Funding opportunity

Funding opportunity: ESRC Doctoral Training Partnerships: 2024

Apply for funding to provide PhD training and professional development opportunities to students.

ESRC Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) are designed to:

  • enhance the capabilities of doctoral candidates
  • develop a world-class, highly skilled workforce for the UK.

Your organisation must:

  • be a UK research organisation eligible for research council funding
  • have the infrastructure in place to provide postgraduate training.

Your proposal must be multidisciplinary across a range of social science disciplines.

We invite institutional level or multi-institution bids.

Update, 28 July 2022
We have:

  • added a frequently asked questions document (see ‘supporting documents’ under ‘additional info’)
  • updated the ‘delivery, management and governance’ section under ‘what we’re looking for’ in regards to consortia proposals
  • added the webinar slides from 5 July 2022 (see ‘webinar for applicants’ under ‘how to apply’)
  • updated the annex page limit information in the Je-S guidance document (see ‘supporting documents’ under ‘additional info’).

Who can apply

All UK-based research organisations that are eligible to receive research council funding for research, and have the infrastructure in place to deliver postgraduate training, will be eligible to submit a proposal for a Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP).

You do not need to be part of the ESRC doctoral training network to apply.

Research organisations are only allowed to be part of one DTP proposal. Proposals can come from both single research organisations and consortia. We want to support excellence in postgraduate training wherever it is found, so there will not be a limit on the number of research organisations which can be involved in consortia arrangements.

Non-academic organisations, such as those from industry, charities and public sector research establishments, may also form part of consortia bids for the delivery of training and would be expected to contribute resources and access for studentships.

All DTP proposals must be multidisciplinary across the majority of the social sciences. Single discipline or narrowly focused DTPs are not eligible to apply.

DTP proposals must be able to demonstrate high quality provision across the breadth of the social sciences.

The research organisations in a DTP will be expected to demonstrate full commitment to the partnerships in which they are involved. ESRC reserves the right to terminate any partnership that is performing poorly.

What we're looking for

Working in partnership

Proposals are encouraged to represent a consortia of academic organisations to optimise the breadth and depth of training available to students.

Partnerships are also encouraged to:

  • include smaller institutions, with what might be discipline-specific centres of excellence
  • consider the strengths of regional partners to build connections in local communities and to support them to deliver the ESRC objectives.

Proposals including what might be discipline-specific centres of excellence will be recognised through the allocation process (see the ‘number of awards and funding available’ section).

Whether an individual research organisation or a consortium, partnerships must show:

  • a clear vision and strategy for how they will work to deliver their goals
  • how they will grow and mature collaborations over the funding period.

Proposals must:

  • justify the partnership’s structure
  • make a clear case for the size of the partnership, and the added value each partner brings to the delivery of training and to the doctoral candidate experience.

ESRC acknowledges that it may take time for a new collaborative arrangement to fully evolve and for partnerships to be consolidated. All would be expected to provide demonstrable evidence that they can deliver their goals.

We expect the proposed Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) to be a key part of their institution’s strategy. Applicants should demonstrate how the DTP will link into and access wider institutional resources to achieve their goals, such as:

  • other research council doctoral training provision
  • careers service
  • knowledge exchange facilities.

Letters of support are required from each participating research organisation.

Non-academic organisations, such as those from industry, charities and public sector research establishments, may also form part of consortia bids, in agreement with the lead research organisation submitting the proposal. They would be expected to contribute resources (cash or in kind) for the delivery of training and access for studentships. The DTP must demonstrate the added value of their inclusion.

Content and delivery of training

ESRC expects partnerships to provide an excellent postgraduate training environment and deliver leading edge social science research training which is student centred and responsive to their prior experience and subject area.

The ESRC postgraduate training and development guidelines 2022 detail how partnerships will be expected to provide conceptual, general, specialist and research in practice training.

Applicants are expected to demonstrate how they will meet these requirements and the quality of the research environment they can provide.

