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ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership for Social Sciences


Applicants should read the ESRC Call Specification and FAQs carefully before starting their application online.  The most common queries are answered in the documentation.

Online Application Form

The national ESRC deadline for applications to be submitted to DTPs for review is 16:00 on 23 March 2023.

Departments may have internal deadlines earlier than this date.  You should contact your chosen department directly to check whether this is the case.

Fully completed applications submitted with all required supporting documentation will be reviewed by Cambridge ESRC DTP Management Executive Group, who will then allocate seven fellowships, to commence 1 October 2023.

The DTP Management Executive Group has responsibility for selecting the best candidates for the Fellowships. Candidates will be advised that they have been selected to proceed, and will then be responsible for completing a formal application to ESRC via the online JeS application system.

The formal application will go via the chosen home Department, who will manage the award and associated contractual matters. 

For queries not covered by the Call Spec or FAQs, please email

Fellowship proposal

Fellows’ actual programmes or proposed programme of activities should reflect their prior knowledge and experience and be designed to support their longer-term research career aspirations. Activities could include but are not limited to:

  • producing publications in order to help establish track record
  • engaging with a range of different audiences to communicate research findings
  • building networks to develop impact opportunities and inform and support further development
  • collaborating with users through an internship or placement to help develop professional and transferrable skills and understanding of users’ organisations, provided they are an integral part of the fellowship
  • further training to improve research and related skills
  • developing funding proposals
  • carrying out further limited research (up to 25% of the programme of work) related to their PhD
  • teaching, if this is aligned with the wider purposes of the fellowship (up to a maximum of six hours per week)
  • research visits to internationally leading research organisations, either in the UK or abroad, for the purposes of research collaboration, training, and access to data or other resources not available at the applicant’s host organisation.

Documents to provide with application

The following documents must be uploaded in order for your application to be considered:

  • ESRC DTP Form outlining objectives, summary, beneficiaries, ethical information and resources required (please use pro forma provided HERE)
  • Case for support (maximum six sides of A4) 
  • Justification of resources (maximum of two sides of A4)
  • CV (maximum two sides of A4)
  • Head of Department statement (maximum one side of A4)
  • Mentor statement and summary CV combined (maximum two sides of A4)
  • Referee statement (maximum two sides of A4)
  • Workplan (maximum two sides of A4)
  • List of publications (where cited in the proposal)
  • Data management plan – mandatory where new datasets will be generated as part of the fellowship (maximum three sides of A4)

Please refer to the call specification for more details on what is required within each of these attachments.

Additional information on documents to be provided

All documents must be in Arial font or other regular san-serif and size 11 or larger.

Statement of commitment and support from the relevant Head of Department

This should cover the following points:
  • Assessment of research potential based on work and publication to date;
  • Confirmation of mentor capacity and support;
  • Comments on the appropriateness of proposed research area/activities;
  • Broader support to be offered to the Fellow, e.g. seminars, social activities, research affiliation and space.


  • This must show your viva voce pass date or scheduled viva voce date

Mentor statement and CV

  • A combined statement and CV is required;
  • Mentor statement should not just be a general reference or personal statement from the mentor;
  • The statement should articulate the proposed mentoring arrangements clearly.


  • Workplans should include a breakdown of time allocated to each activity particularly where applicants are proposing significant amounts of new research.

Data Management Plan

  • Mandatory where new datasets will be generated as part of the fellowship.  Data management plans should be fully detailed.

Summary of resources

  • In order to compile the financial information required, an X5 should be utilised, so please be aware that this will require the support of Departmental Research Grants Administrators.
  • Please note that the X5 should be left in draft state and should not be submitted into workflow at this stage; only successful applicants will be asked to submit their X5.