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SeNSS logoWe are a member of the South East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS).

This social sciences-focused research and doctoral training partnership is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), and awards over 40 studentships for postgraduate study each year.

As well as providing our postgraduates with access to ESRC studentship funding, our membership of SeNSS enables our students to access excellent research networks, skills and advanced training provision across the consortium of 10 leading institutions.

Postgraduate studentship funding

UKRI Economic and Social Research Council logoWe welcome applications for fully funded postgraduate studentships for Master’s and doctoral studies across 12 different SeNSS training pathways and all four of UEA’s faculties.

SeNSS run several PhD studentship funding competitions each year. Successful candidates will be awarded a SeNSS ESRC studentship that pays a stipend at standard UKRI rates, provides funds to cover research costs, and also pays tuition fees at the Home (UK) rate.

International students in receipt of a SeNSS studentship will also benefit from a fees exemption for the higher international tuition fees, meaning that they will have no tuition fees to pay.

Support with your SeNSS application is available, and please do not hesitate to contact our SeNSS support team if you have any queries.

Main studentship competition

SeNSS’s main competition invites applications from prospective students with their own research proposal.

Applications are welcomed from current undergraduates, or those holding a Bachelor’s degree, who wish to be considered for a ‘1+3’ studentship that funds an eligible Master’s degree followed by the PhD.

SeNSS ring-fences funding for this group of applicants to ensure they are not disadvantaged in the competition, and to encourage applications from those who might not ordinarily consider postgraduate study.

Those with an existing Masters (or currently studying for one) are equally welcome to apply, and will be considered for studentships lasting between 3 and 4 years, depending on their research methods training needs. A 4-year studentship will incorporate an eligible Master’s degree.

Two or three applications will be required from students applying for funding for a new course of study. First, the application(s) to UEA must be made, for the PhD, and, if required, the Master’s course. Second, a separate application must be made to SeNSS for the studentship funding. Applicants should carefully note the deadlines (see below for a link to further information).

Current PhD students who are not in receipt of studentship funding, and who will have at least 50% of their period of study remaining at the start of the proposed studentship are also eligible to apply. In this case students must simply submit a SeNSS application by the deadline.

The main SeNSS competition typically opens for applications in October, with a deadline in January. Applicants are strongly encouraged to make early enquiries with pathway leads and/or potential supervisors well before the deadline. This will ensure there is time to discuss and refine the research proposal before the application is submitted.

Collaborative studentship competition

SeNSS make around six collaborative studentship awards each year. These studentship projects are developed by academic supervisors in collaboration with non-academic organisations, and students are able to apply to such advertised projects in a process similar to that of applying for a job.

UEA has a strong tradition of collaborative doctoral research, and we have been pleased to win a number of collaborative studentships over the years, in collaboration with organisations including the UNODC and local NHS Trusts.

Applications typically open in November, with a deadline in February. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by the supervisory team, who will put forward their preferred candidate to the SeNSS management board. The management board will typically confirm the awards in April each year.

Collaborative projects will be advertised on hosting the hosting institutions’ websites, and the SeNSS Collaborative Studentship Competition page.

SeNSS-ARIES studentship competition

UEA has a proud tradition of interdisciplinary research in the environmental social sciences, for example through the Tyndall Centre that is headquartered here. The annual SeNSS-ARIES studentship competition is a collaboration between the ARIES NERC DTP, which is led by UEA, and the SeNSS ESRC DTP. It aims to fund truly cross-disciplinary PhD research at the intersection between the natural and social sciences.

The SeNSS-ARIES competition for 2023 entry is led by ARIES, and details can be found on their website. Applications typically open in October, with a deadline in January or February.

Postdoctoral Fellowships

Finally, SeNSS also allocate ESRC funding for postdoctoral fellowships through an annual competition. Applications typically open in October, with a deadline for Expressions of Interest in January, and a final application deadline in March. Details can be found on the SeNSS website.

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Further Information and Applications

Further information and applications