Conceptual, general and specialist research training

Partnerships should set out how they will meet our expectations for core conceptual, general and specialist research training.

This should include:

  • an overview of their existing strengths
  • where there is a need to develop their training offer
  • how the Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) will do this.

This can include working in partnership with other providers outside the DTP.

The ESRC postgraduate training and development guidelines 2022 stress the importance of avoiding a one-size-fits-all approach that will require structural and cultural change within research organisations. Both elements should be addressed in the bid.

To support innovation in both the content and delivery of training to ensure a flexible and leading edge training offer, partnerships can bid for funding of up to £150,000 to support the development of new training content and delivery approaches.

This funding will be available for a period of three years from October 2023, a year ahead of the first cohort of students starting, to provide time to develop and test the new training.

The funding can be used to fund:

  • staff time
  • development of materials
  • delivery infrastructure.

We are keen to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and development of partnerships across DTPs to deliver high quality training. To support this ambition, DTPs will need to identify a training lead for this work who will form part of a ESRC co-ordinated DTP training network.

While the overall approach to developing the training should be included in the case for support, the detailed justification of resources should be provided as an attachment on the proposal.

In annex 1 of the case for support, partnerships should evidence the quality of the research environment they will provide for students at a disciplinary or subject area level. This should include:

  • Research Excellence Framework (REF) metrics (output, environment and impact)
  • supervisory capacity
  • completion rates
  • major grant funding or centres of excellence
  • other indicators they believe demonstrate the quality of the research environment.

They should also provide examples which demonstrate the quality of their specialist training offer.

Research organisations are advised to play to their research strengths where they have world class expertise and infrastructures to develop expertise in their doctoral students. Where they are seeking to use the DTP to grow capacity in new research areas, they must detail their rationale.

ESRC wants to support a vibrant specialist training offer for all students. As part of their bid, partnerships should indicate where they will be able to make specialist training available beyond their DTP. We anticipate at least three per year.

Research in practice

In their applications, DTPs will need to set out how they will embed research in practice as a core component of the doctoral experience for all ESRC funded students.

Research in practice should comprise of a suite of options aimed at developing students’ skills in a number of core areas relating to employability:

  • ability to apply research skills in different research contexts
  • ability to collaborate across sectoral and disciplinary boundaries
  • communication with impact, developing networks, entrepreneurship and leadership skills
  • ability to proactively engage in their own personal development and career direction.

Partnerships are expected to describe how they will ensure all students have access to high quality, innovative and experientially-based professional development opportunities throughout the doctoral experience which develop transferable skills and provide opportunities to apply knowledge in different contexts (more detail provided in the ESRC postgraduate training and development guidelines 2022).

DTPs are encouraged to work in partnership with other training providers outside the DTP to develop and deliver opportunities and also consider opportunities for student-led activities.

Students will be expected to participate in a range of opportunities, tailored through the development needs analysis according to their previous experience, goals and development needs.

As part of research in practice, our ambition is that all students have the opportunity to complete a placement in academia, policy, business or third sector organisations. This will give them the practical opportunity to develop their transferrable skills and apply their research skills in different contexts.

Funding to undertake a three-month placement has been embedded within the standard PhD model, with all studentships having access to three and a half years of funding and £1,000 allocated to support the additional costs of undertaking a placement (for example, travel and subsistence). Those who do not take part in a placement will receive funding for three and a quarter years.

ESRC will also contribute up to £40,000 per DTP per year to the cost of administering research in practice. This will be provided from October 2023 to allow successful DTPs to establish structures and processes to develop these opportunities. These costs should be requested in the justification of resources additional document.

In their bid, applicants should provide evidence on how they will deliver research in practice, particularly how they will scale their placement offer and encourage students and supervisors to view them as a core and valuable part of their doctoral training. They should demonstrate how they will draw on connections they already have including ESRC Impact Acceleration Accounts and how funding will be used to develop new connections.

