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Prospective Students

Cambridge ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership

We are delighted that you are interested in applying for a Cambridge ESRC DTP Studentship.

The DTP is offering at least 33 studentships available for admission in October 2020, in the following broad social science areas of enquiry:

  • Sustainability, prosperity and wellbeing
  • Inequality, equity, justice and economic growth
  • Conflict, culture, mobility and development
  • Emerging technologies, human behaviour and productivity
  • Cognition, behaviour, language and learning

You can find out more about each of these clusters here.

DTP students will identify a project aligned with one or more of these broad themes and will pursue this through a base in one of our DTP Departments, but students will also have close ties to academics and other students working within these broad areas of enquiry.  We are particularly keen to attract students who have cross-disciplinary interests and interest in doing research with non-academic collaborators.

DTP students will acquire a unique set of skills that will equip them for high-profile careers as leading social scientists, in academia or in other government, industrial, commercial and third sector organisations either in the UK or elsewhere.

If you have sufficient prior training, e.g. a Master’s qualification and/or advanced training in social scientific methods, you may be able to start a three-year doctoral programme straight away (3 years in total); alternatively, you may be encouraged to complete a Master’s programme first, before moving on to your doctorate (4 years in total). You can also study for your doctorate part time. Whatever your level of prior training, the DTP will offer additional opportunities to enhance your methodological and professional skills base. 


A full DTP studentship will cover fees and provide £15,009 p.a. in living costs (current rates). DTP students also receive a personal allowance for additional training costs, and can apply for further funding to pursue fieldwork, academic exchange, and collaboration with non-academic organisations.

Am I eligible?

Cambridge ESRC DTP studentships are currently open to students who meet UK or EU residential criteria and the required academic conditions. Full studentships are open only to those meeting certain residency requirements. You can find out more here: 

Whether or not you are eligible for a Cambridge ESRC DTP Studentship, you may be eligible for other funding offered by the University of Cambridge. You can find out more at:


What to do next

If you are interested in applying, please contact one of our DTP Departments to discuss your interest in a PhD studentship and to find out more about the supervision and training on offer.

How do I apply?

All DTP applicants follow the University’s standard admission process. Applications for 2020 admission will open in September 2019.

  • Please visit the Graduate Funding Competition page to find out more (including application deadlines).  
  • You can apply for admission and funding opportunities (including Cambridge ESRC DTP Studentships) via the Graduate Admissions Portal. When making your application please ensure you indicate that you wish to be considered for funding.

When will I hear whether I've been offered a Cambridge ESRC DTP studentship?

If you have been offered a Cambridge ESRC DTP studentship the Department you applied to will let you know in early March.


 ** The deadline for applicants wishing to be considered for ESRC funding for the academic year 2019/20 has now passed.  However, the University has a search engine that can show other potential sources of funding: **