Case for supervisors

CASE for supervisors

The deadline for proposals from supervisors for CASE studentships starting in October 2024 is Sunday 5th November, 2023 (23:59 GMT). 

Successful proposals will start to recruit students in January 2024. 


LISS DTP’s Collaborative (CASE) Studentship competitions promote partnerships between social scientists at King’s College London, Queen Mary University of London and Imperial College and non-HEI partner organisations in the public, private or third sector. CASE studentships enable students to enhance their training by working closely with the non-HEI supervisor in the development of their research project. They are a great way to initiate longer-term partnerships and to ensure the impact of doctoral research. Details of LISS DTP Research Areas is available here. 

Academic staff initially apply for collaborative studentships, as potential supervisors. The initial call for academic proposals will open in the summer and close in early November. Successful proposals are invited to recruit students by March so that they can commence in the October following successful awarding of CASE funding. We are hoping to fund up to 17 CASE studentships for October 2024 start. 

 Proposal Form

To submit a complete CASE Project Proposal academic staff must submit the following by 5th November, 2023:

1. An online proposal form

2. A signed letter of support on headed paper from your proposed non-HEI partner to

3. A signed letter of support from your head of department/institute or equivalent to

4. A CV for your nominated student candidate (if a student has been identified) to

Online Briefings

The LISS DTP will  release a pre-recorded briefing session for academics preparing project proposals. The purpose of the briefing is for supervisors to learn more about the process of submitting a CASE proposal and to understand more about the LISS DTP CASE Competition. 

Supervisors can view this session here .  

Click here to view slides from the briefing sessions.

The CASE Competition Project Proposal Process

Step 1: Supervisors are advised to attend the LISS DTP online briefing session or watch the pre-recorded session.

Step 2: The project proposal for the studentship must be submitted to LISS DTP by an academic at one of our three partner institutions.

  • Project proposals can be submitted with or without a nominated student.
  • Academic applicants are limited to ONE CASE application in which they are the named primary supervisor.  It is possible to be listed as a second supervisor on multiple CASE applications.
  • Supervisors should review the LISS DTP’s Assessment Criteria for Project Proposals; percentage weightings are detailed. All applications will be assessed using the same criteria.
  • Supervisors should submit the online LISS DTP CASE Proposal Form to LISS DTP by Sunday 5th November 2023. 
  • Supporting documents for the online application (non-academic partner letter of support, department letter of support, and CV of nominated candidate if appropriate) should be submitted to by Sunday 5th November 2023.

Step 3: Project Proposals are reviewed by a Reviewing Panel against other proposals submitted to determine which receive funding from the LISS DTP.

  • The selection Panel meets in early December 2023.

Step 4: Supervisors/Project Proposers will be informed of the outcome of their proposal in the w/c 18th December 2023.

  • If a project is not selected for funding, the Reviewing Panel will provide feedback on your proposal in writing.
  • If a project is selected for funding, then it is the supervisor/proposer responsibility to recruit a student, unless one has already been identified.

Step 5: For successful project proposals, the supervisor/proposer recruits a student.

  • The recruitment phase takes between December and March. The name of the recruited student must be confirmed with the LISS DTP by 31st March 2024.
  • The selected student must be approved by LISS DTP to ensure that they meet ESRC eligibility criteria. Only those students approved by the LISS DTP will receive a formal offer for funding.

Step 6: Formal Offers are made to students by the LISS DTP.

  • Formal offers for funding will be issued by the LISS DTP in the w/c 15th April 2024.

Step 7: Collaboration Agreement

  • It is a condition of all LISS DTP CASE awards that a Collaboration Agreement with the non-HEI Partner covering intellectual property and any in-kind or financial contributions is signed before the studentship commences. The supervisor/proposer is responsible for ensuring this is in place.
  • The supervisor/proposer should contact the legal/contracts team in your institution to discuss this as soon as possible after the LISS DTP has approved your proposal for funding.  They will have templates from previous agreements which can be adapted.  You should send a copy of the agreement when it is signed.

