LISS DTP Studentships

The LISS DTP 1+3 and +3 Open studentship competition for October 2020 entry will re-open shortly with a deadline of 31 January 2020, 17:00 GMT.

We are currently inviting applications from academics for CASE projects. If you would like to find out more about these and/or apply to be a student on one, please see this webpage.

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).

If you are a prospective student: 

We offer funding for either a 1+3 award (one-year Masters degree followed by a 3-year PhD) or a +3 award (3-year PhD) through our Open studentship competition (where research proposals are generated by applicants).

We offer opportunities to work on partnerships between non-academic and academic partners through our collaborative (CASE) studentships.

More information on the process for both is in the drop-down menus below.

If you are an academic:

You can apply through our Collaborative (CASE) studentship process to have a studentship project involving a non-academic partner funded.  More information on the process is in the drop-down menu below.

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. For more information, please visit the UK Research and Innovation websites.

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.  Please check directly with the Admissions team at the LISS DTP partner university where you plan to apply how you will be classed, as LISS DTP will use the status provided by Admissions teams.  The ESRC covers fees-only for EU residents, but LISS DTP endeavors to provide a stipend through institutional funding for successful EU applicants 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 the time their studentship would start (1 October each year) are not eligible.
  • 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 online 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 three parts:

  1. An online LISS DTP application form (EITHER 1+3 or +3, you cannot apply for both award types).
  2. A primary supervisor reference form.  An applicant’s proposed primary supervisor must download and complete the appropriate Word document reference form (for either the applicant’s 1+3 or +3 studentship, see below), and submit it via email to
  3. 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 2 references) MUST be submitted and available to LISS DTP team by our 31 January 2020, 17:00 GMT hard deadline.  The LISS DTP Studentship online application form AND the separate supervisor reference form are also due by 31 January 2020.

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 below.  We would also recommend that you download the PDF outline of your online application form (both available below), so that you can prepare in advance for the questions you’ll be asked.

LISS DTP 1+3 Application Form link (this link will open in a new window)

LISS DTP 1+3 Application Form- readable version for website  (this is a PDF version of the 1+3 application form that will allow you to review in advance the questions you will be asked on the online form.  We strongly advise that applicants review these questions with their prospective supervisor ahead of completing the online application form)

Supervisor Reference Form 1+3 studentship

LISS DTP +3 Application Form link (this link will open in a new window)

LISS DTP +3 Application Form- readable version for website (this is a PDF version of the +3 applicaton form that will allow you to review in advance the questions you will be asked on the online form.  We strongly advise that applicants review these questions with their prospective supervisor ahead of completing the online application form)

Supervisor Reference Form +3 studentship

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 each September and close in mid-November each year for the duration of the LISS DTP grant funding.

CASE Project Proposals by Academics:

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.

Studentships are expected to commence in the October following the successful awarding of CASE funding to an academic project.

If successful, the academic may award the studentship either to a named student or through an agreed recruitment process.  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 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.

You can obtain more guidance on the application timeline process and read the judging criteria for these awards on the CASE Studentship page.

If you are an academic within the LISS partnership and would like to submit a CASE project proposal, please visit the following page for more information and a link to the online application form.

Applying for CASE Studentships as a Prospective Student:

Those who are interested in applying to be the student on a LISS DTP CASE project can view available projects, their application deadlines and materials required to apply on this page.