ESRC/SENSS Doctoral Studentships

Primary page content

Goldsmiths is part of the South-east Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS) Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), funded by the ESRC to train the next generation of social scientists.

Fully-funded ESRC studentships are available to research students via this DTP. There are up to 40 studentships are available across the 10 SeNSS institutions for entry in October 2021.

Routes for research and training

There are a variety of flexible routes for research and training, depending on your background and the research you’re planning to undertake. SeNSS positively encourages applicants from talented students whose highest qualification is an undergraduate degree, who may be funded to undertake a Masters (see 1+3 route below)

  • 1+3 route
    If you don’t already have a Masters degree with an extensive methods component, you should consider applying for a 1+3 route. This offers one year of funding to undertake an approved research Masters, followed by three years of funding to undertake your PhD.
  • +3 route
    If you already have a Masters degree with an extensive research component (for example, a research Masters offered by an ESRC Doctoral Training Centre), you will need to apply for this route, which offers three years of funding to do your PhD.

  • +4 route

    Some of our departments don’t offer a suitable research Masters, but instead offer a +4 route: four years funding to do your PhD, with a requirement to take core research training courses from the Doctoral Training Partnership in your first year. You will cover equivalent material to students on the 1+3 route, but you will not receive a separate Masters degree.

Please note, candidates who, on application, have completed approximately half of the required research methods training may be offered 3.5 years of funding, with the first six months used to enhance and complete the required level of training.


UKRI has announced that international students will be eligible for all UKRI-funded postgraduate studentships from the start of the 2021/22 academic year. The award will cover a stipend to support living costs (£17,285 for 2020/21) and fees at the home level (£4,407 for 2020/21.) Please note that it has been agreed, where successful in being awarded SeNSS funding, candidates will not be required to pay the difference between the home fee level and international fee level; this will be covered by the University.

Number available

There are up to 40 studentships are available across the 10 SeNSS institutions for entry in October 2021.

Year of entry


Eligibility criteria

Goldsmiths students are eligible to apply for funding in the following disciplinary pathways:

You can check your eligibility for the funding on the SeNSS website. 

Application deadlines

You need to have applied to Goldsmiths for a PhD place (or Masters and PhD if appropriate) by 11 January 2021. You should indicate that you are interested in being considered for SeNSS ESRC funding.

You will also need to have submitted a separate funding application on FluidReview by 1 February (see notes above for advice on when to complete this)

How to apply

Please complete the following steps:

  • Check your eligibility for the funding
  • Contact the department and a likely supervisor for your research
  • Apply for a PhD place at Goldsmiths (i.e. apply for admission) by 11 January 2021, indicating clearly that you want to be considered for ESRC funding. If you're applying for one of the 1+3 awards you'll also need to apply for a Masters place.
  • Wherever possible please submit all supporting documents with your online admissions application. In very unusual cases where this is not possible, please send them directly to the postgraduate administrator in the Goldsmiths academic department you are applying to, making it very clear that you are looking to be considered for it is for an ESRC-funded studentship
  • Submit, by the 1 February 2021, a separate application for SeNSS funding via the SeNSS FluidReview platform. Please note that, while candidates are welcome to start this part of the process at any time, it is advisable to wait until 18 January 2021 to begin the FluidReview application. 18 January is the date by which Goldsmiths Departments will have made initial decisions on nominations for CHASE (AHRC) competition; those selected to go forward for CHASE will not normally complete applications to SeNSS also.

Selection process

The academic department to which you’ve applied will consider your application and may invite you for an interview. If successful you will be offered a place on the relevant PhD research programme.

The department has a limited allocation of nominations that they can make to the relevant pathway for funding. If you are amongst the strongest candidates applying within the pathway at Goldsmiths, then you may be nominated to go forward to the next stage of the competition.

If nominated, your application will be considered at the SeNSS DTP studentship selection panels, who will then make their funding offers to the best of the nominated candidates.

Further information

If you would like further information about the South-east Network for Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership or would like to informally discuss the studentship application process, please contact Chris Robson (

For further information please visit the SeNSS and ESRC web pages.

Goldsmiths scholarships and bursaries regulations can be found here.