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Sgoil Cheumnaichean Saidheans Sòisealta na h-Alba


The Scottish Graduate School of Social Science is the UK's largest facilitator of funding, training and support for doctoral students in social science. By combining the expertise of sixteen universities across Scotland, the school facilitates world-class PhD research. The school is funded jointly by the Economic and Social Research Council and the Scottish Funding Council.

SGSSS is a highly attractive environment for doctoral research. Not only do our partner universities offer an excellent research environment, we also offer comprehensive and world-class research training in a number of discipline-specific and interdisciplinary pathways. In addition, the school manages a programme of advanced training courses and an annual summer school which together offers our students further opportunities to develop their research, knowledge exchange and transferable professional skills.

At the heart of the SGSSS is the Doctoral Training Partnership (formerly the Doctoral Training Centre) in Scotland. The SGSSS was established in 2011 and is the biggest of 14 Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) accredited DTPs in the United Kingdom. The bid for renewed funding has been successful and from 1 October 2017 the SGSSS will be one of the ESRC’s 14 Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTP)

Our Funders


The Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK’s largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. The ESRC supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes.

The ESRC is a non-departmental public body established by Royal Charter in 1965 and receives most of its funding through the UK Government’s Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy. ESRC is committed to the principles of quality, impact and independence.

More information about the ESRC, its work, impact and findings can be found here.


The Scottish Funding Council (SFC) is responsible for funding teaching and learning provision, research and other activities in Scotland’s colleges and higher education institutions. SFC’s Funding Decisions support the Scottish Government’s national priorities. Its purpose is to secure coherent, high quality further and higher learning provision by colleges and universities in Scotland, and the undertaking of research. SFC contributes to the costs of teaching, research and other activities – including costs related to staff, infrastructure, buildings and equipment. Follow the link to find out more about SFC. 

The Directorate

The Directorate is responsible for the everyday operations of SGSSS. The directorate oversees the successful running and strategic development of the SGSSS in line with its objectives. This includes: designing and overseeing a studentship allocation system; providing advanced training; ensuring timely financial reporting; overseeing the development of partnerships.

The Directorate is hosted by the University of Edinburgh and comprises the following staff:

Professor Jamie Pearce


Professor Mhairi Mackenzie

Deputy Director, Studentships

Dr Jo Ferrie

Deputy Director, Training

Dr Richard Simmons

Associate Director, Society and Welfare Hub Lead

Dr Kiril Sharapov

Associate Director, People and Place Hub Lead

Professor Melanie Simms

Associate Director, Economies, Mind, and Technologies Hub Lead


Associate Director, Student Engagement

Professor Lydia Plowman

Associate Director, Interdisciplinarity and Advanced Training

Dr Alan Marshall

Associate Director, Advanced Methods

Dr Monika Harvey

Associate Director, SOCIAL AI

Diane Gill

Head of Strategy and Operations

Flaminia Raiteri

Employability and Partnership Manager

Eimear Musgrave

Knowledge Exchange and Partnerships Coordinator

Jared de Bruin

Studentships and Widening Participation Coordinator

Ross Hoffie

Communications and Engagement Coordinator

Rachel Webb

Administrative Assistant

HEI Admin Leads

Each partner institution has a designated administration contact directly connected to the SGSSS. Coordination of future and ongoing studentships is handled locally at each member institution through the HEI Admin Leads.

University of AberdeenAnn Marie Johnston
Abertay University
University of DundeeJudith Miller
University of EdinburghLorna Shiels
University of GlasgowKiran Faisal
Glasgow Caledonian UniversityIvana Covic
Heriot-Watt UniversitySusan Smith
University of Highlands & IslandsJackie Deacon
Edinburgh Napier UniversityWendy Steven
Robert Gordon UniversityAlison Orellana
Scotland’s Rural CollegeDawn Latto
University of St AndrewsLaura Bayley
University of StirlingKaren Sutherland
University of StrathclydeShona Cameron
Queen Margaret UniversityAlison Basford-Thomson
University of the West of ScotlandGavin Morrison

Supervisory Board

The Supervisory Board consists of representatives from each of our partner universities and is responsible for setting the overall strategic direction of the SGSSS. The Board agrees and oversees the strategic priorities and oversees the implementation of ESRC’s guidance on the distribution of studentships, spread of good practices and embedding collaboration. 

The members of the Board have been appointed to provide representation of our partner institutions. The Supervisory Board is chaired by Professor Anne Anderson, a Vice-Principal at the University of Glasgow.

The members of the Supervisory board include:

Professor Dorothy Miell, University of Edinburgh, Chair
Professor Marion CampbellUniversity of Aberdeen
Professor Vera Kempe, Abertay University
Professor John Rowan, University of Dundee
Professor Dorothy Miell, University of Edinburgh
Professor Nick Antonopoulos Edinburgh Napier University
Professor Sara Carter, University of Glasgow
Professor Andrea Nelson, Glasgow Caledonian University
Professor Robert MacIntosh, Heriot-Watt University
Professor Neil Simco, University of the Highlands and Islands
Dr Richard Butt, Queen Margaret University
Professor Nick Fyfe, Robert Gordon University 
Professor Eileen Wall, Scotland’s Rural College
Professor Monique Mackenzie, University of St Andrews
Professor Iain Docherty, University of Stirling
Professor Anja Lowit, University of Strathclyde
Professor Milan Radosavljevick, University of the West of Scotland

In addition to academic partners, our board includes key stakeholders:

Tracy Davies, UKRI-ESRC
Morag Campbell, Scottish Funding Council

Deans of Graduate Studies Network

Dr Nia White, University of Abertay
Professor Graeme Nixon, University of Aberdeen
Dr Ed Hall, University of Dundee
Professor Stephen Bowd, University of Edinburgh
Dr Calum Neill, Edinburgh Napier University
Professor Duncan Ross, University of Glasgow
Professor Simon Teasdale, Glasgow Caledonian University
Professor Stephen Gibson, Heriot-Watt University
Michael Rayner, University of the Highlands & Islands
Dr Rebecca Finkel (acting Dean), Queen Margaret University
Dr Andrew Lamb, Robert Gordon University
Dr Matteo Fumagalli, University of St Andrews
Professor Eileen Wall (acting Dean), Scotland’s Rural University College
Professor Margaret Malloch, University of Stirling
Dr Mark Ellis, University of Strathclyde
Professor David McGillivray, University of West of Scotland

Student Representation

Student representatives convey the views of students to the Board and the Directorate. SGSSS is committed to increasing student representation within its governance and wide range of activities.  Our diverse group of student representatives reflects a broad spectrum of institutions, academic stages, funding bases and demographic profiles:

Member Institutions

The following Scottish universities are members of the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science. The 12 Institutions eligible for hosting ESRC studentships are listed first: