ESRC DTP Studentships for UK/EU students in Area Studies

Aston University - School of Languages and Social Sciences

The School of Languages and Social Sciences (LSS) invites applications for ESRC studentships in Area Studies from UK/EU students as part of the Midlands Graduate School Doctoral Training Partnership.

LSS has a leading expertise in Area Studies in particular covering France, Germany, Poland, the Balkans, Russia and Eastern Europe, and North Korea. The most recent Research Excellence Framework exercise (REF 2014) ranked Aston University within the top 3 in the UK for its Area Studies submissions rated 4*(world leading) and 3*(internationally excellent) - a total of 81% of the whole submission. The submission also achieved the second highest percentage (79%) in the UK for submitted outputs rated 4* and 3*. A very impressive 80% of the submission was awarded 4* or 3* for research impact and an exceptional 90% of the submission was awarded 4* or 3* for research environment.

Research students in LSS join a supportive and close knit research community. Our supervisors are well known experts in their fields and our research success has been recognised through a number of significant funding awards. The School regularly hosts high profile seminars and international conferences featuring renowned scholars and practitioners to which research students are invited and most welcome.

Full details on the LSS research degree programme can be found here: 

Financial Support
Support will be provided to the successful applicant to cover fees plus a maintenance grant at the standard annual ESRC rate (currently £14,057) with the corresponding standard increases in subsequent years. EU candidates who have not been resident in the UK for the three years immediately preceding the award are only eligible for a fees-only award from the ESRC. Continuation of the scholarship is subject to annual review of academic progress.

The ESRC DTP Studentship offers separate funding routes. The +3 route involves three years of full time study on a PhD programme, or 6 years on a part-time basis. However, to be eligible for the +3 pathway you must have undertaken a Master’s programme which is focused on training in research methods and core discipline skills. The ESRC expects all DTP students to be trained in the following four research skills areas: Philosophy of Social Science Research; Research Design, Practice and Ethics; Fundamentals in Quantitative Research Methods; and Foundations in Qualitative Research. If you have (or will have completed) a Masters course by the time you begin your PhD and you have undertaken modules which cover all these areas you should apply for a +3 award.

If you have not completed a research-focused Master’s programme then you may apply for the 1+3 route of the ESRC DTP Studentship. This route would fund your completion of the one-year Master’s programme before you progress onto the three-year PhD programme. If you have (or will have) completed a Masters course by the time you begin your PhD and you have undertaken modules which cover two of the four research skills areas noted above you should apply for a +3.5 award. If you are awarded a +3.5 you will be expected to undertake 2 ESRC DTP core training modules during your first year of PhD study to cover the training areas you have not previously undertaken.

There are two separate application stages for this funding opportunity:

  • Application submitted for the LSS Research Degree Programme
  • Application submitted to the ESRC DTP (closing date Tuesday 24 January 2017 (23:59 GMT)

Please note that you must have an offer for the LSS Research Degree Programme before applying to the ESRC DTP.

Information on applying to The Midlands Graduate School DTP can be found here:

For more details on how to apply please contact:
Mr Dan Thomson, LSS Research Manager

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