South West Doctoral Training Partnership


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 is Friday 13 January 2023 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 £17,668 stipend per annum, plus UK 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 Biosciences, Social Science Research Group, Psychological Sciences Research Group and Centre for Public Health and Wellbeing. 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.


In order to receive ESRC studentship funding you must have qualifications/experience equal to the standard of a good honours degree at 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.

The full award does not cover the difference between the UK rate and the international fees set by universities, so UWE Bristol will cover the difference in these fees for successful candidates.

Please ensure that you read the SWDTP eligibility criteria carefully before submitting your application. For more information on SWDTP entry and collaboration requirements, please read the Admission statement and frequently asked questions (PDF) for 2022 entry.

View SWDTP eligibility criteria

How to apply

Closing date

The closing date for application is 12:00 (noon) GMT Friday 13 January 2023. 1+3 studentships will start in September 2023 and +3 studentships will start on 1 October 2023.

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

Follow the steps to apply for a PhD at UWE Bristol. Please use the following references when applying:

  • Health and Wellbeing 2324-OCT-HSS-SWDTP
  • Sustainable Futures 2324-OCT-CATE-SWDTP

You will complete the UWE Bristol application form and include the following documentation in order for us to consider your application to a PhD as well as SWDTP funding:

Please note:

  • 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 interviews will be held online.

Interviews for shortlisted applicants will take place in the week commencing Monday 27 February 2023. Interviews will take place online via Zoom.

You may also be interested in