1+3 and +3 Open Studentship Competition- the application process

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.

Below are important steps and guidance for your 1+3 or +3 LISS DTP studentship application.

Step 1: Do I meet the residency requirements to apply for a LISS DTP studentship?

Please read the ESRC’s residency requirements for studentships to determine whether you are eligible for an award before you start the application process.  If you have been classed as ‘overseas’ for fees purposes by the institution you are applying for admission to, you will not be eligible.  EU students can apply for a LISS DTP studentship on a fees-only basis.  LISS DTP may be able to provide stipend funding to successful EU applicants through institutional money, budget dependent.


Step 2: Should I apply for a 1+3 or +3 studentship?

Deciding whether to apply for a 1+3 or +3 studentship will depend on three things:

1) Do you already have a Masters degree?  If not, you should apply for a 1+3 studentship and simultaneously apply for the Masters programme you wish to undertake at the institution of your choice.  Look at the LISS DTP Thematic Pathways to determine a Masters programme that best fits your research interests.  If you are interested in a Masters programme that is not listed under a LISS thematic Pathway, please contact liss-dtp@kcl.ac.uk to confirm that it falls within LISS’s research remit.  When you are completing the section of the 1+3 Case for Support form that asks you to outline your training plans during your Masters and PhD, please refer to the Foundation Training Requirements page to better understand the kind of well-rounded social science training expected by the ESRC for its funded students.

2)  Is your existing Masters degree in a significantly different field of study from your proposed doctoral project?  Please consult your proposed academic supervisor and LISS DTP staff (liss-dtp@kcl.ac.uk) if you are unsure of this.  If the change in fields of study is significant, you should also apply for a 1+3 studentship and follow the process mentioned above, choosing and applying for a relevant Masters programme at the institution of your choice to gain the necessary background knowledge to then undertake your PhD.

3) For a limited number of doctoral programmes affiliated with certain LISS DTP Pathways, a MRes degree is required for entry onto the doctorate.  If this is the case for your doctoral programme of choice, you should apply for a 1+3 studentship to cover the MRes plus PhD degrees.  Please note: your MPhil year is generally considered to be the first year of your doctoral degree (before your upgrade process).  You should not apply for a 1+3 degree to cover a MPhil year.

4) If you already have a Masters degree in a relevant research area to your proposed doctoral project and there are no MRes requirements for your doctorate of choice, you should apply for a +3 studentship, provided that your Masters degree has provided training in approx. 75% or more of the Foundation Training Requirements specified by the ESRC.  On the +3 Studentship Case for Support form, you will be asked to outline your existing research methods training, gained from past academic study, work or professional experience.  If, after reviewing the Foundation Training Requirements page, you feel that you cannot demonstrate on your Case for Support form that you have covered at least 75% of what is outlined, please contact liss-dtp@kcl.ac.uk to receive guidance on whether you will be able to ‘top up’ your existing training in the first year of your doctoral programme or whether you will be required to undertake additional Masters level study (apply for a 1+3 award).  On the Case for Support form you will be asked which LISS DTP Thematic Pathway your work is most closely affiliated with.  This does not have to be a perfect fit, but you can use the descriptions on those pages and the content of the linked Masters programmes as a guide.  Please simultaneously apply for the doctoral programme in the institution and department/research centre/institute that best fits your research interests and can provide the best supervision for your project.  


Step 3: Ensure that you apply for admission centrally at your institution of choice at the same time as you apply for a LISS DTP studentship.

To apply for a 1+3 or +3 studentship with LISS DTP, you must simultaneously undertake the online admissions process required to join a Masters or a doctoral programme of your choice at King’s College London, Queen Mary University of London or Imperial College.

The deadline for 1+3 and +3 LISS DTP studentship Case for Support forms is 31 January 2017, and we will be gathering your admissions information from each central administration immediately after this date so it is very important that your admissions application to your degree programme of choice has been submitted at this point.  We advise that you aim to submit your admissions application two weeks in advance of the 31 January deadline for your Case for Support form to help ensure reference requests are sent if necessary and received in a timely fashion.

Students who have already applied for admissions and those who have previously applied but deferred entry to 2017-18 will not be required to submit an institutional admissions application again.  Current 1st year doctoral students are not required to submit a new admissions application.  Your primary supervisor will still need to complete a reference on your behalf on your LISS DTP Case for Support form.

In the section of your institutional admissions application labelled ‘Funding’, please indicate that you are applying for ESRC studentship funding.

Apply to a King’s College London Masters or PhD programme.

Apply to a Queen Mary University of London Masters or PhD programme.

Apply to an Imperial College London Masters or PhD programme.


Step 4: Complete your LISS DTP Case for Support form

We hope that our 1+3 and +3 Case for Support forms are relatively straightforward and contain all the necessary information you require to complete them.  If you have any questions while completing the form, please contact liss-dtp@kcl.ac.uk

It is important that we are made aware of how your proposed studentship project could address priority issues for the ESRC such as the use and development of Advanced Quantitative Methods (AQM) and Interdisciplinarity.  Information is provided on the Case for Support form but further guidance on what constitutes AQM is available here.

Please ensure that you complete your Case for Support form in collaboration with your proposed primary supervisor, who will act as a reference for you.  Both the 1+3 and +3 Case for Support forms have two sections.  Students submit the first half of the form (up to the Declaration page at the end of the Proposed Research section) themselves.  Primary supervisors complete the second half of the form on behalf of their student and must submit it separately.  Both parts must be submitted to liss-dtp@kcl.ac.uk by 31 January 2017, 17:00.

It is very important that you take the instructions for maximum word limits and, in the case of the Proposed Research section, the font size and margins, seriously as over-length Case for Support forms will not be passed to committees for evaluation.

Both the 1+3 and +3 Case for Support forms ask either about the student’s research methods training background or about their plans for research methods training.  To better understand the importance of this training and reporting on it, both for the studentship application and for the ESRC, please see our Foundation Training Requirements page.

When you send your Case for Support form to liss-dtp@kcl.ac.uk please title your email ‘LISS DTP 1+3 Case for Support- YOUR NAME’ or ‘LISS DTP +3 Case for Support- YOUR NAME’.  Your supervisor should title their email, with their reference section ‘LISS DTP reference- STUDENT’S NAME’.

You can find the Case for Support forms for 1+3 and +3 LISS DTP studentships on our Studentships page.


Step 5: What happens after my Case for Support form and institutional admissions application are submitted?

Once the 31 January 2017 deadline has passed, the LISS DTP office will gather admissions materials and record the details of all applications received.  The office will then check the eligibility of all applicants and double-check the assignment of each applicant to the appropriate Thematic Pathway.  Eligible Case for Support forms and admissions application material will be circulated to relevant selection panels, organised for each Thematic Pathway.

All results will be announced via email in the first instance.  Candidates who are deemed ineligible for a LISS DTP studentship will be informed within 3 weeks of the application deadline.  Eligible applicants who have been considered for a studentship will be informed of the outcome in late March 2017.

Candidates who have been selected for a studentship will be asked to provide a decision on acceptance/decline by a given deadline.  If a successful candidate fails to respond by the deadline or declines the offer, their award will automatically be transferred to a reserve candidate who is next in line for the award.