Our ambition is for all students to have the opportunity to undertake placements. By the time of the DTP mid-term review in autumn 2026, partnerships will need to demonstrate that they have the infrastructure, range and volume of opportunities to enable them to deliver this.

We are not mandating placements but do expect by the time of the mid-term review that DTPs can demonstrate the majority of students in the first two cohorts will be undertaking a placement as part of their studentship.

Applicants should also detail how they will link up the research in practice element with the development needs analysis (DNA) process. How will the DTP identify the needs of the students and ensure the suite of options available is suitable?

Capacity building in priority areas

The ESRC review of the PhD in the social sciences highlighted the continuing need for us to develop capacity in data skills and advanced quantitative methods (AQM) training and the importance of supporting interdisciplinary research which spans research council boundaries.

Partnerships are encouraged to demonstrate their strengths and how they will work to support studentships in these areas. More information can be found in the additional document appendix A – ESRC strategic steers (PDF, 116KB).

To recognise the partnership’s strength, studentships will be ring fenced as part of the allocation process (see section on number of awards and funding available).

Collaborative studentships

Collaborative studentships with non-academic organisations are an important part of DTPs offering direct benefit to students and host organisations and providing important co-funding.

With the increased emphasis on providing research in practice placements, we do not want to lose the benefits collaborative studentships bring. We are therefore setting a target that at least 15% of the studentships we fund should be collaborative with non-academic organisations in the public, private or civil society sector.

Collaborative studentships can also include a placement as part of the opportunity. While co-funding is encouraged, it is not required.

In their bid, partnerships should indicate their commitment to meeting the target and how they will achieve it. Failure to meet the target may lead to a reduced number of studentships allocated after the mid-term review.

International engagement

We are keen to support researchers to develop the capability to operate in a global context. Therefore, we will continue to provide support for overseas fieldwork for doctoral students and provide extensions to allow time for difficult language training.

We will also provide funding for overseas institutional visits (OIVs) of up to three months to undertake specialist research training and to develop collaborative links.

Applicants are encouraged to highlight the international aspects of their training provision in their proposals, drawing particular attention to aspects which develop the cultural and methodological skills required for working with international partners.

Development needs analysis

Development needs analysis (DNA) is fundamental to achieving more flexible and responsive doctoral training. Students should benefit from a tailored DNA experience that allows for specific training needs, learning outcomes and research in practice elements to be clearly defined.

At the outset of the PhD, the DNA will be used to inform the structure of funding that is appropriate for each student, taking account of prior knowledge and experience and at a minimum we expect this to be reviewed annually.

In their bid, applicants must describe the processes they will put in place to meet our expectations for development needs assessments (full details can be found in the ESRC postgraduate training and development guidelines 2022), including how they will engage with supervisors to ensure that they are aware of the different training opportunities.

The applicants will also need to explain how they will ensure consistency in the approach used across the partnership and how these processes will enable them to obtain an overarching view of training needs across the DTP.

DTPs will be required to report to ESRC on development needs and emerging gaps in provision through their annual report and ESRC will undertake assurance checks on a sample of DNA forms.

In response to the ESRC review of the PhD in the social sciences, ESRC commissioned a review of the existing literature and landscape of doctoral training needs analysis to identify best practice and areas for potential development and innovation.

The aim was to inform this opportunity and provide a resource for applicants and support innovation in practice. DTPs and students provided important input to the review and moving forward, we want to work collaboratively with our network of DTPs to share practice and learnings.

Applicants should therefore consider how they will evaluate and share changes to their approach. DTPs will be able to use the flexibility of their grant to support the development of their approach to development needs analysis.


Effective supervision is critical to the success of a DTP, and details of our expectations regarding supervisory practice and policy can be found in the ESRC postgraduate training and development guidelines 2022. Applicants are required to describe the formal systems which are in place for:

  • monitoring the performance of supervisors
  • identifying their training and professional development needs
  • ensuring that these needs are met.

