The Wales DTP awards over 50 ESRC studentships annually across 20 accredited pathways. A studentship usually covers academic fees and a maintenance grant. There are also further funds to support specific activities.

A masters is not a prerequisite for studying at the Wales DTP. A range of training programmes are available based on an assessment of the applicant’s prior learning and training needs. All studentships are offered on a full or part time basis.

Types of Studentship

All studentships are available as either a 1+3 or +3 award (or, in the case of some Economics studentships, 1+1+2 or +1+2) dependent on the needs of the successful candidate.

  • 1+3 awards: Funding is provided to complete a research training master’s degree (one year) and then study a PhD (three years). If you hold or are just completing an undergraduate degree and wish to study for a PhD this award would be suitable.
  • +3 awards: Funding is provided to start a PhD directly. If you have achieved a level of research training that meets ESRC requirements and we are satisfied you are equipped with research skills of sufficient depth and breadth to start the PhD, this award may be suitable.
  • (1)+1+2 awards: Funding is provided for you to complete a second year’s research training and then move on to a shorter 2 year PhD. This currently applies to Economics provision at Cardiff University.

How to apply

The first step is to find out which universities within the Wales DTP offer research training in the field you want to work in. To find this out, browse through our pathways.

You will then apply for a PhD advertised either as “supported by the ESRC Wales DTP” or “with the possibility of being awarded a fully-funded ESRC DTP Studentship”. Apply through the institution at which the studentship is based. The closing deadline for applications will be 3 February 2021.

Short-listed applicants will be invited to interview. After interview, a final short-list of applicants will be put forward to the ESRC Wales DTP Doctoral Panel at which final decisions with regard to studentship awards will be made. Successful applicants can expect to hear by soon after.

Equality, diversity and inclusion

Historical structural inequalities in education have resulted in underrepresentation of some racial and ethnic communities in academia. The Wales DTP has taken action to begin addressing these issues through an initiative which permits pathways within the DTP to put forward up to four studentship nominations rather than three in its general studentship competition, provided that at least one of those applicants is of Black British, Asian British or minority ethnicity British background. The DTP values diversity and equality at all levels and encourages applications from all sections of the community, irrespective of age, disability, sex, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation. In line with our commitment to supporting and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, and to increase recruitment of currently underrepresented groups, applications from Black British, Asian British, minority ethnicity and mixed race British candidates are particularly encouraged and welcomed.

Further information about the DTP’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy is available on our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion page.


ESRC studentships are available to students who show through their academic qualifications and other achievements that they are well qualified to undertake doctoral research. A good undergraduate degree (First or Upper Second Class or equivalent) in a relevant discipline is important. Valuing excellence, we are striving to widen participation and welcome applications from students who have attended universities outside as well as within the ‘Russell Group’. Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open to UK Nationals and EU students who can satisfy UK residency requirements. To be eligible for the full award, EU Nationals must have been in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the course for which they are seeking funding, including for the purposes of full-time education. EU Nationals who do not meet the above residency requirement will typically be eligible for a fees-only award, provided that they have been ordinarily resident in the EU for at least 3 years prior to the start of their proposed programme of study. For more information on eligibility, including residency requirements, please see the ESRC guidelines.