ESRC SeNSS studentships

SeNSS (ESRC) 3 and 4 year PhD scholarships for research in Social Sciences (2023)

The University of Sussex is delighted to offer a number of ESRC-funded studentships via the South-East Network for Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership.

What you get

Scholarships are for 3 to 4 years and cover PhD tuition fees (or MSc fees if required in year one), a stipend (currently £17,668 pa) plus some research and training costs.

Type of award

Postgraduate research

PhD project

We run 12 accredited training pathways at Sussex.

Studentships are available in these pathways either for 4 years of funding (MSc + PhD)  or three years of funding PhD (PhD only) , and can be held on a full-time or part-time basis.

You can apply for pathways in:

  • Business and Management
  • Development Studies
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Human Geography
  • Politics and International Studies
  • Psychology
  • Science, Technology and Sustainability
  • Social Anthropology
  • Social Work and Social Policy
  • Socio-Legal Studies
  • Sociology.


Academic eligibility: If you are applying for the 1+3 PhD you must have at least an upper-second class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree.

If you are applying for the +3 PhD you should have:

  • at least an upper second-class (2.1) undergraduate honours degree
  • a Masters degree in a relevant discipline which includes significant research training or relevant professional experience

Residential Eligibility: SeNSS ESRC studentships are open to UK and Overseas/International students according to the UKRI student eligibility rules.  Up to 30% of each cohort of students may be Overseas students.  ESRC scholarships cover UK level fees and International level PhD fees. Our Postgraduate Admissions team will advise you on whether or not you count as an International student for fee purposes.

Lenth of award: If you have already commenced doctoral study, you may still be eligible for an ESRC studentship funding for part of your PhD providing that, you will have at least 50% of your funded period of study remaining as of 1st October 2023 when the studentship commences - i.e. you have not completed more than 18 months of a full-time PhD by 1st October 2023.

Part-time students are welcome to apply and in such cases scholarships are paid pro-rata - generally part-time for 6 years.

Masters methods training:  SeNSS welcomes applications for candidates with or without a Masters qualification.  Your SeNSS scholarship can be for 4 years to cover a Masters programme plus the PhD. The ESRC requires that all PhD candidates have advanced training in Social Research Methods across full range of quantiative and qualitative methods training so you may be awarded 3.5 or 3.25 years of funding to cover additional MSc modules.  The list of SeNSS approved MSc courses across the consortium is here:

Not all Sussex MSc courses are approved by ESRC.  If you don't have an MSc, then make sure you apply for the combined programme (Masters + PhD) starting with one of the following Sussex  Masters programmes:

Science, Technology and Sustainability



All other pathways


6 January 2023 12:00

How to apply

The SeNSS ESRC studentship competition is now open for applications.

If you wish to apply for an ESRC studentship you must first apply for a place on a PhD course at the University of Sussex. Once you have secured a place you will need to complete a SeNSS studentship application form.

Please note: Students wishing complete the SeNSS application form must discuss this with their supervisor. You cannot apply for a SeNSS scholarship if your supervisor is not confirmed.

The deadline for applying for a place at the University of Sussex is 6 January 2023. 

The deadline for completing a SeNSS application form on the HEI apply portal -  -  is 20 January 2023.  The SeNSS application will need input from your supervisors.

For further information about how to apply see our Sussex SeNSS webpage.

 And also the SeNSS consortium webpage.

 The following are also helpful and are attached in the Files box at the bottom of this page:

- Guide for Applicants

- Advice on the Structure of Studies (1+3 or +3 funding)

- Guide for Supervisors




Contact us

Sussex Doctoral School:



6 January 2023 - deadline for applying for a PhD place at the University of Sussex

20 January 2023 - deadline for completing the SeNSS application form.

Successful applicants will be informed by the end of April.





At level(s):
PG (taught), PG (research)

Application deadline:
6 January 2023 12:00 (GMT)
the deadline has now expired


The award is available to people from these specific countries: