The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is today announcing a new Doctoral Training Network which significantly widens access for postgraduates to ESRC funding across the UK.

The new Network consists of 14 Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) and two Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs).

The DTPs will provide training for students across a broad range of subjects. The DTPs replace the ESRC’s Doctoral Training Centres and cover a larger number of available institutions with an increase of 59 per cent, from 46 to 73.

From October 2017 students in locations stretching across the UK, including Northern Ireland for the first time, will benefit from being able to access the highest quality training in the social sciences, supplying the next generation of social science researchers with the skills, curiosity and creativity to be truly innovative.

The training focuses on providing skills such as:

  • working in interdisciplinary teams
  • communicating research ideas and findings clearly
  • working alongside international partners
  • being equipped to undertake high-quality analytical work
  • handling different forms of data
  • collaborating with others

The two new CDTs, with £2.2 million funding each, will provide training in focused thematic interdisciplinary areas:

  • Data stream:
    Centre for Doctoral Training in New Forms of Data
    University of Leeds in Partnership with Sheffield, Manchester and Liverpool; Director, Professor Mark Birkin.
    Twenty per cent of the studentships will be funded by a combination of private, public and voluntary sector collaborators. 
  • Biosocial:
    Social Biological Centre for Doctoral Training
    University College London in partnership with Manchester and Essex; Director, Professor Yvonne Kelly.
    The centre will be 50 per cent co-funded with the BBSRC.

The ESRC’s studentship budget will support 510 studentships each year, 494 through the DTPs and eight at each of the new centres. Ten per cent of the ESRC’s studentship budget – £4.7 million – has been used to enhance our support for early career researchers and will fund 50 Postdoctoral Fellowships annually through the DTPs.

Professor Jane Elliott, ESRC Chief Executive, said: "Our new Doctoral Training Network will assure our students’ futures as research leaders by providing them with valuable skills including capabilities in communication, project-management and collaboration within and beyond academia."