Ensuring that supervisors are engaged with the DTP is essential to ensure that the student gets the most out of their ESRC studentship and the range of opportunities available to them. Applicants must set out a clear strategy for communicating with supervisors and ensuring that they are fully engaged with the aims and objectives of the DTP.

Applicants should also provide details on the professional development opportunities that will be available to supervisors and how they will encourage members of staff, including early career researchers, to join the supervisory teams.

ESRC is working with the UK Council for Graduate Education and the other research councils to explore existing best practice and how UKRI can further support high quality supervision as part of the New Deal for Postgraduate Research Programme.

We will continue to work with the DTP Network (and broader sector) once commissioned to share practice and support high quality supervision.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

ESRC is committed to increasing the diversity of our student population and ensuring that we provide an inclusive and supportive environment for all.

DTPs are asked to set out their strategy for equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) to support the participation of doctoral candidates from all backgrounds, as well as details of the support systems in place to protect and promote students’ physical and mental health and wellbeing.

The strategy must consider EDI broadly, recognising the full range of protected characteristics and the socio-economic backgrounds of students.

It should include the embedding of EDI principles at all levels and in all aspects of research and training practice in the DTP, including the selection and management of doctoral candidates and cohorts.

As part of their holistic strategy, DTPs should set out their approach to how they will make entry requirements more inclusive with greater focus on assessing potential. UKRI does support the use of positive action measures to encourage and support the participation of under-represented groups where there is clear evidence of under-representation and that it constitutes a proportionate response.

All institutions within the partnership must have procedures in place that allow them to capture EDI data on all applicants, for each stage of the recruitment process, from the outset of the DTP.

We want to collect socio-economic data based on the measures set out by the Social Mobility Commission and this will be built into the annual reporting template issued to partnerships.

Costs to support the development of internal systems to collect EDI and socio-economic data could be sought from the flexibility within the training grant.

Applicants must describe their strategy and actions in a dedicated EDI plan, as a two-page annex to the case for support (annex 2) submitted as part of the proposal.

Delivery, management and governance

Partnerships will be expected to describe the governance arrangements that will enable effective decision-making and engagement with all relevant stakeholders (including students) to deliver their objectives.

This should include how they will structure their training to ensure it is both responsive to the needs of the disciplines whilst facilitating opportunities for interdisciplinary engagement and ensure students benefit from being part of a cohort beyond their immediate department.

DTPs will be expected to respond in an agile manner to new training needs and need to ensure that the arrangements for sharing best practice amongst the partners is clearly set out. Partnerships must ensure ESRC receives value for money in the delivery of PhD training.

We expect the DTP to contribute to the institutional strategies for social science and as such governance arrangements should be embedded within, and reporting to, relevant institutional structures.

Clear communication plans must be in place to disseminate information across all partners in the DTP.

Full formal partnership agreements would need to be in place from October 2023. This should include a clear complaints and appeals process for the DTP.

Applicants will need to describe how the DTP will be managed and what support will be provided by the research organisations. A governance board must be in place, which provides robust oversight of the partnership and monitors progress against deliverables. Applicants will need to explain the suitability of the Director and the senior management team.

For consortia proposals, the Director of the DTP would normally be based at the host organisation. Exceptions can be considered for the director to be based at a partner institution, however the partnership would need to ensure that a robust governance structure is put in place.

There would need to be clear oversight for the full partnership as the host organisation is responsible for the management of the training grant and accountability for the funds provided, regardless of where the Director sits within the partnership.

Based on experience at a minimum, research organisations need to provide the following resourcing:

  • a professorial (in exceptional cases senior) level DTP Director post (more than 20% FTE for single institution DTPs, more than 30% FTE for consortia institution DTPs)
  • a Deputy Director
  • an identified training lead
  • an experienced senior level DTP Manager and a DTP Administrator (with administrators or points of contact based at each partner institution for consortia DTPs)
  • Management Board commitment and support for finance and knowledge exchange
  • other support will depend on the individual institutional configuration.

