ESRC funding awarded to North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership

The North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP), led by the University of Liverpool, has announced that it has been recommissioned by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for a further five years of activity, commencing in 2024.

The NWSSDTP is a consortium of universities, which provides funding and training for postgraduate students in the social sciences. The partnership will receive more than £20 million in funding from the ESRC, equating to a minimum of 44 postgraduate studentships a year for the next five years across the constituent universities.

The current consortium consists of the universities of Keele, Lancaster, Liverpool and Manchester and will be welcoming the University of Central Lancashire to the partnership for this next phase of activity.

The recommissioned NWSSDTP will be one of a network of 15 ESRC-accredited DTPs across the United Kingdom, and will fund studentships across the spectrum of social science disciplines through 21 distinct disciplinary pathways while continuing to facilitate advanced methodological training provision through the Methods North West initiative.

The NWSSDTP Manager at  the University of Liverpool, Hayley Meoly said: “The five NWSSDTP institutions worked together very closely in assembling this bid for recommissioning and we are delighted with this outcome!

“In this next phase of activity, we will build on our 12 years’ experience in collaboratively supporting postgraduate researchers by expanding our Equity, Diversity and Inclusion activities, developing a large-scale Research in Practice placement scheme, and launching six Interdisciplinary Societal Challenge Themes to provide a broader range of training opportunities across the region.

“We are particularly excited to be welcoming UCLan to the partnership, further expanding the impact our funding and training provision has for social science researchers across the North West.”

Amardeep Legha from Keele University said “Receiving NWSSDTP funding has been highly beneficial to me all throughout my PhD. The methodological training budget allowed me to learn the skills necessary to perform my PhD research, and I’ve just returned from giving an oral presentation at a conference in India, which wouldn’t have been possible without NWSSDTP funding. In addition, the free training courses provided have been invaluable in aiding my thesis writing.”

The NWSSDTP was initially commissioned 2011-2016 (as the North West Doctoral Training Centre) and recommissioned 2017-2023, at which point Keele University joined the extant partnership of Lancaster, Liverpool and Manchester.

The inclusion of the University of Central Lancashire from 2024 brings additional capability to the NWSSDTP through their long-established collaborations with practitioners and local communities across the Northwest of England, a renowned reputation for their commitment to Widening Participation and innovation in EDI Policies, and a broadening of the DTP’s research profile in key areas of social science.

The next round of NWSSDTP studentship competitions, for candidates starting in October 2024, launched today, Wednesday 8 November, with further details available here.