How to apply

From October 2017, our Grand Union DTP will be awarding more than 35 studentships each year, which will be available across all pathways.

Studentships will be won through open competition. Pathways will assess all applications and nominate their strongest candidates for consideration by a panel looking across the DTP. As part of this competition, four Advanced Quantitative Methods (AQM) studentships will be awarded.

If you are interested in applying for an ESRC studentship at the Grand Union DTP these are the steps you need to take:

1. Choose a Training Pathway

In Oxford, pathways are mostly based in Departments.

Consider which of the available pathways is most relevant for you. You are encouraged to contact your potential superisor or relevant pathway lead about this, and to get their advice about the most appropriate route through the pathway. Your choice of route through the pathway will affect which MSc/MPhil/DPhil/PhD course you list on your application form.

The names and contact details of the pathway leads are given on the Pathway pages.

In some cases your supervisor or pathway lead may be able to give you some initial feedback and guidance on writing a strong application, especially if you are unfamiliar with the expectations around writing a research proposal. We may also be able to put you in touch with an existing ESRC student who can act as an informal mentor or offer advice.

2. Apply to the relevant university

Submit an application to the university which hosts the programme you wish to follow. In the case of a route though a pathway which involves a MSc at Oxford followed by a PhD elsewhere, your application should be submitted to Oxford.

Elsewhere on this site, we offer advice about preparing your application and research proposal.

Please note that the application deadlines for programmes may differ both across institutions and within them. In addition to the general application deadline information below, please ensure that you refer to the individual programme pages and university application information pages for further information on the applicable deadlines.

Links to application forms or related information:

Brunel University: For further information and how to apply please see Funded Research Degree Opportuunities and Research Degrees - Grand Union DTP - applicants must apply by email. Deadline for applications 19th January 2018.

The Open University: See Research degrees - how to apply and The Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership: Excellence and innovation in social science research training - applicants must apply by email. Deadline for applications: Contact the relevant office for more details.

Oxford University: See Applying to Oxford - applicants apply via the Graduate Application Form. Deadline for applications for October 2018 entry: 12 noon UK time on Monday 8th January 2018 or Friday 19th January 2018, depending on programme. Please ensure you refer to the relevant admissions pages to confirm the correct deadline for your chosen programme, as late applications will not be accepted.

3. Submit any additional information required by the pathway

You will normally need to submit a draft research proposal, some written work, and copies of your academic qualifications, along with your application. In some cases (particularly where you wish to study a Masters course before progressing to a doctoral programme) you may need to submit additional information in order to be considered for a studentship.

If your pathway wishes to nominate you for an Advanced Quantitative Methods (AQM) studentship, you will be asked to provide additional information about your current levels of quantitative skills, proposed methods and a detailed training plan.

4. What happens next

Normally pathways will automatically consider your application for an ESRC studentship, and an additional application is not required. They may wish to interview you before putting you forward for a studentship, and they may also be able to give you further advice on your research proposal.

If your chosen supervisor and pathway think you are strong enough to put forward for an ESRC award, they will prepare a nomination form to support their case, highlighting the strengths of your project, relevant aspects of your career record to date, comments from your referees and why your project fits well in your pathway.

Each pathway puts forward a number of such nominations, and ranks them in order of merit. These are then reviewed by the Grand Union DTP Awards panel*. They assess your nomination and application on four criteria (career record, strength of research proposal, referees' comments, and strength of the nomination case). This is a fully open competition across our partnership, and a single ranking of candidates is produced.

You can see an example of a nomination form here.

*Nominations are assessed by a panel composed of academic members of staff drawn from the three institutions within the partnership, irrespective of which institution an application for study has been made to. For further information on how your data is used by the partnership, please see the data protection notice page.

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