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ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership for Social Sciences


The Cambridge ESRC DTP has been recognised as a leading outlet of social science graduate training and will support a minimum of 33 promising students each year from 2017-2022. For the last two years we have managed to increase that to 41 with match-funding.

Match-funding of Knowledge exchange studentships (KES) is a very popular and rewarding engagement for partners as they are expected to contribute only up to a maximum of 50% of the total costs of the studentship. This provides partners with the opportunity to create high quality PhD studentships undertaking cutting-edge research relevant to their priorities and objectives.

KES Proposal and Application Process

Knowledge exchange projects must align with ESRC criteria for collaboration, demonstrating substantial non-academic user engagement; collaboration itself can take many forms but must provide practical experience of working with non-academic partners to enable students to develop broad professional and managerial skills.

The next call for external partners wishing to host a KES studentship will be June 2020. 

Up to 5 Knowledge Exchange Studentships will be available in 2020. A contribution towards costs is expected from the collaborative partner, up to a maximum of 50% of the total costs of the studentship (approx. £36k for a 3-year studentship). Partners may also contribute in-kind support including access to materials, logistics, field support etc

Examples of Previous Knowledge Exchange Studentships

KES can be designed both for new applicants and for current students, i.e. it is not necessary for the collaboration to be integrated into the full three years. Some external organisations may prefer to collaborate with students with a certain level of prior training. Proposals should make clear the level of collaboration involved and whether this will be integrated into the studentship from the outset, or rear-loaded, or sandwiched.

For further information please contact the .