SeNSS logoWe are a member of the South East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS), which is a social sciences focused research and doctoral training partnership funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

 

Our membership of the doctoral training partnership enables our students to access excellent research, skills and advanced training provision at each of the other nine consortium members: the Universities of Essex, Kent, Surrey, Reading, Royal Holloway, Goldsmiths, Roehampton, Sussex and City. Students from these universities are also able to join training sessions at UEA, creating a vibrant environment for everyone.

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. Successful international students in receipt of a SeNSS studentship will additionally benefit from a fees exemption from UEA, meaning that they will have no tuition fees to pay, for PhDs starting in the academic years 2021-22; 2022-23; 2023-24; and 2024-25.

Main studentship competition

Students apply to one of the SeNSS pathways with their own PhD 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 as well as 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 may also be considered for a 1+3 award, or a PhD-only award (typically three years, but this can be extended to 3.25 or 3.5 years where training needs are identified).

In both these cases, students must apply for both their proposed course(s) of study via the UEA online application form, and for SeNSS studentship funding, using the SeNSS online application form, by the relevant deadlines.

Finally, current PhD students 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 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 enquiries with pathway leads and/or potential supervisors well before the deadline, and to use the headings in the SeNSS application form as the basis for their research proposal for both the PhD and SeNSS applications.

Following the deadline, each of UEA’s SeNSS pathways will select up to four candidates to put forward in the competition. These nominated applications are then reviewed by the cross-institute SeNSS pathway groups, who make their recommendations to the SeNSS management board. Funding decisions are typically confirmed by the management board in April.

Collaborative studentship competition

Students apply to undertake a PhD studentship project written by a supervisor in collaboration with a non-academic organisation (company, charity, or public sector institute, etc). Ordinarily, such awards are available as 1+3 Master’s and PhD awards, or +3 PhD-only awards; although on occasion a project may require that the PhD research is undertaken within a certain timeframe such that it is only advertised to PhD-only applicants.

Once again, candidates must submit both an application to UEA for the proposed course(s) of study, and an application for SeNSS funding, by the relevant deadlines; and we suggest that the SeNSS application guidance is consulted early in the application process.

Applications to collaborative projects do not require a research proposal, instead applicants will need to provide supporting statements demonstrating their suitability for the research project. 

Applications typically open in November, with a deadline around the end of 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.

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 comes about as a collaboration between the ARIES NERC DTP (led by UEA), and the SeNSS ESRC DTP, and aims to fund truly cross-disciplinary PhD research at the intersection between the natural and social sciences.

Like the collaborative competition, students will apply to undertake a PhD studentship project written by the supervisor and selected for advertising by the two DTPs involved. Studentship awards are available for 1+3 or 3.5 years in SeNSS-led years (October 2022 entry), or for 3.5 years in ARIES-led years (October 2023 entry).

As before, in a SeNSS-led year candidates must submit both an application to UEA for the proposed course(s) of study, and an application for SeNSS funding, by the relevant deadlines; and we suggest that the SeNSS application guidance is consulted early in the application process.

Applications to SeNSS-ARIES projects also do not require a research proposal, and applicants will need to provide supporting statements demonstrating their suitability for the research project. 

SeNSS-ARIES applications typically open in October or November, with a deadline in January (ARIES-led years) or around the end of February (SeNSS-led years). Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed by a panel drawn from both DTPs, who will put forward their preferred candidate to the two management boards. The management boards will typically confirm the award in April each year.

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

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