Scholarships and Student Funding

Economic and Social Research Council

The University of Edinburgh is part of a consortium of Universities in Scotland which have been awarded funding from the Economics & Social Research Council (ESRC) to support postgraduate studentships and training in the Social Sciences in Scotland.

The Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGSSS) hosts this Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) and considers applications for doctoral studentship awards. Further details can be found at Scottish Graduate School of Social Science

Applications for funding in the 2022/23 academic year are now closed.

ESRC PhD Studentships 2023/24

Please note that for 2023/24 entry, University PhD and funding application deadlines are likely to be from November to early December 2022.  This page provides general information about ESRC funding for the 2023/24 academic year and guidance will be updated from November 2022 with details about the application process and exact deadlines for 2023/24 entry.

There are two types of PhD studentship available from the SGSSS – Supervisor led projects and Student led projects (Open competition).

In the Supervisor led competition, students are recruited to defined PhD projects and the SGSSS will advertise all available Supervisor led PhD projects from early March each year.

In the Student led Open Competition, you propose a project which can be supervised by the University of Edinburgh.  To be considered for this funding, you will first need to secure an offer to study a PhD with us and a funding nomination from the relevant University Pathway.


Each award will cover the PhD tuition fee and a stipend at the UKRI level. Where applicants do not already meet the minimum MSc ESRC training requirements, a 1+3 award is available for specific MSc training followed by PhD study.


  • Candidates must meet University of Edinburgh PhD entry requirements and all ESRC eligibility requirements.  
  • Candidates will normally hold a relevant First Class Honours degree (such as BA, BMus, BSc, or LLB) and preferably a similar calibre of Masters degree but the SGSSS do consider a ‘whole person approach’ when considering applicants for funding.  
  • PhD students who are currently in their first year of study and within eligible subject areas are welcome to apply.  
  • Awards are available to Home fee applicants and limited awards are available for International applicants. The University is able to nominate up to two International applicants per subject Pathway. Please check the full UKRI eligibility criteria here.  
  • To qualify for Home status an applicant must:
    • Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
    • Have settled status, or
    • Have pre-settled status AND meet residency requirement (3 years residency in the UK/EEA/Gibraltar/Switzerland immediately before the start of their programme) or
    • Have indefinite leave to enter or remain


As part of the funding application, the SGSSS are interested in each applicant as a ‘whole person’. Rather than solely looking at your academic achievements (for example, it is not necessary to have a first-class degree to be assessed as an excellent PhD student and to receive funding), we will consider what each applicant can bring to a PhD through work and life experiences too (including challenges and resilience). 

The SGSSS want applicants to be able to demonstrate and articulate potential to undertake and complete a PhD, to flourish as a result of PhD funding and to be a proactive contributor to a positive research culture.

The SGSSS application form will ask you to tell us about your preparedness to undertake and complete a PhD and to flourish as a result of PhD funding and how you will contribute to a positive and diverse PhD community.




Please note that this is general guidance and from November 2022, specific application deadlines will be added.

Step 1 – Contact and seek advice from the relevant SGSSS Pathway Representative and potential PhD supervisor at the University. Pathway Rep contact details are listed within the School webpages below. We recommend that you view all of the helpful applicant information videos on the SGSSS website here.

Step 2 - Apply for a PhD programme at the University of Edinburgh. Full admissions requirements and application deadlines can be found on the relevant School webpage below. If you are a first year PhD student at the University, see Step 3.

Step 3 – From October, register on the SGSSS Apply system. Prepare and submit the SGSSS Open Competition application form, academic transcript and CV to the Apply system by early December.  The University Pathway representative will consider the information on the Apply application and PhD admission application to select candidates for a nomination.

Step 4 – By early February, applicants will be notified if they have been nominated by the University Pathway. Nominated applicants will then be invited to submit a full funding application to the SGSSS by early February in order to proceed to the next stage of the competition.  The SGSSS will announce the final award decisions in May.

Business School

School of Economics

Moray House School of Education and Sport

School of GeoSciences

School of Health in Social Science

School of History, Classics and Archaeology

School of Law

School of Literatures, Languages and Cultures

School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences - Psychology

School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences - Linguistics and English Language

School of Social and Political Science



Further Information

Postgraduate Research Student Office