Skip to content
Skip to navigation menu


ESRC Open Doctoral Studentships 2013

7 November 2012


The Cardiff School of Social Sciences, supported by the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre for Wales (Wales DTC) invites applications to a number of fully-funded PhD studentships for the 2013/14 academic year. We have up to 11 fully-funded PhD Studentships available for the 2013/14 academic year. The School expects to make doctoral studentship awards in Criminology, Education, Science and Technology Studies, Social Policy, Social Work and Social Care and Sociology.

Please note: There may be additional opportunities for full-time PhD funding in Criminology and applicants in this and related fields (crime, rehabilitation of offenders, crime prevention, sentencing, victims, criminal investigation) are encouraged to contact the School of Social Sciences Graduate Office for more information.

About the University

Cardiff University first opened its doors on 24th October, 1883. The new institution was formally established by Royal Charter in 1884, and comprised at that time 13 academic staff, 102 full-time degree students and 49 part-time students. Today, the university is home to more than 28,000 students and 6,000 staff in highly advanced, well-equipped buildings, forming an elegant part of the city’s striking civic centre. Cardiff University is acknowledged as one of Britain's leading teaching and research universities, held in high esteem both nationally and internationally. It has gained further recognition recently as one of the UK's top 20 universities and is short listed for the University of the Year title in The Sunday Times University Guide 2013.

Cardiff University is also the home of the Wales DTC, part of a national network of 21 accredited Doctoral Training Centres across the UK judged by the ESRC to deliver truly excellent postgraduate training provision.

About the School

Cardiff School of Social Sciences is a large School with over 160 staff and a thousand undergraduate and postgraduate students. The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise rated almost all of its research to be of an international standard, with 55% of it either “world leading” or “internationally excellent”. This rating, together with the size of the School, places it amongst the top five centres in the UK (and ranked number one in the UK for social sciences ‘research power’).

About the Studentships

ESRC/DTC awards are highly competitive and a measure of excellence in PhD study in the social sciences. The School holds up to 11 awards, available on either a 1+3 or +3 basis. A 1+3 studentship provides funding for four years, completing the MSc in Social Science Research Methods in the 1st year, followed by 3 years research funding for a PhD. A +3 studentship provides funding for the three years research study only, and assumes that the applicant will already have had research training through an appropriate Masters degree.

Studentships will commence in September 2013 and will cover your tuition fees as well as a maintenance grant (set at £13,590 for full-time students in 2012); the award includes an additional Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) of £750 for three years for full-time students.


ESRC/DTC studentship awards are available for UK and EU students who meet residency requirements set out by the ESRC. Please consult the ESRC Postgraduate Funding Guide for full details on residential eligibility requirements. Applications are invited from exceptional candidates with a first class or strong upper second class honours degree, or appropriate Masters degree.

How to apply

Applicants must complete and submit the following documentation by the deadline of 12.00pm, 1st March 2013. Note that the deadline is absolute and applications received after this specified time and date will not be accepted. A complete application includes the following:

  • A completed application form for admission to doctoral study in the School of Social Sciences – submitted to the Academic Registry via the online admissions portal, click here.
    Note: Please specify Social Sciences – Research Degree – Doctor of Philosophy (Social Sciences) (Full-time) with a start date of October 2013 whether you are applying for a +3 or 1+3 award.
    Note: Applicants should use the ‘Research Proposal’ section of the application form (approx 500 words) to set out their doctoral thesis and project in summary. They should use the ‘Personal Statement’ section (approx 500 words) of the application form to set out their academic background and interests and their reasons for wanting to pursue postgraduate research study.
  • Academic References – all admissions applications require two references to be submitted in support. Please ensure that your chosen referees are aware of the funding deadline, as we will be using these to help us evaluate your ESRC studentship application.
  • Academic Transcripts – where applicable, academic transcripts must be submitted with the online admissions application by the funding deadline. We will be using these to verify your academic qualifications.

Please note that all supporting documents can be uploaded to the online application system or emailed to Victoria Parkin (see contact details below). Alternatively, hard copies can be posted in.


All applicants are strongly encouraged to approach relevant academic staff as potential supervisors before submitting their application (staff research profiles can be found on the School’s website, applicants may also find it useful to consult the School’s principal Research Themes) in order to discuss and draft the application together. Most of us have to follow the money – at least some of the time. But what really counts is your intellectual project – your thesis – and the matching of this to an academic environment in which it can thrive. What you need is receptive and appropriate supervision, from the outset, to support and guide you in reaching your research potential.

How applications will be assessed

The closing deadline for applications is 12pm 1st March 2013. Application forms will be assessed by the Director of Graduate Studies and relevant academic staff in the School, following which short-listed applicants will be invited to interview. We expect interviews to take place in the week commencing 18th March.  After interview a final short-list of applicants will be put forward to the School’s ESRC Doctoral Panel at which final decisions will be made. Successful applicants can expect to hear by the end of April.

All School decisions will be ratified by the Wales-DTC, and its judgements are final.


If you have any queries about the application process, or need help in identifying potential supervision, please contact Victoria Parkin at the Graduate Office using the details below.

Telephone: 029 208 70855 (9am - 1pm)