We expect that the Director will remain in place for the duration of the DTP and if they step down, then ESRC will be required to approve their replacement. Applicants should describe their approach to succession planning. The Director will be required to attend DTP Director meetings twice a year.

Internal allocation of studentships

The allocation of studentships will be devolved to the DTPs. To ensure an applicant’s potential is the primary criterion, we expect the majority of studentships to be allocated through a fair and transparent open competition, not based on internal quotas. As such, applicants must set out how they will run the allocation process, including how they will approach steered studentships.

Applicants wishing to build capacity in particular strategic areas or to strengthen partnerships can request that a small proportion of the studentships are ring fenced. DTPs will have the opportunity to update these ring fenced areas through the annual reporting process.

Monitoring progress and capturing impact

The monitoring of DTPs progress towards goals and evidence of impact are important.

Partnerships will be expected to describe:

  • what success looks like for their doctoral candidates
  • how the DTP will deliver this
  • what evidence they will capture to measure progress and show impact towards their goals, and the process of capturing the data.

We acknowledge that it may not be possible for applicants to have all requirements in place at the point of application and that it can take time for new arrangements and processes to fully evolve. Applicants should therefore include details on how their offering for students will be developed over the life-course of the award.

ESRC wishes to continue a high level of engagement with successful partnerships in order to support research organisations in their postgraduate work. This will include the research organisations being able to seek advice on issues which may emerge in their management of the DTP, as well as enable ESRC to provide guidance on emerging skills issues and policy developments. This will take the form of the annual partnership visit and good practice sharing events.

All DTPs will be subject to a mid-term review in autumn 2026. The review will assess the progress DTPs have made in delivering their objectives and allow us to consider whether any adjustments are required to awards in response to the changing research landscape (for example, to address emerging research priorities and to increase our DTPs connectivity and alignment to other UKRI doctoral training investments as part of the commitment UKRI has made to increased collective working on talent).

Awards will be for five consecutive cohorts of students starting in October 2024. The first three cohorts are guaranteed. The final two cohorts will be dependent on the outcomes of the mid-term review.

In submitting a proposal to become a ESRC DTP, the research organisations involved thereby agree to comply with monitoring arrangements established by ESRC, and to work in partnership with ESRC to support its priorities for PhD training.

Number of awards and funding available

It is anticipated that up to 16 DTPs will be awarded.

Funding is available to support up to 500 studentships per year, for five consecutive cohorts (the first being 2024 to 2025 and the final cohort commencing in 2028 to 2029. Awards will be made in the form of a single profiled training grant. The normal flexibility of UKRI training grants will apply.

150 of the 500 studentships available per year will be allocated strategically by ESRC to reward strength in our priority areas and the extent to which they are inclusive partnerships. The remaining 350 studentships will be allocated responsively, across up to 16 DTPs and applicants are invited to set out as part of their bid how many students they can support.

We want to ensure that all DTPs have a viable cohort of ESRC funded students and that they have the supervisory capacity and infrastructure required to support the number of students requested. Currently, the overall allocation of studentships across the DTPs ranges between 28 to 45.

In determining the final allocation for each DTP, the commissioning panel will consider the following areas:

  • the quality of training provided across the core and subject specific areas as well as the broader training being offered
  • whether the partnership has the supervisory capacity and infrastructure required to support the number of students requested
  • inclusive partnerships: DTPs incorporating partner institutions that offer excellence in social science training and research
  • strengths in data skills, advanced quantitative methods (AQM) and interdisciplinary research.

As part of a separate annex in the case for support (annex 3), applicants must justify why they are asking for the specific cohort size and how they will support the cohort. Whilst co-funding of studentships is not a requirement of funding, applicants should provide details of co-funding arrangements if relevant. They will also need to set out how they will allocate the studentships in a fair, open and transparent way within the partnership.

