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The closing date for the 2020/2021 SeNSS Staff-led Collaborative Studentship competition is Monday 23rd September 2019 at 12:00GMT

The Call

This is a call for the submission of collaborative research project proposals by SeNSS prospective supervisors who wish to apply for an ESRC-funded studentship to participate in their research project.

Prospective students – please check our ‘How to Apply’ page for details of the 2020/21 studentship competition, including applicant-led and collaborative studentships, once available.

Staff-led collaborative studentship project proposals are those which involve a partnership with a non-academic partner. The collaborative partner must be a business, government or third sector organization, in other words, a non-Higher Education Institution (non-HIEI). Collaborative partners can be based in the UK or overseas.

Collaborative partners must contribute something of value to the research project. There are a wide range of things such a partner can contribute, from a financial contribution, to a contribution in kind.

  • A financial contribution could consist of paying up to 50% of the direct studentship costs, which include fees and a stipend, or travel costs for the student and supervisor to travel to meetings etc.
  • A contribution in kind could consist of one or more of the following things: a co-supervisor for the studentship attached to the project; access to the collaborative partner’s data, use of their equipment, office space etc.

You are strongly encouraged to seek a financial contribution as this may count in your favour in the competition.

Supervisors should contact the UEA SeNSS administrative lead, Melanie Steele ( with further queries or to request a copy of the SeNSS staff-led collaborative studentship competition policy.


SeNSS has decided to ring-fence 6 of its studentships each year for staff-led collaborative studentship awards. Studentships will be fully funded (where the applicants meet the studentship eligibility criteria), and can be either +3 or 4-year (1+3) awards. All projects must be based primarily in an ESRC-approved SeNSS Training Pathway at UEA. These are:

  • Business and Management Studies
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Development Studies
  • Psychology
  • Economics
  • Science, Technology, and Sustainability Studies
  • Education
  • Social Anthropology
  • Human Geography
  • Social Work and Social Policy
  • Linguistics
  • Socio-Legal Studies


Students and supervisors involved with staff-led collaborative studentships must adhere to the requirements set down in the SeNSS progress and training procedures, e.g. completing certain training requirements, attending SeNSS training events, and participating in cohort building activities.

How to submit a project proposal for a SeNSS staff-led collaborative studentship award

A detailed step-by-step guide outlining how to submit a proposal can be found in the SeNSS Staff-led Collaborative Studentship Research Project Competition: Guidance for Supervisors (available on request).

  • Think about a collaborative research project that you would like to undertake. This must fall within one of the SeNSS Pathways, as listed above.
  • Expression of interest: if you are interested in submitting a proposal, please let the UEA SeNSS administrative lead know
  • Identify the collaborative partner with whom you wish to work on this research project and discuss it with them. If they are interested in participating, draft and agree a research project proposal, including what each of you will contribute to the project, such as financial support, access to data, provision of office space for the student etc.
  • Work with your collaborative partner to produce a letter of support, to be signed by that partner, and which must be uploaded as part of your application. This letter should briefly state what your partner has agreed to contribute to the research project. A template for this letter will be provided as part of the Guidance for Supervisors.
  • Identify the supervisory team, to be led by you as the lead supervisor, which will participate in this project. The team must include a second supervisor, based either at UEA or another SeNSS institution, who will be actively involved in the research project or who has a particular expertise in this research area, as well as a representative from your collaborative partner.
  • Cost out any additional funding required to support your research project, in addition to the usual studentship costs, up to a maximum of £1500. For example, you should include costs for student travel between UEA and your collaborative partner (where these costs are not being met or shared by that partner). Notes on the costs that may be included will be provided as part of the Guidance for Supervisors.
  • Draft an advertisement for the studentship to be attached to your research project, should it be funded. A template for an advert will be provided in the latest Guidance for Supervisors.
  • Go onto the SeNSS FluidReview website, once the compettion is open, to complete your online application. The online application will be available at  In completing your application, please be guided by the selection criteria, as set out in the latest Guidance for Supervisors.
  • Your proposal will be assessed by a specially appointed sub-committee of the SeNSS Management Board.
  • If your proposal is successful, it will be advertised both internally and externally to attract candidates for the studentship attached to your research project.
  • Once the applications for the studentship for your project have been received, you will be involved in selecting the best candidate for this studentship. Further details of this process will be set out in the Guidance for Supervisors.