LISS DTP Studentships

Applications for the LISS DTP 1+3 and +3 studentship open competition for 2016-17 are now closed.  We will no longer be accepting application forms or supervisor references for review on this year’s panels.

Applications for these types of studentships (student-generated proposals) will open again for in November 2017 for October 2018 entry.


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 Case for Support 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.

Eligibility for LISS DTP studentships

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 2017 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.
The application process

There are different Case for Support forms for 1+3 and +3 studentships (see 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 Case for Support form has two parts.  The student should fill in the first half of the form (in consultation with their supervisors) and submit it themselves to  The second half of the form needs to be completed by the student’s proposed first supervisor and submitted separately.

In the case of 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 as you work on the LISS DTP Studentship Case for Support form.  Your admissions application for your degree needs to be submitted via the online system at your institution of choice by 31 January 2017, when the LISS DTP Studentship Case for Support form is also due to

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

The downloadable MS Word Case for Support forms are here:

LISS DTP +3 Case for Support Form 2017

LISS DTP 1+3 Case for Support Form 2017

The deadline for applications for 1+3 and +3 LISS DTP Open Competition studentships is 31 January 2017, 17:00.  

LISS DTP Collaborative (CASE) Studentships

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 a PhD studentship 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.

UPDATE 17 JULY 2017- 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 CASE Studentship Case for Support Form

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