School of Education

ESRC PhD studentships available for 2018 entry

The School of Education invites applications for PhD study within the Nottingham Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Midlands Graduate School Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP).

The school is a leading centre for research in education. We are interested in understanding 'what works' in education, and how we can improve educational practices and policy, but locate these concerns within a broader set of questions about 'what matters'. What is the role of education in contributing to a more fulfilling, richer and socially just quality of life both for individuals and society?

Studentship applications are invited in our areas of research specialism:

View more information and details of specific research projects for which we would particularly welcome applications.

Our PhD students are part of a friendly and well-supported research community. Through the DTP students have access to a world-class multidisciplinary environment in which social science research and those undertaking it can flourish. We provide dedicated support for academic research in social sciences with superb teaching, learning and lifestyle facilities.

Information about an ESRC award

An ESRC studentship will start on 1 October 2018, covers full PhD fees for all eligible students and provide a tax-free stipend (£14,553 pa in 2017/18) for home students. Applicants must provide evidence of significant and appropriate research training, normally through the attainment of a previous research methods masters qualification, in order to apply directly to the PhD programme (+3 route). Students without this would normally be funded for an MA before PhD (1+3 route).


  • ESRC Studentships are highly competitive and applicants to the Education pathway must have either a first class or upper second class Bachelor's Honours degree, normally from a UK academic research organisation.
  • The Education pathway is restricted to Home/EU students due to funding restrictions. View the ESRC residential requirements.

Application process

Stage 1: Find a supervisor

  • Identify a main supervisor for their research topic - please review the research centres and projects information and contact a potential supervisor directly. This step is vital. Early contact with a PhD supervisor is needed as they can help refine your application and they must provide a statement and details of their experience with your application. It is a good idea to send an outline research proposal and a CV when you make contact.

Stage 2: Apply for a PhD in Education via the University PG portal

Stage 3: Application for funding

Important guidance information is provided on the MSG website.

Informal enquiries about ESRC funding should be addressed to Professor Shaaron Ainsworth, Pathway Leader for Education at

Other enquiries pertaining to the PhD programme in general should be addressed to Dr Jane Medwell, Director of Postgraduate Research at

The closing date for the pathway-specific ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership Studentships starting in October 2018 is Thursday 18 January 2018 (23.59pm GMT). At that point you must have a complete application including supervisor statement as well as your application, proposal (project details), references and prior qualifications.

Posted on Thursday 26th October 2017

School of Education

University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Wollaton Road
Nottingham, NG8 1BB

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