Sgoil Cheumnaichean Saidheans Sòisealta na h-Alba


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 Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGSSS) is committed to providing high quality pathway training (PT) in research methods to our postgraduate students. 

The Pathway Training Fund (PTF) supports the delivery of advanced and specialist training events in addition to the above, where pathway/colleagues can make an argument that their event offers something new and useful. The PTF can be used to cover travel, accommodation and the related logistical costs involved in running Pathway Training events. The PTF aims to deliver the highest quality advanced training to postgraduate students in Scotland through producing a year-round calendar of events. The fund is not to be used for core training delivered through Masters level modules, or to provide standard training that higher education institutions deliver to PhD students.

The application process for pathway training is open to all colleagues, and we ask that applicants apply via the SGSSS CRM platform, GradHub. It is advised that when applicants apply they notify pathway convenors, hub leads and their own institutional award administrators.

The normal maximum amount that can be applied for will be £2,500. On the PT application form, we require a breakdown of how the requested funds will be used. There is no cap on the number of applications that can be submitted by a pathway although a high-quality threshold will be applied to all requests. For events that actively involve more than one pathway in the planning and delivery of the event, aim to attract students from a range of disciplines, and include more than 30 students attending from the SGSSS, the maximum funding limit has been raised to £3,500.

We will only accept PTF applications where the event is due to run more than 2 months after the proposal submission date.

Please carefully review the guidance provided and upload complete application forms via GradHub.

Student-Led Training Fund (SLTF)

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, the SLTF application process is currently suspended. Please check back at the beginning of May 2020 for an update. Should you have any queries in the interim, please contact us on 

The Student-Led Training Fund is a 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 & management skills. As there is a full calendar of training opportunities, this fund is expected to be used to host invited speakers/develop Masterclass training. However, students’ ideas beyond this are welcomed.

Student(s) 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 is an annual budget of £5,000 for student-led training, of which students can apply for up to £500 per training event. In addition to this funding, SGSSS will reimburse student travel where the event is more than 30 miles from their home institution, from additional SGSSS funds available.

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

Applications are to be submitted via email to

Deadlines for 2020/21

7 May 2020 and 3 December 2020

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).​