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How to apply

The competitions for Soc-B ESRC studentships are now open!  

Soc-B studentships are based across social and biological science departments in three centres of excellence in biosocial research: University College London (UCL), University of Manchester and University of Essex. Students can apply to any one of the three universities. 

Soc-B PhD studentships are split into two competition streams:

Stream One: Four-year (+4) Studentships

Stream Two: Three-year (+3), Co-funded Studentships 


Four-year (+4) Studentship Applications

Students on the Soc-B four-year (+4) studentships, spend their first year in project rotations and biosocial training, before developing their own PhD research topic for years two to four. Thesis projects must lie a minimum of 50% within the social sciences.

Applicants are expected to have a First Class or Upper Second-Class Bachelor’s degree and/or a Master’s degree (preferably with a merit or distinction) in a social, biological, mathematical or computer science. Candidates must apply to only one of the three participating Soc-B institutions (UCL, University of Manchester or University of Essex).

Key Facts

Value: Fees, Stipend, Research Training Support Grant

Duration: Up to 4 years 

Eligible Fee Status: Home & international fee status 

Modes of study: Full or part-time 

Available To: Prospective students

Application Deadline: 11:59pm GMT on Sunday 15th January 2023

How to apply

A full application must include:

Applications should be submitted as a single pdf (except for the equal opportunities form, which is a separate, confidential link and will be issued on receipt of applications) and be clearly labelled with your full name and Soc-B application.

Please send completed applications to socbcdt@ucl.ac.uk by 11:59pm GMT on Sunday 15th January 2023.

Only ONE application for a four-year (+4) studentship beginning in September 2023 may be submitted to the Soc-B CDT. Applicants should not submit applications to multiple institutions.

Three-year (+3) Co-funded Studentship Applications

The Soc-B Co-funded Studentship Competition is supervisor-led. There are two steps to the application process.

Step One: Academics working in the biosocial science area cooperate with a non-academic partner to put together a proposal for a co-funded studentship project.

Step Two: Successful applicants recruit a student to the co-funded studentship.

The project should address a research topic which is of both theoretical and practical significance and provide opportunities for a funded PhD student to gain first-hand experience of work outside an academic environment. The student is expected to be supported throughout the project by both academic and non-academic supervisors. Students recruited to this 3-year pathway will be required to engage fully with Soc-B training opportunities.

Key Facts

Available to: Supervisors working in the area of biosocial science

Conditions: A minimum of 50% of the project must lie within the social sciences. A minimum of 20% (cash value of the studentship) co-funding from a non-HEI partner, for e.g. private sector, goverment sector, or third sector/voluntary organisation. 

Application Deadline: 11:59pm on Sunday 15th January 2023

When will you hear: Applicants will be notified of the Soc-B board decision by Friday 27th January 2023. 

Student recruitment deadline: Successful applicants must complete student recruitment to the studentship by Monday 13th March 2023. 

How to apply

Please complete the below proposal form and refer to the guidance notes provided. 

Please send completed applications to socbcdt@ucl.ac.uk by 11:59pm GMT on Sunday 15th January 2023.


Further Information

For further advice or guidance, please contact the Soc-B CDT Manager: Polly Stoker (socbcdt@ucl.ac.uk)

You can view more information on University of Essex Soc-B CDT and University of Manchester Soc-B CDT via their webpages.