LISS DTP Studentships

Applications for the LISS DTP 1+3 and +3 2017-18 Open studentship competition (for an October 2018 start date) will open on 9 October 2017 using an online application form process.  The new Collaborative (CASE) Case for Support form (for academics proposing projects) will be available on 11 September 2017, with a submission deadline of 19 November 2017. 

The London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (LISS DTP) will award a number of ESRC-funded postgraduate research studentships to support research and training in the social sciences at our three partner institutionsKing’s College London, Queen Mary University of London and Imperial College.  These are available for three or four years full-time (or pro-rata as part-time studentships), either as:

  • as a one-year Masters followed by a PhD (‘1+3’); or
  • as a three-year PhD (‘+3’); or
  • as part of a collaborative project established by an academic at one of our partner institutions (a CASE studentship).

Therefore, a Masters degree is not a prerequisite for applying for a LISS DTP studentship.

If you do not already hold a Masters degree, or are changing your research topic significantly from Masters to PhD study, you should apply for a 1+3 studentship to allow time during a Masters year for adequate training in your proposed doctoral research area.  Each LISS DTP Thematic Pathway has a variety of Masters programmes associated with it, and you should choose the one which best matches with your research interests.  If you are interested in undertaking a Masters programme that is not included under one of our Pathways, please contact to confirm that it fits within LISS DTP’s research remit.  

If you would like to apply to a PhD programme that requires a MRes degree as a prerequisite, you should apply for a 1+3 studentship to cover your MRes year of study.  Please note: This situation applies to a limited number of LISS DTP doctoral programmes.  Your MPhil year is counted as the first year of your PhD (before your upgrade).  Please DO NOT apply for a 1+3 studentship to cover a MPhil year.   

If you already hold a relevant Masters degree, please check the Thematic Pathways to determine which one your proposed thesis topic fits within best.  This is the Pathway you will list on your LISS DTP +3 application form.  You should apply centrally for admission to a doctoral programme in your department and institution of choice, where you have located the best academic supervisor for your proposed project.

While interdisciplinarity is a hallmark of LISS DTP research, ESRC studentship funding is only available for projects that fall substantially (>50%) within the broad social and behavioural science remit of the ESRC.  For guidance, please see this ESRC webpage.  There is more information about the remits of each UK Research Council here.

Studentships are only available for students who meet residency requirements set out by the ESRC.  If you are classed as ‘overseas’ or ‘international’ for fees purposes, then you will not be eligible for a LISS DTP studentship.  EU students may apply for a studentship on a fees-only basis.  Stipend funding may also be possible through institutional funding for successful EU student applications on a limited basis.

In view of the limited number of awards and the very high standard of applications received, successful applicants are likely to have a very good first degree (BA or BSc Honours or equivalent, at 1st class standard or upper 2nd with clear evidence of first class work), and for +3 awards, also an appropriate Masters degree (at distinction or at least high merit level). Other qualifications highly relevant to the proposed area of study, such as prior professional or work-related expertise, may also be considered.

  • Students who will have already undertaken more than 1 year of their full-time research degree programme (or more than 2 years at part-time status) by September 2018 are not eligible to apply.
  • Professional doctorate degrees are not eligible.
  • Distance learning programmes are not eligible.
  • Applicants who have already been awarded a PhD or equivalent degree are not eligible.

There are different application forms for 1+3 and +3 studentships (see links to both below), and it is important that you complete the correct one.  If you are in any doubt as to which studentship type you should apply for, please consult the guidance on our 1+3 and +3 Studentships page under Step 2.  If you are still unsure after reading this information, please contact

Each LISS DTP application form has two parts.  The student completes an online form in consultation with their proposed primary supervisor.  The primary supervisor then downloads and completes the appropriate Word document reference form, which must be submitted separately via email to

In the case of both 1+3 and +3 studentships, it is very important that you apply for admission to your Masters or doctoral degree at your university of choice- King’s, Queen Mary or Imperial- at the same time, or before, applying via the LISS DTP Studentship application form.  Please follow the deadlines associated with the individual programme/institution where you are applying for study, which may be earlier than the LISS DTP ones.  For the purposes of applying for a LISS DTP studentship, your degree admissions application (including all transcripts and references) MUST be submitted/available to LISS DTP team by our 31 January 2018 hard deadline.  The LISS DTP Studentship application form (both the online part completed by the applicant AND the separate supervisor reference form are also due by 31 January 2018, 17:00 GMT.

There is more detailed guidance on the 1+3 and +3 studentship application process and completing the application forms on our 1+3 and +3 Studentships- the application process page.

Links to the online 1+3 and +3 application forms and the downloadable Supervisor Reference Forms are available here:

LISS DTP 1+3 Application Form link

LISS DTP 1+3 Studentship Supervisor Reference Form 

LISS DTP +3 Application Form link

LISS DTP +3 Studentship Supervisor Reference Form


The deadline for applications for 1+3 and +3 LISS DTP Open Competition studentships is 31 January 2018, 17:00 GMT.  

LISS DTP’s Collaborative Studentship Competitions promote partnerships between social scientists at King’s College London, Queen Mary University of London and Imperial College and end-user organisations (public or private or third sector ‘partner institutions’).  A collaborative studentship (referred to as a CASE studentship) is one in which the student enhances their training by working closely with the non-academic partner 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.

It is important to note that it is academic faculty who initially apply for collaborative studentships, as potential supervisors.  This initial call for academic proposals will open on 11 September 2017, with a closing date of 19 November 2017.  Successfully-awarded studentships are expected to commence in October 2018.  A new application form will be posted for 11 September, but the existing form from last year’s competition provides a good example of the information that will be required.   

If successful the academic may award the studentship either to a named student or through an agreed recruitment process.  The studentship can involve any public or private or third sector partner institution.  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 on the Case for Support form 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.

The downloadable MS Word CASE Studentship Case for Support Form is available below.  You can obtain more guidance on the application timeline process and read the judging criteria for these awards on the CASE Studentship page.

LISS DTP Collaborative (CASE) Case for Support form

The deadline for academics to submit CASE Studentship Cases for Support is 19 November 2017, 17:00.