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, 23 November 2023 
  • Stage 2 (SGSSS funding application): 5pm GMT, 1 December 2023


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 Unit of Assessment Lead for 'Education' or 'Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism',  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 23 November 2023.

Stage Two

Applicants must also make a funding application to include academic transcripts, CV and referee details to the SGSSS before 5pm GMT on 1 December 2023. Any queries about registering or logging in to the system can be directed to the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science at

Selection process

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

  1. University of Edinburgh Review: this is two-stage with a nomination needed from the Unit of Assessment lead and then selection by the University panel. Interested candidates will be shortlisted by the University.
  2. Challenge Led  Pathway Review: Each of the six challenge pathways will consider applications shortlisted by universities.
  3. 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 2024.