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Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC)

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Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC)

ESRC funding for 2020/21

Royal Holloway offers ESRC postgraduate studentships through SeNSS (South-east Network for Social Sciences), a Doctoral Training Partnership of ten universities. 

Information on the SeNSS application process is available on the SeNSS website. For October 2020 entry, you must complete a Royal Holloway College application to study for a research degree AND notify the relevant academic department that you wish to be considered for SeNSS scholarship by the 14th January 2020.

You can apply for funding to study for a masters and PhD (1+3 award) or a PhD alone (+3).  All studentships can be offered on a full or part-time basis. SeNSS studentships include a Research Council maintenance grant of £16,777 (2018/19) and cover tuition fees at the home/EU rate.

ESRC pathways at Royal Holloway

Below is a list of all the ESRC accredited pathways at Royal Holloway, with the relevant academic lead.


Academic lead 

Email address

Phone number


Dr Ija Trapeznikova

+44 (0)1784 414003

Development Studies

Dr Vandana Desai

+44 (0)1784 443650

Human Geography

Dr Innes Keighren

+44 (0)1784 443722


Dr Philip Wu

+44 (0)1784 276287


Dr Kaat Smets

+44 (0)1784 414255


Dr Dawn Watling

+44 (0)1784 443706

Eligibility for ESRC funding

Academic conditions

In order to receive ESRC studentship funding you must have qualifications/experience equal to the standard of a good honours degree at a first or upper second class level from a UK academic research organisation. Degree qualifications gained from outside the UK, or a combination of qualifications and/or experience that is equivalent to a relevant UK degree, may be accepted.

Residential conditions

To be eligible for a full award (stipend and fees), you must:

  • have settled status in the UK, meaning there are no restrictions on how long you can stay, AND
  • have been 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for three years prior to the start of the studentship grant. This means you must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences), AND not have been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. This does not apply to UK and EU nationals.

To be eligible for a fees only award, you must:

  • be ordinarily resident in an EU member state, in the same way as UK students must be ordinarily resident in the UK.

Please note there are exceptions to the residential conditions for students applying in the fields of Economics.


ESRC funding at Royal Holloway is available only for the pathways listed on this page under 'Pathways'; research topics which do not fall under these areas are not eligible for ESRC funding.

Full details of eligibility are set out in the UKRI Grant Terms and Conditions and the ESRC Postgraduate Funding Guide and advice can be obtained from

You should firstly read the information for prospective students on the SeNSS website and then talk to your prospective supervisor about applying for an ESRC award.

The deadline for you to notify your Department that you wish to be considered for a SeNSS studentship is 14 January 2020. Please note that you will need to apply to Royal Holloway by 12:00 GMT on the 20 January 2020 to study for a research degree. Information on how to apply to Royal Holloway can be found on our Admissions pages.

If your supervisor, together with the relevant Pathway Lead, consider your application potentially suitable for SeNSS funding, you will be sent a link and access code in order to make an online application to SeNSS. This must be completed by the 4 February 2020.

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