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SGSSS is committed to supporting students’ training and development throughout their PhD journey.

Training is available all year round and is led by outcomes of the Training Needs Analysis (TNA) process. SGSSS builds on the training provided by our partner HEIs and delivers advanced training where the TNAs identify training needs, which would be of benefit to other PhD students across Scotland. We draw on the expertise at our partner HEIs or bring in external specialists where this is required.

Training also supports and facilitates cohort development, interdisciplinarity, and knowledge exchange and impact through monthly training events across Scotland, the summer school programme and pathway hub activities.

Funds are directed towards several key areas, which cover Advanced Training, Student-led Training, Spring into Methods, Working with Business, Pathway-specific training and the prestigious SGSSS Summer School.

Pathway Training Fund (PTF)

The PTF application process is currently under review. Please check back at the beginning of July 2020 for an update. Should you have any queries in the interim, please contact us on

The Pathway Training Fund (PTF) is designed to support the delivery of advanced and specialist disciplinary training for PhD students across Scotland.

Pathways and/or colleagues are asked to make an argument that their event would offer something new and useful. Training should be advanced when compared to the core training received at Masters level, both in terms of research methods and substantive content.

Covid-19 Disruption
Due to the uncertainty around face-to-face training, for the next PTF round, we are seeking training that is delivered online. Rather than providing funding to cover catering, travel etc., we will look to pay for costs associated with online events, e.g. an online facilitator fee; the digitisation of training materials or the fee for PhD students to deliver an online session (preferably recorded).


The overall fund is £20,000 per year, which will be split across our three Hubs. The typical maximum amount that can be applied for per training event is £2,500.

Pathway Reps/colleagues should submit an application to their Pathway Convenor (via email). Pathway Convenors along with the relevant Hub Lead will then decide on which applications go forward for review by the SGSSS Directorate. For details on which pathways fall under each Hub, please click here.

Should you have any queries, please email

Deadline for 2020/21

31 July 2020 (for events running between mid-September and 31 July 2021)

Student-Led Training Fund (SLTF)

The Student-Led Training Fund is an SGSSS training initiative open to all social science PhD students, regardless of funding (as well as ESRC-funded students currently in their Master’s year of a 1+3 award), studying in Scotland.

As well as allowing students to lead on deciding what events they would most value, student-organisers will gain leadership and management skills, all while delivering the highest quality advanced training.

Covid-19 Disruption
Due to the uncertainty around face-to-face training, for the next SLTF round, we are seeking training that is delivered online, and are particularly interested in training that promotes digital data collection and analysis. Rather than providing funding to cover catering, travel etc., we will pay students a fee for their design and delivery of the session.

The overall fund is £5,000 per year. Each student preparing and delivering the learning materials for an event will be paid £250 for their overall contribution to a half day event and £500 for a full day event. No more than two students can contribute to a single event, therefore events should cost between £250 and £1,000. 

Students are expected to lead on applications, however support from your Dean of Graduate Studies is also required to ensure you have backing from your institution.

There are two calls for applications per year, for events to take place between August 2020 and July 2021 (inclusive).

Applications are to be submitted via email to

Deadlines for 2020/21

19 June 2020 (for events running between 1 August and 23 December 2020)

18 November 2020 (for events running between 5 January and 31 July 2021)

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 International Visits (OIV), Overseas Fieldwork (OFW) and Difficult Language Training (DLT) funding strands, alongside the Research Training Support Grant (RTSG).​