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. 


To be considered for SeNSS studentship funding, applicants must apply for a place to study for their chosen course(s) at UEA by midday on Monday 18 January 2021, and submit a separate SeNSS studentship application by the deadline of midday on Monday 1 February 2021.

Applicants can apply for 1+3 (Master’s and PhD) studentship funding, or +3 (PhD only) studentship funding. 1+3 applicants must apply for a Master’s degree from the list of SeNSS-approved Master’s degrees as well as a PhD by the deadline of midday on 18 January 2021.

Current PhD students are also able to apply for SeNSS funding, providing they will have 50% or more of their Period of Study remaining when the studentship funding starts, on 1 October 2021. This means (for example) that full-time students with a three-year Period of Study who started their PhD on or after 1 April 2020 can apply. 

Applications for full- and part-time study are equally welcomed.

Applications for SeNSS studentship funding will be considered within one of 12 SeNSS pathways at UEA, and applicants are encouraged to discuss their SeNSS application with both their proposed supervisor and the relevant UEA pathway lead(s) as early as possible.

Applications for a place to study for a PhD and Master’s degree should be made directly to UEA using the online application form

Applications for SeNSS studentship funding are now open; the application form can be found on the SeNSS website. 

General enquiries about SeNSS studentship funding at UEA should be sent to the support team in the first instance:

selection process 

SeNSS applications will first be considered by UEA’s twelve pathways. Each institutional pathway can nominate up to three candidates to progress in the competition.

At the next stage, the pathway leads from across the consortium  review their applications and assign scores. A pathway meeting is then held at which scores, comments, and rankings are discussed and agreed.

Finally, scores from across the pathways are moderated, ranked, and discussed by the Management Board, and studentship offers are made. Candidates may also be reserve listed at this stage.

Funding is ringfenced for 1+3 candidates who do not have a prior master’s degree, and these applications are ranked separately. This ensures that applicants are not disadvantaged in the competition and serves SeNSS’s ambition to widen participation in social sciences research, including to those who might not ordinarily be able to afford a master’s degree.

One studentship is ringfenced for a proposal that use advanced quantitative methods (e.g. using big data and/or innovative analytical methods), and if your proposal fits this criterion you should indicate this in your SeNSS application.

‘Supervisor-led’ competitions

As well as student-led PhD research, SeNSS also funds ‘supervisor-led’ studentships in which the PhD research proposal is written by the supervisor and the project advertised for applicants. There are two such schemes, the collaborative studentship competition, which includes non-academic partners, and the SeNSS-ARIES ESRC-NERC studentship competition, which funds interdisciplinary research across the natural and social sciences.


Enquiries regarding SeNSS ESRC studentship funding and applications should be sent to the support team at in the first instance.