The following FAQs covers all studentships. Further guidance with be available when the competitions launch.


WHAT SOCIAL SCIENCE PATHWAYS DOES SeNSS OFFER?

SeNSS offers doctoral training across thirteen social science Pathways:

  • Business and Management (offered by City, UEA, Essex, Kent, Reading, Royal Holloway, Surrey and Sussex);

  • Development Studies (offered by UEA, Reading, Royal Holloway, Surrey and Sussex);

  • Economics (offered by City, UEA, Essex, Reading, Royal Holloway, Surrey and Sussex);

  • Education (offered by UEA, Goldsmiths, Reading, Roehampton and Sussex);

  • Human Geography (offered by UEA, Reading, Royal Holloway and Sussex);

  • Linguistics (offered by UEA, Essex, Kent, Reading and Surrey);

  • Politics and International Studies (offered by UEA, Essex, Kent, Reading, Royal Holloway and Sussex);

  • Psychology (offered by UEA, Essex, Goldsmiths, Kent, Reading, Royal Holloway and Sussex);

  • Science, Technology and Sustainability Studies (offered by UEA, Kent, Surrey and Sussex);

  • Social Anthropology (offered by UEA, Goldsmiths, Kent, Roehampton and Sussex);

  • Social Work and Social Policy (offered by UEA, Kent and Sussex);

  • Socio-Legal Studies (offered by UEA, Essex, Kent, Reading and Sussex); and

  • Sociology (offered by City, Essex, Goldsmiths, Kent and Sussex).

 

TYPES OF SeNSS STUDENTSHIPS

Studentships are offered on a full-time and part-basis, across a range of routes (+3; 1+3; 2+2 & +4) with 150 MRes, MSc and MA approved programmes.

 

TWO TYPES OF SeNSS STUDENTSHIP AWARDS

  1. Fully Funded - available to Home and EU students (plus international Economics students), see below

  2. Fees-only - available to EU students who do not meet the eligibility criteria for a full award, see below

 

1. Fully Funded Studentship

Includes the following for the duration of the award:

  • your University tuition fees (paid in full directly to your University)

  • a tax-free maintenance stipend to cover your living costs: this is currently set at £14,777 per year. For those studying at universities based in London, there is an additional £2,000 per year paid as London Weighting, given that the cost of living is higher for those living in London. If you are not studying at a London-based University, but still choose to live in London, you will not receive the London Weighting payment

  • a research training support grant

  • access to other funds to be used for overseas fieldwork, overseas institutional visits, difficult language training, placements etc

 

2. Fees-Only Studentship

Students from EU countries who have not been resident in the UK for three years are eligible for a fees-only award. In other words, to be eligible for a fees-only award, you will be ordinarily resident in a member state of the EU, in the same way as UK students will be ordinarily resident in the UK.

These eligibility rules are set on page 9 of the ESRC Postgraduate Funding Guide available here.

The studentship includes the following for the duration of the award:

  • your University tuition fees (paid in full directly to your University)

  • a research training support grant

  • access to other funds to be used for overseas fieldwork, overseas institutional visits, difficult language training, placements etc

  • Note you will NOT receive a tax-free maintenance stipend to cover your living costs

 

AM I ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR A SeNSS STUDENTSHIP?

You must meet both the academic and residential eligibility requirements set out below.

 Academic eligibility

We encourage applications from candidates with research interests in the 13 SeNSS Pathways. You must hold the academic qualifications required for entry to your chosen doctoral programme or equivalent professional experience.

Please note that a Masters degree is not a prerequisite. A range of training programmes is available based on an assessment of the applicant’s prior learning and training needs, including a combination of masters and doctoral study (the 1+3, 2+2 or +4 models) for those without prior postgraduate qualifications.