CASE Recruitment Timeline for 2024 Entry


Competition Opens for Proposals w/c 31/07/2023
Recorded Briefing Session for Supervisors/Proposers  07/08/2023
Project Proposal Submission Deadline 05/11/2023
Project Proposal Review Period 10/11/2023 – 01/12/2023
Proposal Outcomes Confirmed w/c 18/12/2023
Student Recruitment Jan – March 2024
Deadline for Student Nominations from Academics 31/03/2024
Formal Funding Offers from the LISS DTP made to CASE Studentship Awardees w/c 15/04/2024


Proposals with a nominated student

At the project proposal stage, a student can be nominated to work on the CASE project and receive the LISS DTP studentship:  Please refer back to our Studentships page (under Eligibility) for information on who is eligible to be nominated/apply for a LISS DTP studentship.  Should the academic proposer’s proposal gain funding, the student’s qualifications and research training background will be reviewed to ensure that they meet the standards required to receive a studentship on a 1+3 (Masters + PhD) or +3 (PhD only) basis.   

Details of the core training the student will need to have attained (or plan to attain in their Master’s or first doctoral year of study) are here.  At this point the student should also begin the central admissions process to applying for a Masters or Doctoral PhD programme at the institution where their academic supervisor is based. 

International students

Following a UKRI announcement in 2020from October 2021 International students (including EU students) are eligible for ESRC studentships. However, the total number of international studentships a DTP is able to offer has been capped by UKRI at 30% of the total number of studentships awarded each year, and so studentships for international students will be limited in number and competitive. 

The ESRC will only fund the Home Fee, which means that the difference between the home and international fee must be found elsewhere, such as: the student’s department, institution, or another source such as self-funding. LISS DTP institutions will fund the difference between the home and international fee for a limited number of international students and at this stage we cannot guarantee that every international student offered a LISS DTP studentship will receive this funding as part of their studentship.  

Supervisors should discuss any potential international student appointments with the LISS DTP early in the recruitment process so that the LISS DTP can advise you on the options. 

Details of the core training the student will need to have attained (or plan to attain in their Master’s or first doctoral year of study) are here.  At this point the student should also begin the central admissions process to applying for a Masters or Doctoral PhD programme at the institution where their academic supervisor is based. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The CASE Project Partner

Do CASE Studentships require a financial contribution from the non-academic partner? 

While it is recommended that a financial contribution to the studentship be negotiated with the non-academic partner, this is not essential if the value of the partnership can be shown in-kind, for example through student access to partner data, office space, resources and equipment, training, field sites, research subject communities etc. 

 What should the involvement of the non-academic partner be? 

The involvement of the partner institution should add value to the studentship (e.g. distinctive opportunities for analysis, dissemination, research management, networking and/or knowledge transfer) and a financial contribution (though this is not essential).  The PhD project should also enhance the partner institution’s activities by offering the potential for societal or economic impact.   

The academic project lead will be asked to explain in the Case for Support whether the project will be best undertaken in a 1+3 or +3 format.  A decision on this should be made in consultation with the non-academic partner and in light of the level of training that the student will need to have to undertake the project.

Can the non-academic partner be overseas? 

International partners will be considered; however, they must make the case that they provide training that cannot be provided in the UK. 

Examples of CASE Project Partners

Past and current CASE Project providers include:

