UCLan to receive PhD funding after joining North West consortium

8 November 2023

University among group of five universities in North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership to be awarded share of £20m ESRC-funding

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is set to get a share of £20 million to provide PhD scholarship funding after joining a prestigious North West partnership.

UCLan has become one of five universities in the North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP) who are receiving Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funding.

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 is led by the University of Liverpool and consists of the universities of Keele, Lancaster and Manchester and will be welcoming UCLan to the partnership for this next phase of activity, which begins in 2024.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for students and staff to access PhD scholarship funding through the ESRC’s North West Doctoral Training Partnership"

Professor Sarah Kingston, UCLan’s Institutional Lead for the NWSSDTP

The recommissioned NWSSDTP will be one of a network of 15 ESRC-accredited Doctoral Training Partnerships (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 Hayley Meloy, from the University of Liverpool, 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.”

"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"

NWSSDTP Manager Hayley Meloy

Professor Sarah Kingston, UCLan’s Institutional Lead for the NWSSDTP, commented: “This is a fantastic opportunity for students and staff to access PhD scholarship funding through the ESRC’s North West Doctoral Training Partnership.

“UCLan will be joining the DTP for the first time as one of the partner universities, and will be able to offer the opportunity for applicants to apply through four key pathways: criminology, social policy & social work; socio-legal studies; sociology; and psychology.”

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 UCLan from 2024 brings additional capability to the NWSSDTP through their long-established collaborations with practitioners and local communities across the North West 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, 8 November, with further details available on the NWSSDTP website.

Discover more

  • Postgraduate research

    We offer a vibrant and world-class research environment, matched by excellent facilities, comprehensive research support and award-winning training opportunities.

  • Types of research degrees

    Read our guide to postgraduate research degrees and choose the research degree that's right for you.

  • Research

    We have a growing and vibrant community of innovative academics who nurture our postgraduate students and early-career researchers, producing high quality international and world-leading research that addresses today’s challenges.