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SeNSS, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)

These scholarships include a doctoral stipend (equivalent to the Research Councils UK National Minimum Doctoral Stipend, which was £15,009 in 2019/20), tuition fees at the home/EU rate and access to further research funding.

The University of Kent is proud to be part of the South East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS) which has been accredited as a prestigious Doctoral Training Partnership by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in July 2016.  Our partners include City, University of London; Goldsmiths, University of London; the Universities of East Anglia, Essex, Reading, Roehampton, Surrey and Sussex and Royal Holloway, University of London.

SeNSS is one of only 14 UK ESRC-funded Doctoral Training Partnerships and will be offering a number of full-funded ESRC doctoral studentship to start in September 2020.  Kent will offer ESRC SeNSS studentships in the following subject pathways:

Business and Management (Kent Business School)

Linguistics (School of European Culture and Languages)

Politics and International Studies (School of Politics and International Relations)

Psychology (School of Psychology)

Science, Technology and Sustainability Studies (School of Anthropology and Conservation)

Social Anthropology (School of Anthropology and Conservation)

Social Work and Social Policy  (School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research)

Socio-Legal Studies (Kent Law School)

Sociology (School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research)

What SeNSS provides:

SeNSS is committed to providing innovative and challenging world-class doctoral training in a dynamic, inter-disciplinary research environment.  This includes a wide range of subject-specific, generic and advanced training, tailored to your individual needs as well as opportunities for overseas visits and fieldwork, attending and presenting at annual conferences and academic publishing.  You will become part of a large cohort of fellow SeNSS students, which will offer support and networking opportunities.

Further information is available on the SeNSS Website


In order to receive ESRC studentship funding you must have qualifications/experience equal to the standard of a good honours degree at a first or upper second class level from a UK academic research organisation.Degree qualifications gained from outside the UK, or a combination of qualifications and/or experience that is equivalent to a relevant UK degree, may be accepted.

Residential conditions:

  • To be eligible for a full award (stipend and fees), you must:
  • have settled status in the UK, meaning there are no restrictions on how long you can stay.
  • have been 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for three years prior to the start of the studentship grant. This means you must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences).
  • not have been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. This does not apply to UK and EU nationals.

To be eligible for a fees only award, you must:

  • be ordinarily resident in an EU member state, in the same way as UK students must be ordinarily resident in the UK.

Note: These eligibility criteria are based on the Education (Fees and Awards) Regulations 1997 and subsequent amendments. These regulations cover England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

How to apply

New students wishing to be considered for ESRC SeNSS funding must apply for a PhD at the University of Kent by 19 January 2019 at the latest.  Applicants are advised to discuss their research project with academic members of staff in the relevant school as soon as possible. Any current PhD students wishing to be considered for ESRC SeNSS  funding should contact their School Director of Graduate Studies (with responsibility for research programmes) as soon as possible or by 20 January 2020 at the very latest.


The closing date for applications is Midnight GMT Monday 20 January 2020

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