South-East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS)

You may be eligible for a SeNSS scholarship (funded by the Economic Social Research Council) if you're taking one of 12 pathways in Social Sciences.

Find out about our:

Sociology students at the University of Sussex

PhD scholarships

Applications are now open for this award.

See our full list of scholarships.

Who can apply for SeNSS funding?

We run 12 accredited training pathways at Sussex.

Studentships are available in these pathways either for a 1+3 PhD (one year Masters and three year PhD degree) or +3 PhD (three year PhD degree), 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 qualifications

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.

Residential eligibility

SeNSS ESRC studentships are open to UK and Overseas/International students according to the UKRI student eligibility rules.

You count as a UK student if you are:

  • a UK national who has been living in the UK or EU for the three years prior to starting your course;
  • an EU national with Settled Status in the UK;
  • an EU national with Pre-Settled status who has been living in the UK for 3 years prior to starting your course;
  • a student will Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK;
  • an Irish National (due to a reciprocal agreement with the UK).

All other students (e.g. EU nationals moving to the UK to start their PhD) will count as Overseas students.

If you have already commenced doctoral study, you may still be eligible for an ESRC studentship funding providing that, you will have at least 50% of your funded period of study remaining as of 1 October 2021 when the studentship commences - i.e. you have not completed more than 18 months of a full-time PhD by 1 October 2021.

Which routes can you apply for?

If you're applying for the +3 PhD, you need to have completed a Masters with research training in Social Sciences methodologies. For more information contact us by email on

If you're applying for the 1+3 PhD, you must apply to an accredited Masters programme for your pathway:


Science, Technology and Sustainability


All other pathways

Additional funding

If you are successful with your application to SeNSS, you will also have access to additional funding grants to support your development as a researcher.

This includes support for:

  • UK and overseas fieldwork
  • travel to national and international conferences
  • specific training/professional development activities (e.g. language support)
  • overseas institutional visits.

How to apply

You'll need to make two separate applications:

  • an application to Sussex to apply for a place on the course you want to study
  • an application to apply for funding.

Follow our step by step guide below:

  1. Choose your PhD degree

    You must apply for a PhD in the Social Sciences to be eligible for the scholarship. See our PhD degrees.

  2. Contact your supervisor

    Contact your potential supervisor to discuss your research area. You will need a supporting statement from your supervisor to apply for funding. See our guide on finding a supervisor.

  3. Apply to Sussex

    You apply to Sussex using our postgraduate application system. Find out how to apply to Sussex.

    The deadline for applications to Sussex is 4 January 2022.

    You must indicate on your application form that you intend to apply for a SeNSS scholarship. You should also email the Research and Enterprise Co-ordinator for your pathway to tell them you want to apply for the studentship.

  4. Request application form

    Once you have made an application and have supervisors in place, you can request a link to the online application form for the SeNSS studentship. Email

  5. Deadlines

    The deadline for applying for a PhD (+3) or Masters and PhD (1+3) is 4 January 2022.

    The deadline for completing a SeNSS application is 4pm on Tuesday 25 January 2022.

If you are shortlisted, you may be invited to an interview. If you are awarded a SeNSS studentship you will be notified by the end of April 2022.

More about SeNSS

We are part of the SeNSS Doctoral Training Partnership consortium, funded by the ESRC to provide research studentships in the Social Sciences.

SeNSS offers a world-class, interdisciplinary PhD research and training environment.

It is committed to supporting its internationally-recognised researchers and aims to produce the next generation of talented social scientists.

Find out more about the SeNSS Doctoral Training Partnership

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