  • The Royal Academy of Arts, London
  • United Nations Environment Management Group
  • Maritime UK
  • London Ambulance Service NHS Trust
  • Public Health England
  • UK Department for International Trade
  • International Institute for Environment and Development
  • Universities Space Research Association (USRA) – NASA
  • Natural History Museum, London
  • The Environment Agency
  • Cisco Systems
  • Age UK
  • Eastside Community Heritage
  • The British Library
  • Lloyds of London
  • National Centre for Social Research
  • Westminster City Hall
  • Talking Therapies Southwark
  • Runnymede Trust
  • The GAVI Alliance & VIMC
  • Disability Rights UK
  • Army Families Federation & Navy Families Federation
  • MindWave
  • Norton Rose Fulbright LLP
  • Entelechy Arts
  • Beat – the Eating Disorders Charity
  • Autistica & Meet Me At The Albany
  • Canal & River Trust + Geffrye Museum
  • Electronics Watch
  • The National Association of Head Teachers
  • East End Trades Guild (EETG)
  • NHS England
  • Student Minds
  • Department for Work and Pensions
  • Catalyst 4 Change & Black Thrive
  • Rethink Mental Illness
  • IOTA Foundation 
  • Baringa Partners LLP
  • Pembroke House 
  • Hubbub Foundation
  • Maternity Action
  • Health Promotion Bureau of Sri Lanka
  • Passio
  • Centre for Mental Health
  • Korean Cultural Centre
  • Black Country Radio
  • Shaping our Lives
  • Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity (GSTT)
  • South East London Clinical Commissioning Group
  • Sanofi Pasteur
  • Conservation International
  • Beta Technology LTD
  • The Edge Foundation
  • Endeavor Egypt
  • Tower Hamlets Education Partnership
  • Falls-Prevention Services, University College London Hospitals
  • The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)
  • Young Brent Foundation
  • Hammersmith & Fulham Partnership
  • Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust
  • Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI)

The Project Proposal Process

How many CASE Studentships are available? 

The LISS DTP awards up to 17 CASE Studentships each year and tends to receive around 40 project proposals each year. For a list of previous projects, please visit our CASE Guidance for Students. 

How many CASE project proposals can a supervisor submit? 

Academics may be named as the primary supervisor on only one CASE proposal but can be included as a second supervisor on multiple proposals. 

Can the LISS DTP Review my proposal before the submission deadline? 

We encourage project proposers to check against the guidance and information provided here on this webpage; the LISS DTP will not vet project proposals before the submission deadline. Once all applications have been submitted, projects will be considered against the assessment criteria circulated, ranked and final selection will be made by the LISS DTP Reviewing Panel. 

I want to complete the online project proposal form in stages, is that possible? 

If you click on the ‘Finish later’ link (at the bottom of each page) you will be taken to a new page giving the application form’s closing date and a ‘finish later’ URL. You can use this URL to return to the application at the page on which you clicked the ‘Finish later’ link.   

You can either bookmark the URL in your browser, or ask for the URL to be emailed to you. It is your responsibility to accurately enter your email address or bookmark the ‘finish later’ link to be able to resume the survey. LISS DTP cannot reunite you with your unfinished application if you have lost your ‘Finish later’ link. 

Because of these limitations with our form, we STRONGLY recommend that you download a PDF version available on the LISS website, which lists all the questions that will be asked on the form and any character restrictions on answers. We advise that you complete your answers to many of these questions ahead of time and then simply copy/paste them into the online form to minimise the risk of lost responses/forms. 

My CASE Project was approved for funding

My CASE Proposal was approved for funding, can I change it? 

Major changes to a project proposal will need to be reviewed by the LISS DTP Team to ensure it aligns to the ESRC’s research aims. 

What happens if I cannot recruit a suitable student for my CASE project? 

The deadline for supervisors to confirm the details of a student they would like to appoint to their project is 31st March 2024. If supervisors have been unable to find a suitable candidate by this deadline, the CASE award will be withdrawn and reallocated to the LISS DTP’s Open Competition Studentships. 

Will LISS DTP help me advertise my CASE project? 

If your project is selected for funding, then it is the supervisor/proposer responsibility to recruit a student, unless one has already been identified. The LISS DTP will list your CASE project on our project listings page as a matter of course, we will not provide any further support or funding to advertise the project. 


Proposals without a nominated student

Academics may also choose to submit CASE studentship proposals without a named student:  CASE proposals are judged on the merit of the individual project; not naming a student does not detract from a proposal.  If the project gains funding, the supervisor or proposer is then responsible for recruiting a student.  Projects recruiting students are advertised on the LISS DTP website, but otherwise LISS cannot assist in the recruitment process.  Selected students must be approved by LISS DTP to ensure that they meet ESRC eligibility criteria. 

International students

From October 2021 International students (including EU students) will be eligible for ESRC studentships; however the ESRC will fund only the Home fee which means that the difference between the home and international fee must be found elsewhere: from an institutional, partner or student contribution or an institutional fee waiver.

International students
Proposal forms

Links to Proposal Forms