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ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership


Funded PhD


3 or 4 years (full-time), 6 or 8 years (part-time)

Application deadline:

17:00 on 26 January 2022

About this project

The University of Hull is a member of the prestigious Economic and Social Research Council White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership. We are looking for talented students to join us for a world-class start to your research career by undertaking a funded social science research degree at Hull.

This innovative Doctoral Training Partnership is a collaboration between the leading social science departments in the Universities of Bradford, Hull, Leeds, Manchester Metropolitan, Sheffield, Sheffield Hallam and York.

The partnership distributes funded PhD places to excellent students to train and nurture the next generation of world-class social science researchers with outstanding skills and potential. It is funded and accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), part of the national research funding body UKRI.

What we offer

There are two types of funded PhD studentships available for full or part-time study in three of our leading social science departments: Geography, History and Psychology.

The two routes are:

4-year programme (referred to as a 1+3 programme)

Your first year on this programme will be the taught Masters MSc in Social Sciences. This will introduce you to social science research design, to quantitative and qualitative methods, and ways to develop your professional skills. The second year onwards is the PhD degree, which involves developing, undertaking and completing a PhD on your own research design, alongside ongoing research training.

3-year programme (referred to as +3)

This programme is a three-year PhD only. To qualify for this route you will need to have a Masters degree already that meets the requirements regarding social science methods training, or to be able to demonstrate significant social sciences research training skills and experience equivalent to a Masters degree.

Advanced Qualitative Methods awards

In addition to the Pathway awards, the WRDTP is also offering 4 funded Advanced Quantitative Methods Awards. Priority will be given to those who will be working with large data sets (an ESRC priority).

Stuart Hall Foundation Awards for Black British students

The WRDTP in partnership with the Stuart Hall Foundation has ringfenced two Pathway studentships for Black British students. Historical structural inequalities in education have resulted in the under-representation of BME communities in academia. The WRDTP is keen to start addressing these issues through this partnership. Find out more about this award.

ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowships

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is pleased to announce the fifth call for applications to its Postdoctoral Fellowship (PDF) scheme aimed at providing a career development opportunity for those in the immediately postdoctoral stage of their career, to provide the opportunity to consolidate their PhD through developing publications, their networks, and their research and professional skills. Find out more about ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowships.


Research pathways

To apply for a White Rose studentship, first of all, you need to contact the lead academic for the Pathway you are interested in.

Before you apply, you must contact the Pathway Lead(s) for the pathway(s) that best suits your research interests. The Pathway Lead will be able to advise you if we are able to support your research area at the University of Hull and advise how to find a suitable supervisor.

You must also use this template to complete your research proposal. If you do not follow the steps above, your application will not be considered.

The research proposal must fit within one of the research pathways below. Further details on the five research pathways can be found here.


Watch: find out more about postgraduate study at the University of Hull

Watch the video

As a postgraduate researcher at Hull, you will be part of our ambition to be at the forefront of new developments in Social Sciences research. This is a hugely important area of research for us, so you will receive all the support you need to develop your talent, your research skills and your career.

You will be part of the ESRC White Rose community – a vibrant and growing collective of social science researchers. There will be opportunities to network with colleagues at the other WRDTP universities, as well as attending a range of training, conference and development activities run by the White Rose Consortium.


The standard UK/EU tuition fees for a 1+3 or +3 programme

An annual, tax-free maintenance grant (stipend) at the standard UK research rate (£15,609in 2021-22) set by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)

Access to Research Training Support Grant funds to support conference and other expenses

Students may apply for additional funding to support overseas fieldwork, language training and overseas institutional visits, but must include these plans and their costs in their application

Entry requirements

The WRDTP awards scholarships to students who can demonstrate consistently high academic performance. Students must have a good honours degree at first-class or upper second-class level (with strong elements of the degree at first class). Other relevant education, training or experience in other sectors may also be helpful.

If you are applying for a +3 award (i.e. just the PhD), you must be able to demonstrate that you have completed substantial social sciences training in research methods. Further details about the ESRC’s eligibility for funding can be found on the ESRC website.

International applicants

EU candidates who have settled, pre-settled (meeting residency requirements) or Indefinite Leave to Remain will need to provide evidence of their status when applying.

Under new UKRI funding rules, international students are now eligible to apply for these scholarships.

If you are an international student and wish to study part-time, you can apply for a part-time Tier 4 visa, but there are a number of restrictions associated with this, which include:

  • Part-time students cannot bring dependants to the UK.
  • Part-time students must pay the Immigration Health Surcharge for the full duration of the programme
  • Part-time students cannot undertake any work in the UK. This includes unpaid work placements and internships.

There are 35 Pathway Awards (including the 2 x Interdisciplinary Research Awards and 2 x WRDTP/Stuart Hall Foundation Awards) and 4 AQM Awards available in this round.

Applicants who are interested in applying for a WRDTP studentship are invited to attend an information session for guidance on the application process. These will be held on a virtual basis, using Blackboard Collaborate, on the following dates:

Standard WRDTP Pathway/AQM Awards

Thursday 14 October 2021, 10am - 11am
Thursday 18 November 2021, 5.30pm - 6.30pm

WRDTP/Stuart Hall Foundation Pathway Awards

Wednesday 13 October 2021, 2pm - 3pm
Tuesday 16 November 2021, 5.30pm - 6.30pm

Sessions will include a slideshow presentation and time for questions, which can be submitted via the Blackboard Collaborate text-based chat function. A reminder email including a link to the session and instructions on how to use Blackboard Collaborate will be sent nearer the time of your workshop. Book your place on either session here.


How to apply

Before you apply, you must contact the Pathway Lead(s) for the pathway(s) that best suits your research interests. The Pathway Lead will be able to advise you if we are able to support your research area at the University of Hull, and suggest a suitable supervisor.

You must develop your research proposal with your proposed supervisor in advance of applying for the scholarship. You must use this form for your research proposal. Applications not using this template will not be considered.

You must supply the following documents with your application:

You must apply online using one of the links below by 17.00 on 26 January 2022. Applications received after this time will not be considered.

Apply now

Sustainable Growth, Management, and Economic Productivity Pathway

PhD Human Geography: Full time | Part time

Education, Childhood, and Youth Pathway.    

PhD Psychology: Full time | Part time

Civil Society, Development, and Democracy Pathway

PhD Human Geography: Full time | Part time

Cities, Environment, and Liveability Pathway

PhD History: Full time | Part time

PhD Human Geography: Full time | Part time

Wellbeing, Health and Communities Pathway

PhD Psychology Full time | Part time 

Further information

To find out more about how the studentships detailed above work, visit the White Rose DTP webpages.

Guidance on how applications are assessed as well as frequently asked questions can be found here.

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