements 

For both 1+3 and +3 awards

For both 1+3 and +3 awards, you must hold at least a UK Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) degree or equivalent. If you hold a lower undergraduate degree, you must also hold a Masters degree to be eligible to apply.

+3 awards

If you’re applying for a +3 award, you must:

  • demonstrate that you have already completed the full social sciences research methods training requirements at Masters level; evidencing that you can undertake an independent research project in a particular discipline or interdisciplinary field.
  • have at least 60 credits at M level of core social sciences research methods training acquired in the last five years. This must include a broad range of methods, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods, and the use of appropriate software/tools for your application, and comprehension of principles of research design and strategy, and an appreciation of alternative approaches to research. 

1+3 awards

  • If you are applying for a 1+3 award then you will be required to complete the MA Social Research.
  • You will need to apply online to this Masters degree. 

English language requirements

Further eligibility information can be found in the FAQs section on the WR DTP website.

  • Applications for these studentships will be on a competitive basis with other York applicants.
  • You may apply for a studentship at more than one institution within the White Rose DTP (wrdtc.ac.uk).
  • You can only apply for one studentship per scheme (e.g. you may apply for a pathway award as well as a collaborative award at York but you cannot apply for two pathway awards.
  • Should more than one institution offer to nominate you for a studentship, you may only choose one application to be put forward for consideration for an award.

The following departments are eligible to participate in nominations for a pathway award:

The above departments can then nominate in any of the following Thematic Interdisciplinary Training pathways:

  1. Cities, Environment, and Liveability (CEL) 
  2. Security, Conflict, and Justice (SCJ) 
  3. Education, Childhood, and Youth (ECY) 
  4. Data, Communication, and New Technologies (DCT) 
  5. Wellbeing, Health, and Communities (WHC) 
  6. Sustainable Growth, Management, and Economic Productivity (SMP) 
  7. Civil Society, Development, and Democracy (CDD)

You should discuss which theme is the best fit for your research proposal with your academic department.

Applications are now closed.

Collaborative awards (11 awards)

The DTP is offering 13 Collaborative Award studentships across the DTP. The Collaborative studentships will be linked to partners in the private, public or third sectors. These links do not have to involve funding and could be internships, placements or other forms of meaningful collaboration.

A call for proposals is currently underway and further details will be available following the announcement of the successful Collaborative awards.

Network awards (one network, ie three studentships (one student based at York, Leeds and Sheffield)

The DTP will be offering one new White Rose Network across the DTP which is thematic and challenge focused. Preference will be given to proposals linked to the ESRC research priorities, as identified in ESRC Delivery Plan 2016-20 (Productivity, Understanding the macro-economy, Mental Health and Wellbeing, Housing, Ways of Being in a Digital Age), though other research areas will be considered.

A call for proposals is currently underway and further details will be available following the announcement of the successful Network award.

Advanced Quantitative Methods (AQM) Awards (four awards)

Four fully-funded AQM awards are available via open competition across all departments and schools and will be of specific interest to those schools/departments that have a strong track record of AQM or are looking to expand into this area. The DTP will give priority to those who will be working with large data sets (an ESRC priority). Both 1+3 students and +3 students are eligible for nomination.

Applications are now closed

Applications for 2020/21 studentships will open on 01 November 2019.

If successful, your details will passed to the ESRC.

Departmental representatives will help you to complete any additional forms you may need to fill out.

You will be sent a letter formally confirming the offer of the scholarship. The letter sets out the value and duration of the award, and asks you to accept the Terms of the Scholarship.

All ESRC scholarships are subject to the terms and conditions set out in the ESRC Funding Guidelines.

Continued receipt of all studentships is conditional upon satisfactory academic progress. We may request academic progress updates from your supervisor(s).

You should notify us in the following circumstances:

  • a leave of absence is approved
  • a change in programme of study is approved
  • you withdraw from your course.

Data protection

Any data we require will be held and used in accordance with UKRI Terms and Conditions of training grants (ukri.ac.uk).