Moray House School of Education and Sport

Scottish Graduate School of Social Science: Open Competition

Details about how to apply for ERSC funding through the Student-led Open Competition.

Application Deadline

  • Stage 1 (Programme Application): 5pm GMT, 8 December 2022
  • Stage 2 (SGSSS funding application): 5pm GMT, 8 December 2022


This award covers the cost of UK or Overseas tuition fees plus a generous annual stipend.

How to Apply

To be considered, candidates must submit both a PhD programme application (Stage 1) and apply to the SGSSS (Stage 2). We strongly recommend contacting the Pathway Representative Dr Sarah McGeown before formally applying on

The application process has two stages, and both stages must be completed in order to be considered for ESRC funding.

Stage One

Applicants interested in being considered for ESRC funding through the Student-led Open Competition must have applied online to the University for the PhD Education programme by 5pm GMT on 8 December 2022.

Stage Two

Applicants must also make a funding application to include academic transcripts, CV and referee details to the SGSSS before 5pm GMT on 8 December 2022. Any queries about registering or logging in to the system can be directed to the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science. 

Scottish Graduate School of Social Science

Selection Process

The Open Competition includes four stages of review, with candidates updated after each stage until either you are awarded or your application is unsuccessful.

  1. University of Edinburgh Pathway Review: Interested candidates will be shortlisted by the University with four candidates nominated in each pathway including up to two International fee applicants.
  2. Pathway Review: Pathway Representatives from each Institution will consider applications within their area, nominating up to six candidates in total.
  3. Hub Review: This stage brings the pathways together into three distinct Hubs. The Hub will nominate up to 15 candidates to progress to the final stage. 

  4. Global Review: An executive panel of University Deans and members of the SGSSS Directorate meet and make the final award decisions.

Award Announcement Date

The award decision will be communicated to applicants by May 2023.