The value of a studentship is calculated based on the following elements. DTPs will be expected to award studentships of varying durations that reflect a student’s prior experience and skills required to complete their PhD, up to a maximum of four and a half years.

Notional costs

Stipend calculation

UKRI sets minimum stipend levels annually. The latest rate (for academic year 2022 to 2023) is £17,668.

Fees calculation

UKRI sets minimum fees levels annually. The latest rate (for academic year 2022 to 2023) is £4,596.

Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) calculation

£940 per student per year.

Overseas fieldwork calculation

£450 per student per year.

Student and cohort development calculation

£3,330 per student which includes £1,000 to support placement activities.

London allowance calculation

£2,000 per student per year for those studying at a London institution.

How to apply

Webinar for applicants

We have scheduled an information webinar on ESRC Doctoral Training Partnerships for applicants for Thursday 22 September 2022 at 10:00 to 11:30.

ESRC staff and members of the PhD Review Steering Group will host the webinar.

View the slides from the 5 July 2022 webinar (PDF, 539KB).

View the slides from the 22 September 2022 webinar (PDF, 341KB).

Expression of interest

All applicants must submit an expression of interest (EoI) by email by 16:00 on 31 October 2022 to, naming the Director and setting out which research organisations are involved in the proposal.

The EoI email should be limited to the above information only. The EoIs will only be used to help plan the peer review process.

Applying using Je-S

You must apply using the Joint Electronic Submission (Je-S) system.

We recommend you start your application early. You can save completed details in Je-S at any time and return to continue your application later.

When applying, select ‘new document’ then:

  • council: ESRC
  • document type: Studentship Proposal
  • scheme: Postgraduate Framework
  • call/type/mode: Doctoral Training Partnerships 2024

Once you have completed your application, make sure you ‘submit document’.

You can find advice on completing your application in the Je-S handbook or opportunity-specific Je-S guidance (PDF, 497KB).

Your host organisation will also be able to provide advice and guidance on completing your application.

Applications must be submitted by 14 February 2023 at 16:00.

You will not be able to apply after this time. Please leave enough time for your proposal to pass through your organisation’s Je-S submission route before this date.

You should ensure you are aware of and comply with any internal institutional deadlines that may be in place.


The below attachments must also be included.

Case for support

Must include the annexes below:

  • annex one: disciplinary research environment (for each discipline or subject area included in the bid)
  • annex two: equality, diversity and inclusion plan
  • annex three: allocation of studentships.

Justification of resources document

Setting out the costings for the training development and placements infrastructure (marked as ‘other attachment’).


For the DTP Director, Deputy Director post and Training Lead.

Additional information for collaborative bids

Information relating to collaborative bids.

Letter of support

From collaborative organisations (if a consortia).

Project partner letters of support

Only if applicable.

How we will assess your application

Assessment criteria

Eligible proposals will be assessed by reviewers and panel members against the following criteria:

  • working in partnership
  • content and delivery of training:
    • conceptual, general and specialist research training
    • research in practice
    • capacity building in priority areas
    • collaborative studentships and international engagement
    • development needs analysis
    • supervision
  • equality, diversity and inclusion
  • delivery, management and governance
  • allocation of studentships.

Working in partnership

This includes:

  • vision and strategy for the partnership
  • how the partnership will deliver their goals
  • details and justification for the structure and size of the partnership
  • evidence and justification to demonstrate the strengths and areas of excellence that the partners bring to the Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP)
  • evidence of linkage to institutional strategies and resources.

