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SeNSS Student-led Studentship Competition



The South East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS) offers funding of up to £20,000 per year for you to undertake postgraduate studies, starting in October 2022.

Funded by the Economics and Social Research Council, SeNSS offers 13 social science disciplines (Pathways) across 10 universities with exceptional reputations for postgraduate training and research:

Where can you study?

  • City, University London
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of Essex
  • Goldsmiths, University of London
  • University of Kent 
  • University of Reading 
  • University of Roehampton London
  • Royal Holloway, University of London
  • University of Surrey
  • University of Sussex

What can you study? (Pathways/disciplines):

  • Business and Management Studies
  • Development Studies
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Human Geography
  • Linguistics
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Psychology
  • Science, Technology, and Sustainability Studies
  • Social Anthropology
  • Social Work and Social Policy
  • Socio-Legal Studies
  • Sociology

Note: not all universities offer all Pathways

What is a SeNSS student-led studentship?

  • Come up with your own research project, and be guided in completing it by an expert supervisory team of social science academics.

Why apply?

  • Get paid to study! This funding is intended to cover your living costs and tuition fees, to allow you to focus on your research for between 3-4 years.
  • Work on a topic you are passionate about, leading to obtaining a PhD.
  • Join a friendly community of postgraduate researchers.
  • Have access to fantastic training and funding opportunities, not only in your specific field, but also in the broader academic sense.
  • Develop a range of important employability skills, enabling you to work in, amongst others, industry, government, an NGO, or in academia.


What options are available?

  • +3 (PhD) or 4-year (Masters and PhD) studentships.
  • Full- or part-time study.
  • Fully-funded studentships (tax-free living costs at approximately £15k per year, plus London weighting where relevant, tuition fees fully paid for the duration of your funding award, and access to additional funding for overseas fieldwork, language training, and/or other research training) for successful applicants.

Are you eligible?

  • Residential criteria: Fully-funded studentships are available to prospective students across all 10 SeNSS universities and 13 SeNSS disciplinary and cross-disciplinary Pathways regardless of nationality or residency. However, there are a limited number of studentships available to international students (approximately 10-15 studentships per year). Please check UKRI's website for the full residential criteria.
  • To apply for a Masters plus PhD you will need: qualifications or professional experience equivalent to a Bachelors degree with honours.
  • To apply for a PhD only you will need: qualifications or professional experience equivalent to a Masters, which includes relevant research methods training.
  • To apply for funding to complete your current PhD: please check our website for details on how to apply. 

How to apply:

  1. Check your eligibility.
  2. If you are eligible, identify the SeNSS university at which you want to study, and an academic in your field at that university you would like to work with (your primary supervisor). Contact your proposed primary supervisor to discuss your research proposal.
  3. Apply for a PhD place at the university you are interested in studying at, checking with that university to find out what its internal PhD place application deadline is.
  4. Complete SeNSS’s on-line studentship application by 25 January 2022. The application portal will be accessible via the SeNSS website by mid-October 2021.

For more information, please go to the SeNSS website

If you are interested in applying for a SeNSS supervisor-led studentship, please click here.

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Brighton, Essex, Kent, London, Norwich, Reading, Surrey
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Hours: Full Time, Part Time
Placed On: 1st October 2021
Closes: 25th January 2022
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