South West Doctoral Training Partnership

Closed to applications.


We are delighted to announce the availability of Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded studentships as part of the South West Doctoral Training Partnership (SWDTP).

The closing date for applications was Tuesday 21 January 2020 at 12:00 (noon) GMT.

Studentship details

The South West Doctoral Training Partnership (SWDTP) is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to provide postgraduate research training in the social sciences.

UWE Bristol joined the SWDTP in 2016, bringing world-class research expertise to the Sustainable Futures and Health and Wellbeing pathways. Opportunities are available for research study in these pathways based in a number of our Research Centres and groups.

Our research is characterised by our partnerships with external organisations, and provides good opportunities for working collaboratively to undertake research that will make a real impact.

The ESRC SWDTP 1+3 (a one year Masters, plus three years funding for a PhD) or +3 (three years funding for a PhD only) studentships are available at UWE Bristol in the Sustainable Futures and Health and Wellbeing research pathways. These studentships cover a £15,009 stipend per annum, plus UK/EU tuition fees for eligible students.

Sustainable Futures pathway

For the Sustainable Futures pathway, relevant research at UWE Bristol is primarily located in the Centre For Transport and Society Research and the Centre for Sustainable Planning and Environments. There is also research in our WHO Collaborating Centre for Healthy Urban Environments that may be of interest.

Health and Wellbeing pathway

For the Health and Wellbeing pathway, relevant research at UWE Bristol is primarily located in the Centre for Appearance Research, Centre for Health and Clinical Research, Centre for Research in BiosciencesSocial Science Research Group, Psychological Sciences Research Group and Public Health and Wellbeing Research Group. There is also research in our Institute of Bio-Sensing Technology that may be of interest.

The ESRC SWDTP encourages collaboration across the Universities of the partnership, and with external organisations.


If you're wishing to undertake PhD study only (+3 awards), you must meet the ESRC criteria in terms of previous Masters level study.

European Union students may apply to any pathway, but in order to be eligible for a full scholarship (fees plus a maintenance grant), EU students must be able to provide evidence that they meet the ESRC's eligibility guidelines and have been settled and resident in the UK for at least three years prior to the start of their scholarships. EU students who are not able to provide evidence that they are settled in the UK will be eligible for a fees-only award.

Scholarships for international students are not available in the Sustainable Futures and Health and Wellbeing pathways.

How to apply

Closing date

The closing date for application is 12:00 (Noon) GMT Tuesday 21 January 2020.

  • 1+3 studentships will start in September 2020 and +3 studentships will start on 1 October 2020.

Initial enquiries

We strongly encourage you to discuss your proposed research topic with an academic staff member in your field, and the proposed supervisor will need to provide a supervisor's supporting statement as part of your application. You can explore the member lists of our research groups and centres or search staff profiles using subject-area search terms (eg robotics) or an individual's name.

If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, please contact us and we’ll try to put you in touch with the right people.

Applications with a strong collaborative focus are encouraged. Please see the ESRC website for collaboration guidance.

Application process

You will need to submit the following documentation to in order for us to consider your application:

  • Completed UWE Bristol SWDTP application form, which includes a 1,000-word Research Proposal.
  • Copies of your academic qualifications (both certificates and transcripts of module/course marks).
  • Two references (at least one should be an academic reference from the institution where you gained your highest degree).
  • Appropriate proof of English language proficiency
  • A copy of your proposed supervisor statement.
  • In addition to submitting your application to UWE Bristol, please also send an email to to confirm to which institution and pathway you have applied.
  • Please also complete the SWDTP equal opportunities form.

Please ensure that you read the SWDTP Guidance Notes and SWDTP eligibility criteria carefully before submitting your application to  

Your application will only be considered if it contains the above and you have met our minimum criteria. 

If you're considering overseas fieldwork, overseas institutional visits or difficult language training, you should also mention this in your application where possible.

If researchers in the appropriate pathway are interested in your research proposal, we will invite you to a formal interview for a more in-depth discussion about your application.


The information you provide as part of your application will be shared with other institutions in the partnership for purposes of shortlisting and interviewing. Please note that, as interviews are being held across the partnership, you may not be interviewed at the institution you are applying to.

Interviews for shortlisted applicants will take place from 2-6 March 2020.

  • Interviews for Sustainable Futures applicants will take place at UWE Bristol.
  • Interviews for Health and Wellbeing applicants will take place at Bath University.