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SeNSS Social Sciences Studentships – University of Reading

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  • Funding opportunities in the Social Sciences

SeNSS Social Sciences Studentships

ESRC-funded PhD studentships at Reading (2019)

The University of Reading is delighted to be part of the South East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS), a prestigious Doctoral Training Partnership funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. SeNSS will be offering a number of fully funded ESRC doctoral studentships to start in autumn 2019.

SeNSS scholarships include a Research Council rate stipend (currently £14,777 for 2018/19), tuition fees at the Home/EU rate and provide innovative and challenging world-class doctoral training in a dynamic, inter-disciplinary research environment. This includes a wide range of subject-specific, generic and advanced training tailored to your individual needs, as well as opportunities for overseas visits and fieldwork. As a SeNSS doctoral student, you will become part of a large cohort of fellow SeNSS students which will offer support and networking opportunities. Studentships are available as +3 (PhD) or four year awards (Master's and PhD) and on a full- or part-time basis.

** Competition now closed for 2019 entry **


Subject pathways

The University of Reading is offering ESRC SeNSS studentships in the subjects ('pathways') listed below. As a first step, you should discuss your proposed research plans and interests with the subject/pathway contacts below and/or with a prospective supervisor. Once you have done this and have an agreed supervisor, proceed through the application process, described further below. General queries can be sent to at any time.


1. Business and Management

Schools/Departments: Henley Business School. 
Pathway lead contact: Dr Gianluca Marcato,  
See Reading's research in this area.

2. Development Studies

Schools/Departments: School of Agriculture, Policy & Development; School of Politics, Economics and International Relations; Department of Geography and Environmental Science.
Pathway lead contact: Dr Sam Rawlings,
See some of Reading's research in this area. 

3. Economics

Schools/Departments: Department of Economics.
Pathway lead contact: Dr James Reade,  
See Reading's research and supervisors in this area. 

4. Education

Schools/Departments: Institute of Education.
Pathway lead contact: Dr Daisy Powell,
See Reading's research and supervisors in this area here and here.

5. Human Geography

Schools/Departments: Department of Real Estate and Planning; School of the Built Environment; Department of Geography and Environmental Science.
Pathway lead contacts: Professor Kathy Pain,; Dr Richard Nunes,
Reading's research and supervisors in this area:
Real Estate and Planning research and supervisors
Built Environment Research Division
Supervisors in Architecture
Supervisors in Construction Management and Engineering 

6. Linguistics

Schools/Departments: Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics; School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences.
Pathway lead contacts: Dr Ian Cunnings, ; Dr Jacqueline Laws,
See some examples of Reading's research and supervisors in this area below:
Centre for Literacy and Multilingualism
Psycholinguistics Lab
Supervisors in the Department of English language and Applied Linguistics
Supervisors in the School of Psychology and Clinical Language
Research in Language, Literacy and Education

7. Politics and International Studies

Schools/Departments: School of Politics and International Relations
Pathway lead contact: Dr Rob Jubb,
See Reading's research in this area.

8. Psychology

Schools/Departments: School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences
Pathway lead contact: Dr Julia Vogt,
See Reading's  research and supervisors  in this area.

9. Socio-Legal Studies

Schools/Departments: School of Law
Pathway lead contact: Dr Charlotte Smith,  
See Reading's research and supervisors in this area.

How to apply

1. Contact a pathway lead. First make contact with a pathway lead in order to identify an appropriate supervisor.  Contacts are listed above.  You will need to be in regular contact with your prospective supervisor to progress your application.

2. Register your interest. Once you have identified a potential supervisor, either you or your supervisor should send an expression of interest to in the form of a brief email stating your full name, the supervisory team and a project title or area.  Further application details and paperwork will be provided once you have registered interest. We are encouraging candidates to express an interest as early as possible in the autumn term.

3. Develop your research proposal.  Develop your application and research proposal. In this competition, research proposals must be the work of the student applying, however your supervisor will review drafts of your research proposal and application, making suggestions for their development as appropriate.  

4. Apply for a place of admission by 14 December 2018. It is very important that you apply for a place of admission on your chosen PhD programme at Reading as soon as possible to enable time for application processing and interview. If you are uncertain of the correct PhD programme, discuss this with your prospective supervisor. An application for admission is a separate process to your application for SeNSS funding and is best completed as early as possible. The online application process will request a research proposal be uploaded; this need not be the final version developed with your prospective supervisor and you may upload an earlier version of the proposal with a note that you are developing it for application to SeNSS.  In the 'scholarship applied for' box, write 'SeNSS'.

6. Apply for SeNSS funding by 20th January 2019. When you have expressed an interest and have been paired with a supervisor,  you will receive instructions on submitting your application and supporting documents to an online platform called FluidReview for shortlisting.  candidates shortlisted by the University of Reading will then be considered by a selection panel at which all universities in the SeNSS consortium are represented (see about SeNSS).

7. Results. Results will be announced by SeNSS in Spring 2019.

Eligibility Criteria

In order to receive ESRC studentship funding you must meet the eligibility criteria set out by the ESRC; see SeNSS eligibility criteria  for further information.  Individual departments can advise about the English language requirements for your chosen PhD programme.

Enquiries may be sent to

 Postdoctoral Fellowships

SeNSS are inviting applications for 6 ESRC-funded Postdoctoral Fellowships which will start in October 2019. The fellowships are aimed at providing a career development opportunity for those in the immediately postdoctoral stage of their career to provide the opportunity to consolidate their PhD through developing publications, their networks, and their research and professional skills.

The postdoctoral call is open to applicants who have completed their PhD at a research organisation that is part of an ESRC DTP or CDT and who are within 12 months of completing their PhD. At the submission deadline, the applicant must either have been awarded a PhD or have submitted their thesis and passed their viva voce with minor corrections, with the expectation that the PhD will be awarded by the fellowship start date. The grants provide funding for up to one year full-time, or up to two years part-time and cover the fellow's salary costs, indirect and estates costs and up to £10,000 of other costs (e.g. mentoring, T&S, conference attendance, training and fieldwork).

There is a two stage process for the scheme this year - an Expression of Interest stage and an invitation-only Full Stage. All applicants must complete an initial Expression of Interest and successful applicants will be invited to submit a full application. If you are interested in applying for an ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Reading please contact Sally Caldwell ( as soon as possible .  The internal deadline for completed Expressions of Interest is 14th January 2019.

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