How to apply

The Grand Union DTP will be awarding more than 35 studentships each year, which will be available across all pathways.

Studentships will be awarded through an 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, at least four Advanced Quantitative Methods (AQM) studentships will be awarded.

If you are interested in applying for an ESRC studentship at the Grand Union DTP for entry in 2021-22, these are the steps you need to take:

Grand Union studentships are linked to training pathways, so you should first review the Pathway pages to see which is most relevant for your proposed research project. The DTP offers different different training routes or structures depending on your previous experience. If you are unsure which is the most appropriate pathway or training route, please contact the relevant Pathway Lead or your potential supervisor for advice. 

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

    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 an MSc at Oxford followed by a PhD elsewhere, your University application should be submitted to Oxford, however you should first contact the relevant pathway lead to discuss your application.

    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.

    Brunel University: For further information and how to apply please see Funded Research Degree Opportunities and Research Degrees - Grand Union DTP. The application deadline is Friday 15th January 2021. Please contact emma.smith@brunel.ac.uk with any queries.

    The Open University: See Research degrees - how to apply. The application deadline is Tuesday 12th January 2021; please contact richard.magee@open.ac.uk with any queries.

    Oxford University: See the graduate admissions guide Applying to Oxford for full details. To be considered for a Grand Union award at Oxford you will need to do the following:

    •  Apply by the relevant January deadline for your course, either 12 noon UK time on Friday 8th January 2021 or Friday 22nd January 2021, depending on programme. Please ensure you confirm the correct deadline on the University admissions pages, as late applications will not be accepted.
    • Select 'ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentships in Social Sciences' in the University of Oxford scholarships section of the University's graduate application form. 
    • Upload a completed Grand Union application form with your University application, which can be found on the University's Research Council Studentships page.
    • Applicants wishing to be considered for the Migration pathway must also indicate their interest by contacting the relevant office. Details are available on the Migration Studies pathway pages. 

    In order to be considered for a studentship you must complete a Grand Union DTP Application Form. If you are applying to Oxford or the Open University you must submit the form along with your University application materials before the relevant application deadline. For Brunel University, the DTP Manager will be able to advise on the application process. 

    Each pathway will select a number of applications to nominate for ESRC funding, and will complete a nomination form to support their selection. These are then reviewed by the Grand Union DTP Studentships Panel, who will consider the information provided on the pathway nomination form, Grand Union DTP application form, and University application materials. This is an open competition across our partnership.

    The Panel will consider 4 key categories, and will take into account the stage of the candidate (eg. whether they have already completed a Masters programme):

    1. Academic and professional experience

    2. Aptitude and potential

    3. Doctoral research proposal

    4. Planning for knowledge exchange and impact

    AQM Awards

    The relevant pathway will decide if they wish to nominate a candidate for an AQM award. Along with the above, they will provide details on the proposed methodology, AQM research experience, and training previously undertaken and planned for the project. This will be reviewed by the Panel and at least 4 AQM awards will be offered.  

    Grand Union DTP Studentships Panel

    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. Panel members do not review applications submitted from their own pathway or subject area. For further information on how your data is used by the partnership, please see the data protection notice page.

    Outcomes and Feedback

    Decisions are expected to made in late March and the majority of successful candidates will be informed in April. Some further awards may be offered in May and June from a reserve list if other candidates withdraw.

    Unfortunately, due to the volume of applications it is not possible to provide feedback on an individual basis. Also, the DTP will not contact candidates who have been unsuccessful, either because they were not nominated to the DTP competition or for those who weren't successful after nomination. Your pathway will be able to confirm the status of your application.