Studentships for Black British Students


The Grand Union Doctoral Training Partnership (GUDTP) is committed to addressing under-representation in Social Science doctoral study. Since October 2022 we have launched a scheme to increase the number of studentship awards made through our standard route competition to Black British students.

For 2024/25 entry, two awards are ring-fenced for British students of Black or mixed Black ethnicity applying for doctoral study in an ESRC subject area through The Open University, University of Oxford or Brunel University. 

This is a positive action initiative under the Equality Act 2010.


To be eligible, candidates must:

  • identify as Black or mixed Black ethnicity;
  • be ordinarily resident in the UK; 
  • be eligible to pay fees at the Home rate; and
  • meet the eligibility criteria and subject area criteria for ESRC GUDTP studentship funding.

To be considered for the scheme, applicants must apply to the GUDTP Standard Route competition via the normal process and disclose ethnicity information in the monitoring section of the university’s admissions system. 

Value of award

A full award through the ESRC GUDTP offers:

  • Payment of university fees throughout the funded period;
  • A tax-free maintenance grant for your living costs at the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) minimum rate, which increases each year in line with inflation (£18,622 for 2023/24);
  • Access to a range of additional funding opportunities to support your studies and development.  
  • Other benefits including Disability Support Allowance (DSA), maternity, paternity, parental and adoption leave, and funded extensions to cover sick leave (up to 13 weeks in any 12 month period).

Funding is adjusted on a pro-rata basis for part-time students.

How to apply

You should apply to the Grand Union DTP standard route competition. To be considered for nomination to the GUDTP through the studentships ring-fenced for Black British students, you must:

  • apply to a participating university by the relevant deadline;
  • submit a completed copy of the GUDTP 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.  
  • if applying to Oxford, select 'ESRC Grand Union DTP Studentships in Social Sciences' in the scholarships section of the University's graduate application form.
  • disclose ethnicity information in the confidential monitoring section of your university’s admissions system.

Your application will only be considered by the DTP if you receive an offer of admission from the university at which you wish to take up your studentship.