ESRC TRAINING FUNDS
There are several additional funding resources available for ESRC-funded students to access during the course of their PhD studies. These include the Overseas Institutional Visits (OIV), Overseas Fieldwork (OFW) and Difficult Language Training (DLT) funding strands, alongside the Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) and Student-led Internships.
All applications must be supported by the student’s supervisor and approved by the HEI Admin Lead for the host institution before submission. Students and supervisors are strongly encouraged to utilise the Training Needs Analysis (TNA) as a tool to identify training requirements and to plan and prepare for the year ahead.
Please refer to the ERSC training funds guidance found in the Student Handbook 2022/23 before completing your application.
Research Training Support Grant (RTSG)
All ESRC-funded students are eligible for RTSG. This funding source is available to support expenses such as UK fieldwork, attendance of UK and EU conferences and summer schools and other costs deemed to be in direct support of your research. Further details on the types of costs covered can be found in the Student Handbook. Please note you can now also submit expense claims for costs associated with attending SGSSS events, such as advanced training workshops and our Summer School (excluding ticket purchases). Any funds used towards SGSSS events will not count towards your notional RTSG allowance of £750 per academic year (full-time students). There are no longer set deadlines for RTSG, claims will be processed as they come in throughout the year.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, applications for non-travel related RTSG claims, or UK based travel only, can be submitted at this time.
Overseas Institutional Visits (OIV)
We encourage students to spend a period of time abroad to take advantage of a wide range of opportunities, enhance employability, and reflect on the impact of the PhD project. Visits must be beneficial to the completion of the PhD. The allowance represents a paid extension to your course of study for a visit, language training, attendance at relevant seminars or for research specific training, networking etc. not available in the UK.
You will be funded for a maximum of 4 weeks and the cost of the trip can exceed no more than £3,000. Examples of appropriate activities are:
- Draft a peer-reviewed publication;
- Undertake additional specialist research training not available in the UK;
- Establish research links that will be beneficial to current of future academic career;
- Disseminate early research findings and interpretation with experts;
- Attend and participate in expert seminars where directly relevant to the student’s research.
We acknowledge the commitments or barriers faced by students, and welcome hybrid or virtual applications as well as in-person visits.
Due to the limited nature of the OIV funding stream, the application process runs as a competition and is only available to ESRC-funded students. Candidates are advised to read the application requirements carefully. Applications must be made at least three months in advance of the date of the visit, and applications forms must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. They must include a supporting statement from their supervisors and host institution. There are two application windows per academic year.
I met people and visited organisations that made me fizz with excitement, filled my head with ideas and intellectual connections, and filled my address book with names. – Hazel Booth, final year PhD student, Canada.
Full application guidance, including the application form, can be located within the SGSSS Student Handbook.
Application Deadlines for 2022/23
13 October 2022 (now passed) and 13 April 2023
Overseas Fieldwork (OFW) and Difficult Language Training (DLT)
An additional allowance is available for ESRC-funded students who will undertake overseas fieldwork, and/or those who require an extension to undertake difficult language training, in order to complete their studies. In both cases, this should have been outlined in your original research proposal and/or application. Please note, there are no set application deadlines for OFW and DLT, as claims will be processed as they come in throughout the academic year.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will only award funding to those students who meet a strict set of criteria. For details, please see Q2.1 within the ‘Training and Travel Funds’ section of our COVID-19 FAQs here. Furthermore, as part of the SGSSS COVID-19 extensions process, students were asked to consider a Plan B (mitigation plan) where it looked like OFW would not be possible. With this in mind, we are not expecting applications for OFW where an extension has been granted on the basis of a revision to the proposed research.
Should you wish to submit an OFW or DLT application, please download these on the right, submitting them to email@example.com for review. As a reminder, you must apply for OFW and/or DLT at least three months in advance of your intended travel dates.
ESRC Student-led Internships
SGSSS offers PhD researchers the opportunity to apply for funding for an internship with an organisation of your choice.
The internship would need to last for 3 months (full-time) or 6 months (part-time). Applicants need to identify the partner organisation they would like to work with, collaborate on a project proposal, and then submit this proposal to the SGSSS.
This scheme is a great opportunity to build networks with an organisation of your choosing. The process of applying for the internship will also provide experience of pitching for funding with a collaborative partner.
Throughout the internship, PhD researchers received a stipend equivalent to UKRI doctoral stipend levels. The SGSSS also supports PhD researchers with up to £2,400 expenses.
To find out more about this scheme, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org