ESRC studentships


Human Geography: ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship: A collaboration between Aberystwyth, Cardiff and Swansea Universities

Closing date: 12 noon on 3rd February 2020.


Key Information

Start date: 1 October 2020 (available to start in October 2020)

The Human Geography pathway of the ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership for Wales (Wales DTP) invites applications for PhD study, with the possibility of being awarded a fully-funded ESRC PhD studentship, available to start in October 2020 at Aberystwyth, Cardiff or Swansea University.

We welcome applications for both full and part-time study, and studentships are available as either ‘1+3’ (i.e. one full time year of research training Masters followed by three years of full-time doctoral study, or the part-time equivalent), or ‘+3’ (i.e. three years of full-time doctoral study or its part-time equivalent), depending on the needs of the applicant. Each institution values diversity and equality at all levels and encourages applications from all sections of the community.



These studentships are ‘open’ awards. Applicants should consider approaching a potential supervisor before submitting their application to confirm that there is appropriate supervisory capacity within the chosen university and to discuss their draft application. Information on the research interests of staff can be found on your chosen university’s webpages, and you may wish to explore opportunities for co-supervision between institutions. A short description of the accredited Human Geography pathway is available on the ESRC Wales DTP website. The pathway contact at each of the universities may be able to advise you. They are: 

Aberystwyth University (Dr Gareth Hoskins)

Cardiff University (Professor Mark Jayne)

Swansea University (Dr Angharad Closs-Stephens)



ESRC studentships are highly competitive. Candidates should have an excellent background in the social sciences, holding a 1st or strong upper 2nd class degree; applications from those also holding a relevant research training Master's degree (or an equivalent background in research training) will be considered for a ‘+3’ award. 

Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open to UK Nationals and EU students who can satisfy UK residency requirements. 

Full-time ESRC studentship award holders cannot hold either a full-time job, or a permanent part-time job, during the period of their award. Part-time ESRC studentship award holders cannot hold a full-time job.



Studentship awards commence in October 2020 and will cover your tuition fees as well as a maintenance grant and includes access to an additional Research Training Support Grant (RTSG). There are other opportunities and benefits available to studentship holders, including an overseas fieldwork allowance (if applicable), internship opportunities, oversea institutional visits and other small grants.

A ‘1+3’ studentship provides funding for four years (or part-time equivalent), completing a research training Master's in the 1st year, followed by 3 years research funding for a PhD. A ‘+3’ studentship provides funding for the three years PhD research study only (or part-time equivalent). 


How to Apply

To apply, please complete and return the following documents:

Covering letter: Please address to Dr Angharad Closs-Stephens. The covering letter must set out your reasons and motivation for applying to study at your chosen university, and the Human Geography pathway; your understanding, and expectations of doctoral study; and your academic interests generally, and particularly of those relating to your proposed research. The covering letter should be no more than two pages. Please specify whether you wish to apply on a ‘+3’ or ‘1+3’ basis. Remember also to specify that your application concerns ESRC Wales DTP studentships and include in your application the name(s) of your prospective supervisor(s).

Academic / professional qualifications: Where appropriate, this should also include proof of English Language Competency (7.0 IELTS minimum).

References: All applications require two academic references to be submitted in support. Candidates must approach referees themselves, and submit the references with their application.

Curriculum Vitae: It should be no longer than two pages.

Research Proposal: The proposal should be up to a maximum of 1000 words, not including bibliographic references. We suggest that you use the following five headings in your research proposal:

Title, aims and purpose of the research;

Brief overview of the academic literature relevant to your field;

Proposed design / methods;

Academic contributions of your research;

Bibliographic references.

*Please note that incomplete applications or applications received after the specified time will not be accepted. 

Aberystwyth University, Department of Geography and Earth Sciences: please apply for a place via   

Cardiff University, School of Geography and Planning: please apply for a place via  

Swansea University, College of Science: please submit your completed application documents to


The deadline for applications is 12 pm 3 February 2020

Short-listed applicants will be invited to interview; interviews are expected to take place in March 2020. After interview, a final shortlist of applicants will be put forward to a Panel convened by the ESRC Wales DTP Management Group at which final decisions with regard to studentship awards will be made. In most cases, successful applicants can expect to hear by mid-April 2020. 

Informal enquiries about these studentships are welcome, and should be directed to Dr Gareth Hoskins (Aberystwyth University,, Professor Mark Jayne (Cardiff University, or Dr Angharad Closs-Stephens (Swansea University, ).