Content and delivery of training

Conceptual, general and specialist research training

This includes:

  • details of how they will meet our expectations for the delivery of core conceptual, general and specialist research training within the DTP
  • evidence of the partnerships strengths in providing this training
  • their approach to developing new training
  • evidence of the quality of the research environment, at a disciplinary or subject area level
  • examples of where the partnership would make specialist training available beyond their DTP.
Research in practice

This includes:

  • strategy for how the DTP will deliver a suite of options that are open to all ESRC funded students
  • evidence on how the DTP will draw on existing connections, how funding will be utilised to create new connections and a clear plan on how the placement offer will be scaled up for all cohorts
  • clear details on the infrastructure needed to underpin the delivery of these options
  • details on how the research in practice element will link up with the development needs analysis process and how the DTP will identify the needs of the students and ensure the suite of options available is appropriate.
Capacity building in priority areas

This includes:

  • evidence of the strengths that the partnership has in the priority areas
  • details on how the partnership will support studentships in the priority areas.
Collaborative studentships and international engagement

This includes:

  • evidence of the partnerships commitment to develop collaborative agreements with non-academic partnerships
  • details on the international aspects of the training provision, including how this offering would be developed by the partnership over the lifecourse of the award.
Development needs analysis

This includes:

  • strategy for meeting our expectations in relation to DNA, including how the DTP will engage students and supervisors
  • evidence of how a consistent approach will be managed across the DTP
  • details on how the partnership will evaluate and share their approach to DNA exercises across the network.

This includes:

  • formal systems in place for monitoring performance of supervisors and identifying training and professional development needs
  • a clear strategy for communicating and engaging with supervisors to ensure that they are fully engaged with the aims and objectives of the DTP
  • evidence of the professional development opportunities available for supervisors and how the DTP will encourage members of staff to join supervisory teams.
Equality, diversity and inclusion

This includes:

  • a clear equality, diversity and inclusion plan enabling to support the participation of all doctoral candidates from all backgrounds, including how they will embed EDI principles at all levels and in all aspects of research and training practice within the DTP
  • evidence of support systems in place to protect doctoral candidates’ physical and mental health and wellbeing
  • confirmation that all institutions within the partnership will have procedures in place that allow them to capture EDI data on all applicants, for each stage of the recruitment process, from the outset of the DTP.
Delivery, management and governance

This includes:

  • evidence on how the DTP will be governed and managed, including the details on the resourcing of the DTP
  • evidence that the governance arrangements for the management of the DTP will enable effective decision-making, robust oversight of the partnership and monitoring of progress against deliverables
  • how the DTP will engage with all relevant stakeholders
  • how the structure of training will be responsive to the needs of the discipline whilst facilitating opportunities for interdisciplinary engagement
  • how they will ensure students benefit from being part of a cohort beyond their immediate department
  • succession planning for key roles within the DTP
  • how they will respond in an agile manner to new training needs
  • arrangements for ensuring good practice is shared among the partners
  • evidence of support from all institutional partners.
Allocation of studentships

This includes:

  • rationale for the number of studentships requested, including details on how the DTP will support the cohort
  • supervisory capacity and infrastructure required to support the number of students requested
  • details of co-funding arrangements (if applicable)
  • evidence to demonstrate strengths in priority areas (data skills, advanced quantitative methods, interdisciplinary research and administrative data)
  • evidence of inclusive partnerships with pockets of excellence
  • details on the internal allocation process for the partnership.

Next steps

If a proposal meets the standard ESRC minimum quality threshold, applicants will be given the opportunity to respond to the peer review comments received. Proposals, along with the reviewer comments and grades and the applicants’ responses, will then be assessed by a specially convened commissioning panel.

The panel meeting will take place in the week commencing 26 June 2023 and will involve an interview with each DTP Director and up to three other members of the team including, where relevant, a representative from a discipline specific centre of excellence.

Only those proposals of a sufficient high level will progress to the interview stage.

The panel will then agree final grades and make accreditation recommendations to ESRC.

Applicants will be informed of decisions in August 2023, with pump priming grants commencing in October 2023. The first studentships will commence in October 2024.

Contact details

Get help with developing your proposal

For help and advice on costings and writing your proposal, please contact your research office in the first instance, allowing sufficient time for your organisation’s submission process.

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