We welcome applications from students interested in joining us on a PhD (3 year) or a Masters by Research and PhD (1+3 year) programme.

Key Information
Deadline The deadline for this scholarship has now passed
This award covers the cost of UK or Overseas tuition fees plus a generous stipend
Must meet ESRC residency requirement
Contact Email Email Admissions Team

Project Background

The University of Edinburgh is part of a consortium of 16 universities in Scotland awarded funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to support postgraduate studentships and training in the Social Sciences in Scotland. Under this Doctoral Training Partnership, run by the Scottish Graduate School of Social Sciences (SGSSS) the consortium will consider applications for doctoral studentship awards.

Our Business School research programmes are linked to the Business and Management Studies Unit of Assessment. We welcome applications from students who are interested in joining us on a PhD (3 year) or those interested in joining us on a Masters by Research + PhD (1+3 year) programme. We also welcome applications from current PhD students in their first year.

For more information about the Open Competition please visit the SGSSS website:

SGSSS ESRC Open Competition


Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Programme: All candidates must hold a conditional or unconditional offer onto one of our Doctoral programmes and expect to join in September 2024. While you can be awaiting an application outcome when applying for this scholarship only those with an offer can be considered. Therefore, please ensure all necessary documents have been uploaded to your programme application before the scholarship deadline.
  • Academic Standing: This normally requires a minimum qualification (or expected qualification if you are a current Masters student) of above-average academic achievement, typically 65% or above overall at the Masters level, with a distinction-level dissertation.
  • English Competency: You must meet the English requirements for our PhD programmes. The most commonly approved certificate is an IELTS, for which the minimum accepted score is 7.0 overall with at least 6.0 in each section.

Please note that awards will be split between UK and Overseas applicants. To understand if your application will be considered either UK or Overseas please check out the SGSSS residential criteria website.

Application Deadline

  • Stage 1 (Programme Application): 23:59 GMT, 23 November 2023
  • Stage 2 (SGSSS Application): 17:00 GMT, 1 December 2023


This award covers the cost of UK or Overseas tuition fees plus a generous stipend.

How to Apply

To be considered, candidates must submit both a programme application (Stage 1) and apply to the SGSSS GradHub (Stage 2). We strongly recommend contacting the United of Assessment Lead Angelica Gonzalez or the Admissions Team at phd@business-school.ed.ac.uk before formally applying.

The application process has two stages, and both stages must be completed in order to be considered for ESRC funding.

Stage One

Applicants interested in 1+3.5 funding (MScR plus PhD SGSSS funding) must apply online to the MScR Management programme by 23:59 GMT on 23 November 2023. Please note that if awarded the SGSSS funding, successful applicants will first take the MScR and then study on the 3 year PhD at the School and not the 4 year Integrated PhD.

Applicants interested in +3.5 funding (PhD funding) must submit a note of interest by completing this brief form before 23:59 GMT on 23 November 2023.
When the PhD application link is made live in the coming weeks, applicants will be asked to complete a full admission application for the 4 year PhD. Any SGSSS funding nomination will be subject to a conditional or unconditional admissions offer on the PhD.
Please note that if awarded the SGSSS funding, successful applicants will study a 3 year PhD at the School and not the 4 year Integrated PhD.

Current Year 1 PhD students in the School do not need to apply for admission and can move to Stage Two below. Please note that current year 1 students already in receipt of a PhD scholarship to the same level as the SGSSS award are not eligible for this competition.

Stage Two

Applicants must also make a funding application to the SGSSS before 17:00 GMT on 1 December 2023. Any queries about registering or logging in to the system can be directed to the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science.

Selection Process

The Open Competition includes three stages of review, with candidates updated after each stage until either you are awarded or your application is unsuccessful.

  1. University of Edinburgh Review: This is two-stage with a nomination needed from the Unit of Assessment lead and then selection by the University panel.
  2. Challenge Led Pathway Review: Pathway Representatives from each Institution will consider applications within their area, nominating up to six candidates in total.
  3. Global Review: An executive panel of University Deans and members of the SGSSS Directorate meet and make the final award decisions. The SGSSS aim to make up to 35 awards across its universities.

Award Announcement Date

The award decision will be communicated to applicants by May 2024.


Business and Management Unit of Assessment Lead, Dr Angelica Gonzalez

Postgraduate Research Admissions Team


University of Edinburgh Business School
29 Buccleuch Place