SGSSS STUDENT-LED OPEN COMPETITION 2023/24
The 2022/23 competition will open for applications at midday (BST) on 3 October 2022
The 2023/24 competition is now open for applications.
Deadline for references and applications is 6 p.m. on 1 December 2023.
The Scottish Graduate School of Social Science is delighted to announce the launch of the SGSSS Student-led Open Competition 2023/24
Prospective students looking to apply for ESRC studentship funding to undertake a PhD research project of their own design (starting in October 2024) are invited to submit an application by the deadline of 6 pm (GMT) on 1 December 2023.
To ensure you have the best chance of success, please review the Open Competition Guidance for Students in advance of submitting an application.
As per our guidance, please note, applications will be anonymised for reviewers and as such all documents you upload as part
of your application MUST BE REDACTED, i.e., any documents you upload as part of your application must
not contain your name and/or any identifiable information.
Here is a quick guide to the anonymisation of your application materials.
To ensure you are aware of important Competition dates and deadlines, please review the Open Competition Timeline. N.B. institutions may have their own earlier internal deadlines. As such, please check this with the institution of your choice in advance.
Please Note: Prospective students should read the student eligibility guidance carefully before submitting a proposal.
Competition Guidance 2023/24
Webinar & Drop-In Session – Starting Your Journey Towards a PhD: First Steps in the Application Process
On 26 October SGSSS hosted a Q&A overview session of the studentship opportunities available.
A copy of the presentation is available for download, here.
As part of the assessment of applicants, SGSSS are very interested in you as a whole person. What this means is that rather than solely looking at your academic achievements (for example, it is not necessary to have a first-class degree to be assessed as an excellent PhD student and to receive funding), we will consider what you can bring to a PhD through your work and life experiences too (including challenges and resilience). We want you to be able to demonstrate and articulate your potential to undertake and complete a PhD, to flourish as a result of PhD funding and to be a proactive contributor to a positive research culture. As part of your application you will be asked to tell us about your preparedness to undertake and complete a PhD and to flourish as a result of PhD funding and how you will contribute to a positive and diverse PhD community.
For further details on how applications will be assessed using a ‘whole person approach’, please see the SGSSS Studentship Marking Framework (see “Competition Guidance 2023/24”). Please note, applications will be anonymised when reviewed.
SGSSS students come from all walks of life and all types of backgrounds. Click here to view some short videos where some of our current and past PhD students share their PhD stories and advice, which we hope you will find helpful.
New from 2022/23, Scotland’s two national graduate schools, SGSAH (Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities) and SGSSS, are delighted to be working in partnership with the Stuart Hall Foundation to offer up to six Stuart Hall Fellowships starting in October 2024.
Both SGSAH and SGSSS are committed to the public function of education and to addressing the barriers which exist to accessing higher education. The Fellowships, inspired by the life and work of Professor Stuart Hall and his research legacy in the areas of race, ethnicity, cultural and structural inequalities, will be used to provide opportunities for students from non-traditional and disadvantaged backgrounds.
Applications for these Fellowships are sought from UK candidates from non-traditional or disadvantaged backgrounds who are under-represented at graduate level in the Arts and Humanities and the Social Sciences in Scotland, and with a preference for those whose planned research aligns broadly with one of Stuart Hall’s many areas of interest: cultural studies, race, ethnicity and inequalities. Each Graduate School will award up to three Stuart Hall Foundation Fellowships, which will be attached to funded studentships (covering fees, stipend and a research training grant). The Fellowship can be held within disciplines across the social sciences, arts and humanities at selected Scottish HEIs (Higher Education Institute) which form part of the relevant Graduate School.
Recipients of these Fellowships will benefit from access to the Stuart Hall Foundation Scholars and Fellows network programme, which includes regular events and opportunities to develop their career and research profile.
If you would like to be considered for this opportunity, please indicate so within your application (there is a specific question relating to these Fellowships within the online application form, located via SGSSS Apply).
From 2024 our training pathways will be organised around a set of key societal challenges. These challenges were developed so that they represent the kinds of social science research that our students do and to reflect the themes of the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
To read more about the challenge-led pathways, visit this page.