Scholarships and funding

A list of funding opportunities for PhD applicants in the Information School.


There are a number of scholarship competitions you can enter to gain funding to study a PhD in the Information School for entry in October 2023.  

Contact the School through the email as soon as possible if you are thinking of applying, as the application process is complicated and we are able to support you.

There are a number of different schemes listed below. These are all highly competitive and you will need to tailor your application to the criteria for that particular scheme. Depending on your topic, however, you may be able to apply to more than one scheme. Before you apply, please check the award details and eligibility criteria for the scheme. 

Most scholarships cover tuition fees and provide a stipend (student living allowance), plus a Research Training Support Grant to cover research costs and consumables. However, you should check the details of each scholarship when you apply.

1. ESRC White Rose DTP (WRDTP)

These are for studies in the Social Sciences linked to pathway themes for the WRDTP, several of which are relevant to the Information School, but particularly “Data, Communication and New Technologies (DCT)”.

2. AHRC White Rose College of the Arts & Humanities (WRoCAH) Awards

These are in the Arts and Humanities, including library and information studies (which falls under the WROCAH Creative Arts and Media cluster).

3. Chinese scholarship council

4. University of Sheffield

5. Information School GTA scholarships

The School is funding up to two PhD Scholarships to start in October 2023. The successful applicant(s) will be expected to provide up to a maximum of 180 hours of teaching support per academic year and a minimum of 80 hours each year. Expected hours will be “tapered” in the first year to a maximum of 120. Applicants must be able to teach topics on our postgraduate programmes and we are particularly interested in applicants who could contribute to modules in information systems and data science. They must be based in Sheffield for the duration of the scholarship.The criteria for selection are:

-       Academic success and qualifications (inc. reference & degree classification/awards)

-       Research question(s) and/or focus

-       Rationale for the research study (inc. statement of value/originality)

-       Methodology/ methods and/or study design

-       Match with priority areas of teaching

-       Prior research experience

-       Prior teaching experience

Successful applicant(s) will receive an annual stipend at the standard UK Research Council rate (£16,062/year for 2022/3). Funding will only cover the cost of Home tuition fees, any successful international applicants would need to pay the difference between the home and international fee. Information on the EU fee status is here. The funding period is 3.5years. Information on the School’s current PhD fees can be found here.

Application Stage One

In order to apply for a scholarship you must first have secured an offer from the University through the School. Complete and submit your PhD Course application via the Postgraduate Online Application Form as soon as possible, preferably before the end of 2022, stating a start date of 1 October 2023.

We recommend that applicants familiarize themselves with the Information School's research specialisms and identify suitable prospective supervisors to be named in the application form. We encourage applicants to seek support from prospective supervisors in the Information School for the development of proposals.

If you are applying for the GTA scholarship, please ensure that your CV and personal statement explain how you meet the criteria in relation to teaching (as well as research).

We also require you to complete this Expression of Interest form before 9th January 2023 (17.00 UK time). 

Application Stage Two

Complete and submit your University Scholarships applications via the relevant web sites linked above before the deadline 25 January 2023 (17.00 UK time).

If you are only applying to the GTA scholarship you do not have to complete stage two.

Project funding

In addition to these open scholarships, somtimes we have a specific project which already has funding attached. You need to demonstrate that you are better qualified to complete the project than other applicants.

You will not usually be asked to write a complete research proposal, but you may be asked to write a short personal statement, or provide a description of how you would approach the project.

Funded projects can be announced at any time of the year. You can sign up for alerts for these projects at

Currently available funded projects:

Information and communication technologies and the datafication of migration: between border control and resistance


Lead: Owen Parker, Senior Lecturer in European Politics, Department of Politics and International Relations & Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute

Second: Sara Vannini, Lecturer in Information Management and Information Systems, Information School & Institute for Global Sustainable Development

The ever-growing displacement of people globally has been met with intensified surveillance and datafication of migration. Digital technologies may be used to facilitate and support migrants in their paths and settlement, but they are also increasingly used to border and expel migrants. Research shows how digital technologies have proven useful for navigating perilous journeys, accessing information and resources, maintaining transnational ties, building communities, and better integrating into host societies. While using them, though, migrants are increasingly leaving digital traces. This raises concerns in relation to migrants’ right to privacy, the trustworthiness and fragility of socio-technical systems, and other ways in which digital data may restrict freedoms and pose risks to migrants.

This project will explore issues related to migration datafication. It may consider the digital governance of external ‘third country national’ migrants and/or internal mobile ‘citizens’. This may include considerations of racialized outsiders and/or minoritized insiders/citizens. The broad guiding questions are: How are digital spaces and digital traces implicated in the governance of mobility? How are they experienced and resisted by various categories of migrants? The appointed student may wish to explore such issues in relation to the UK, the EU or in the context of another geographical focus of their choosing.

Proposed methods include some combination of qualitative and participatory methods, co-production of knowledge, case studies, document analysis and digital ethnography.

The project will contribute to knowledge by exploring how the digital landscape relates to narratives of security, human rights, freedom of movement, citizenship, and deservingness. The project may consider ways in which socio-technical systems can be reformed and/or inform better policies for migrants, especially within communities facing vulnerable conditions.


  • A strong first degree (2.1 or a first class honours) ideally in a relevant social science subject
  • Candidates applying with a Masters degree must have obtained at least a Merit (or equivalent)
  • For those candidates for whom English is not their first language or who do not possess a degree from an educational institution using the English language for instruction, candidates must meet the minimum IELTS requirement for their department of application.

Further information and how to apply - see project three

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