The 2019/20 SeNSS student-led competition has now closed. The next studentship competition for applicants who devise their own research proposal will open in October 2019, for an October 2020 start. 

How do I apply?

  1. Check whether you are eligible for a SeNSS ESRC-funded studentship. The eligibility rules and guidance are available at:

  2. Identify the SeNSS university - your home institution - at which you want to study, and an academic in your field at that university that you would like to work with. Contact that academic - your proposed supervisor - to discuss applying to study with them at that university. Alternatively, if you are unsure about which academic to approach, get in touch with the SeNSS administrative lead at that university, as they may be able to put you in touch with an appropriate supervisor.

  3. If, after talking to your proposed supervisor about studying with them, they are supportive of you applying for postgraduate study, submit your application for a place to study at your chosen SeNSS university. The deadlines for these applications will be published here soon. For a list of which universities are part of the SeNSS consortium, please go to: This link also provides a list of our 13 Pathways, as you will also need to make sure that your application falls within one of these Pathways.

  4. Once you have applied for a place to study at your home university, you will need to apply for SeNSS funding for your studies. To do this, contact your home university's SeNSS administrative lead to request access to the online SeNSS studentship application form, and create your application.

  5. If you propose to collaborate with an external partner, please invite them to join the discussions at this stage, as you will need to provide their details, as well as a letter of support from this partner.

  6. We are especially keen to receive applications which are AQM-based, that is, which use advanced quantitative methods, and/or large datasets, and/or big data methods and associated innovative analytical methods (more than one may apply). If your application is AQM-based, please ensure you highlight this in your application. For further information on what consists an AQM-based application, please click here.

  7. Complete the SeNSS online studentship application form by your home university’s deadline. These deadlines will be published here soon.

Are there guidance notes to help me complete my application?

Yes, these are available here. You MUST read these note when you draft your application as they contain important information, including the criteria against which your application will be judged.

Who will assess my application?

It will first be assessed by your chosen university. If it is successful at this stage, it will be graded by a SeNSS Pathway (disciplinary) panel, and ranked in order of merit along with the other applications to that Pathway. The SeNSS Management Board will then make the final awards across all Pathways.

When will I hear whether my application has been successful?

As noted, there are a number of phases within our studentship competition. You will be told by your chosen university after each phase whether your application has progressed to the next round.

The final selection phase, conducted by the SeNSS Management Board, will be held at the end of March / beginning of April each year, and you will be notified during April whether you have been awarded a SeNSS student-led studentship.

For further questions, please refer to the "Application FAQs" page of this website.