Award details

ESRC South West Doctoral Training Partnerships (SWDTP) +3 and 1+3 Industrial Strategy Studentships

About the award

The University of Exeter is pleased to be offering ESRC Industrial Strategy Studentships funded 1+3 or +3 studentships as part of the South West Doctoral Training Partnership for entry in 2017-18.

Within the SWDTP, the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, the College of Social Sciences and International Studies, the Business School, and the College of Humanities are currently inviting applications for ESRC-facing research which directly address one of the 8 challenge areas identified in the Industrial Strategy:

• Robotics and artificial intelligence
• Bioeconomy
• Satellites and space technologies
• Transformative digital technologies
• Cutting-edge healthcare and medicine
• New energy technologies including battery storage and grid technology
• Manufacturing processes and materials of the future
• Creative and cultural industries

or the following cross cutting challenges:

• Place – understanding the role of industry in driving growth across the whole country and understanding regional variation/policies.
• Transforming business practices – understanding what drives innovation in business and how best to support it.
• Skills – exploring the skills needed by employers and managers to underpin the modern economy.
• Digital Infrastructure – understanding the benefits and challenges of digital technologies and innovative use of data.
These studentships will be primarily be associated with the Advanced Qualitative Methods and the Economics pathways, however, we welcome applications to any of the following pathways:

Disciplinary Pathways: 

● Area and Development Studies
● Economic and Social History
● Economics
● Education
● Human Geography
● Management and Business Studies
● Political Science and International Studies
● Psychology
● Socio-legal Studies
● Sociology

Interdisciplinary Pathways:

● Advanced Quantitative Methods
● Sustainable Futures
● Global Political Economy
● Health and Wellbeing
● Security, Conflict and Human Rights

For eligible UK/EU students the full time studentship will cover fees and an annual Research Council stipend of approximately £14,263 (2016/2017 rate) for up to three years (+3 award) or four years (1+3 award).

For the 1+3 studentships we would require you to register initially on the appropriate Masters programme for your pathway.

For the +3 studentships we would require you to register on a PhD programme in one of our disciplines with the aim of conducting research in an area that aligns with the work of the ESRC.

Academic entry requirements:

Applicants for a +3 award should have:

• completed, or be due to complete an ESRC-accredited or an equivalent research Masters* with a significant element of research training. Applicants may be asked for further information to determine the relevance of the content covered.

* An equivalent research Masters is defined as including significant social sciences research design, quantitative and qualitative research methods elements. The transcript will need to show that a minimum of a third of the taught stage of your programme entailed research methods elements. For students who have undertaken a Masters outside the UK we will look for appropriate equivalencies. All awards are subject to ratification by the “Awards and Ratification Committee”, who shall have the authority to reconsider the equivalence of any Masters awards.

• achieved a current average grade of their Masters (at the point of application) normally of at least Merit (60%) grade. Successful applicants must ultimately achieve BOTH an overall average of at least 60% across the taught units/modules AND at least 60% for the dissertation component as a condition of their funding. 

Holders of Masters degrees that are not considered equivalent (as above), must apply for the 1+3 award.

In the case of a 1+3 application, continuation of funding from the ‘1’ stage to the ‘+3’ stage of the programme will be subject to achieving 60% across the taught units / modules AND 60% for the dissertation component.  Students who fail to achieve these conditions may have their funding terminated and may be required to refund any money paid to them during the PhD portion of the programme.

Residency entry requirements: These studentships will be funded by the ESRC and are available to UK nationals and other EU nationals who have resided in the UK for three years prior to commencing the studentship. If you meet the criteria, funding will be provided for tuition fees and stipend. If you are a citizen of an EU member state and don’t meet the residency requirement you will be eligible for a fees-only award. For further guidance about eligibility please refer to Annex 1 of the ESRC Postgraduate Funding Guide.



Application deadline:1st June 2017
Number of awards:2
Value:£14,533 for the 2017/18 academic year plus UK/EU tuition fees
Duration of award:per year
Contact: Jenny

How to apply

Please upload the following documents to the studentship application form - Click here to apply

• CV
• Covering letter outlining your academic interests, any prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake this project, as well as a research training statement
Research proposal of 1,000 words including the name(s) of the potential supervisors. Your research proposal must directly align with one of the research areas listed above. For 1+3 students it is recognised that this will be an outline proposal to be further developed during the first year of the studentship. To download the research proposal form please click here.
• 2 references from referees familiar with your academic work (if your referees prefer, they can email the reference direct to
• A Supporting Statement from your supervisor. Please ensure you have discussed your research proposal with your intended supervisor before submitting your application work (if your supervisor prefers, they can email the statement direct to
• Verified transcript of your highest qualification to date or an interim transcript if you are still studying
• If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your proficiency in English (for further details, please see the University’s English language requirements).