·         If you wish to apply for a 1+3, 2+2 or +4, you should normally possess (or expect to achieve by 30 September 2019) an upper second class or first class honours degree or Masters degree from a recognised university or the equivalent. However, if you have a less-than-sufficient first degree according to the standards set down above, you could still meet these requirements by having done at least one satisfactorily completed academic year of full-time study or its part-time equivalent (ie two years) towards a UK higher degree. If you do not hold an undergraduate degree, you may still be awarded a studentship if you hold a Masters degree.

 ·    If you are unsure as to whether your Masters degree meets these requirements, please contact your chosen university’s SeNSS administrative lead in the first instance.

If you wish to apply for a +3 award, you must normally have successfully completed (or expect to achieve by 30 September 2019) an appropriate research training Masters degree or equivalent assessed training or demonstrable equivalent professional experience.

Residential Eligibility

You must meet the ESRC's residency requirements in order to apply for a SeNSS studentship. Studentships are only available to Home or EU students. There is ONE exception to this rule: international students may apply for a SeNSS ECONOMICS Studentship, and, if successful, will be eligible for a full award. EU nationals who do not meet the residency requirements will qualify for a fees-only studentship award. These requirements are explained in more detail below.

To be eligible for a full award you must either be an international student applying for a SeNSS Economics Studentship, or a Home or EU student who satisfies the criteria below:

  • You must have settled status in the UK, meaning there are no restrictions on how long you can stay in the UK; AND

  • You must have been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for 3 years prior to taking up your studentship award. 'Ordinarily resident' means that you must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from any temporary or occasional absences; AND

  • You must not have been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. However, this criterion does not apply to UK or EU nationals.

 

I DO NOT HAVE A MASTERS DEGREE. MAY I APPLY FOR A SeNSS STUDENTSHIP?

Yes, you do not need a Master’s degree in order to apply for a SeNSS Studentship. In fact, we positively encourage applications from talented students holding an undergraduate degree. If your application to SeNSS is successful, you will receive financial support to do your Master’s degree, based on an assessment of your prior training and learning needs.

 

WOULD I BE ABLE TO STUDY PART-TIME?

Yes. All SeNSS Studentships are available either on a full or part-time basis.

 

I HAVE ALREADY STARTED MY PhD. CAN I APPLY FOR A SeNSS STUDENTSHIP?

Yes, you may apply for a SeNSS student-led studentship if you have already started your studies. However, you will need to have at least 50% of your period of study remaining if you are to be eligible for a SeNSS student-led Studentship.

If you have already started your PhD, you cannot apply for a SeNSS collaborative studentship, unless you abandon your current PhD, and start afresh with a collaborative studentship. This is because these studentships are linked to research projects, for which you will need the full three years' of study, and possibly some additional training.

 

HOW WILL MY APPLICATION BE ASSESSED?

·         Your application will be assessed firstly at institutional level (at your chosen university) and, if successful, it will be put forward for consideration by a panel of experts in your discipline. Finally, the SeNSS Management Board will discuss and approve the final studentship awards.

 ·         You will be advised at each step in this process whether or not you have been successful at that particular stage. If your application is short-listed for award at the SeNSS Management Board phase, you will be advised by email by the middle of April 2019 whether or not you have been awarded a studentship.

 ·         Please note that SeNSS will not be able to provide you with detailed feedback on your application if it is not successful.

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY APPLICATION FOR A SeNSS STUDENTSHIP IS SUCCESSFUL?

If you are awarded a SeNSS studentship, you will be contacted, usually by email, towards the end of March give you the good news. Thereafter, you will receive a formal offer letter from SeNSS, and you will have a couple of weeks to decide whether or not to accept this offer.

 

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY APPLICATION FOR A SeNSS STUDENTSHIP IS UNSUCCESSFUL?

You will be advised of the outcome of your application as soon as the SeNSS Management Board has made its final decision on the allocation of Studentships or, if your application is deemed unsuccessful in an earlier assessment round, you will be advised of this before the end of March each year.

If you have been unsuccessful, you are welcome to apply again the following year, as long as you still meet the eligibility requirements.