White Rose Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership Studentships 2021/22


Applications are now closed for 2021. 

The WRDTP is a collaboration between the universities of Sheffield, York, Leeds, Bradford, Hull, Manchester Metropolitan and Sheffield Hallam.  It offers a range of social sciences studentships within seven 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)

Studentships available

Studentships are available for a 1+3 programme (studying our MA Social Research as an integrated masters before commencing the three year PhD programme, in order to meet the ESRC social sciences research methods training requirements) or a +3 programme with funding for a three year PhD, for those who have met the training requirements.

Studentships are awarded as full awards, covering the cost of tuition fees and providing a stipend.  UKRI have confirmed that international students will be eligible for all UKRI-funded postgraduate studentships from the start of the 2021/22 academic year. All UKRI-funded PhD students will be eligible for the full award – both the stipend to support living costs, and fees at research organisations’ UK rate. Further details will be laid out later this year and communicated to universities and research organisations.

Studentships can be held on a part-time basis subject to a minimum time commitment of 50%.

Three WRDTP ESRC studentships are available to successful candidates:

  • DTP Pathway Awards
  • DTP Advanced Quantitative Methods (AQM) Awards
  • DTP Collaborative Awards

Successful candidates will have the opportunity to engage with researchers working in other universities, as well as in other disciplines, in order to gain a wider understanding of the scope and complexity of social science research in their thematic area.  All ESRC-funded students are allocated to an appropriate training pathway based on their funding arrangements; and all students (regardless of funding source) are invited to become members of a WRDTP pathway and to participate in training activities that are aligned with their research needs. 

WRDTP students can also:

  • Take part in all WRDTP events and conferences.
  • Access research training opportunities beyond your own university and work together with other social science researchers to identify collective training needs, which the WRDTP will look to commission.
  • Access additional funding to support your training (for eligible ESRC funded students), run your own training events, and set up new networks.

Deadline: Wednesday 27th January 2021 at 17:00


Students do not apply to the WRDTP directly.  You should contact the department in which you wish to study and the department will advise you on applying for a PhD programme (and masters programme if you apply for the 1+3 route) and how to apply for a studentship.  

Based on discussions with you and your potential supervisor, the department will decide which of the seven pathways is the best fit for your proposed research project before your studentship nomination is submitted to the WRDTP. 

If your nomination is successful, the WRDTP team will contact you.

At the University of Sheffield, students who are interested in studying within one of the following academic departments are eligible for nomination by their supervisor to the WRDTP Studentships. 

Please visit the department webpages for more information about PhD study in each department:

As part of a partnership with the Stuart Hall Foundation (SHF), the WRDTP offers two ring-fenced studentships for Black British students. 

There will be an information session for guidance on the application process for anyone interested in submitting an application for one of these ring-fenced studentships. 

If you would like to attend, please register your interest here and you will be contacted by the WRDTP once dates and times have been confirmed.  Further details about these studentships can be found on our website.

Deadline: Wednesday 27th January 2021 at 17:00


For full awards, students will receive the ESRC stipend of £15,285 for the 2020/21 academic year, plus full payment of the estimated tuition fees of £4,407.

New rates will be confirmed by UKRI in January 2021.

Where eligible, students will receive a research training support grant (RTSG) (not available to students on masters programmes)

Students who receive an AQM studentship will also receive a further £3,000 per annum enhancement to their stipend grants during their doctoral studies and an enhanced RTSG during their doctoral studies. This is to support access to specialised training courses.


The studentships are open to UK, EU and international students. Find out more information regarding eligibility criteria.

DTP funding can only be allocated to students undertaking a PhD in the social sciences or where the field of study is predominantly social science, ie. at least 50% of the proposed programme of research is within the ESRC’s remit.

Students must have applied for a PhD programme within an eligible department, and satisfied the entry requirements for that programme, in order to be nominated for a studentship.  Applications for PhD study can be made online.  Please note that you must have a minimum of 60 credits of  social science research methods training (not including the dissertation) at masters level to be considered for a +3 studentship.  

Terms and conditions

All ESRC scholarships are subject to the terms and conditions set out in the ESRC funding guidelines.

The continued receipt of your studentship is conditional upon satisfactory academic progress. We may request academic progress updates from your supervisor(s).

You should notify us if:

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


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