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

The LISS DTP 1+3 and +3 studentship Open 2018 competition, for an October 2018 start date, is open and will close on 31 January 2018, 17:00 GMT.  The steps below will guide you through the application process for either award format. 

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.

You should apply for either a 1+3 OR a +3 studentship; DO NOT apply for both formats. 

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 webpages 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 DTP’s research remit.  Please refer to the Core Training Requirements page to better understand the kind of well-rounded social science training expected by the ESRC for its funded students.  If your Masters programme of choice does not cover all these core training elements within its module options, the LISS DTP team will work with you to ensure that you receive all necessary training.

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.

 

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 Core Training Requirements specified by the ESRC.  On the +3 Studentship application 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 Core Training Requirements page, you feel that you cannot demonstrate on your application 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 application 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.  This should be where your primary supervisor is based.

1+3 and +3 studentships awarded as part of LISS DTP’s Open competition are applicant-generated, ie. there is not an existing project catalog created by academics from which to choose a project.  You need to develop a general sense of the research project you want to pursue and then approach an academic at one of our three partner institutions to see if they will act as your supervisor and help you to refine your project idea as necessary.  As you’ll see from our application forms, if you are applying for a 1+3 award you are not expected to have as fully-formed a research proposal as someone who is applying for a +3 award and already has a Masters degree.

Staff bios on departmental websites are a good place to start to find academics who share your research interests.  You can also approach academics within departments who are designated as ‘PGR or PhD tutors’ or administrative staff responsible for PGRs.  It is relevant to do this even if you’re applying for a 1+3 award and will need to undertake a Masters first because a condition of a 1+3 award is that you’ll continue immediately into a PhD programme after your Masters is completed.  It’s therefore strongly advised that you choose a supervisor for your Masters degree/thesis who will continue to act as a PhD supervisor for you.

If you will be undertaking a Masters programme, you can also look at the modules on the Masters programme for which you’re applying: who teaches those modules?  Those academics are likely well-placed to supervise or suggest colleagues with similar interests who might be willing to supervise your project.

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.  Please consult with your proposed supervisor on the best option for you.

The deadline for 1+3 and +3 LISS DTP studentship application forms is 31 January 2018, and we will be gathering your admissions information from each central administration immediately after this date.  Therefore, it’s essential that your admissions application to your degree programme of choice has been submitted by this point and that all transcripts and references are included with it.  It is your responsibility to ensure that this application and all related material for it are available to us on time.  Please check your individual degree programme deadlines, as they may be earlier than the LISS DTP one, and ensure that you meet those as well.

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 for your LISS DTP application.

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.

The application forms for our Open competition (1+3 and +3 formats) need to be completed and submitted via the Bristol Online Survey (BOS) online system.  Links to the online forms for both studentship formats are available on our main Studentships page (under the Open Competition 1+3 and +3 tab).

Please make sure to read each question carefully and use the ‘extra info’ menu for each to be linked to more information.  We strongly recommend that you consult with your proposed primary supervisor, who will also act as a referee for you, before starting the online form and prepare all the materials you need to answer the questions in advance of starting to work on the form.  PDFs listing all the questions that you will be asked for each application form are available near the application links on our Studentship page (under the Open competition 1+3 and +3 tab) so that you can prepare necessary answers in advance, adhering to character limits.

Once you start the online form, data you enter WILL NOT be saved unless you click the ‘Finish later’ link at the bottom of the form page where you are working.

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

Once you reach the end of the online form, please read the Declaration page carefully before hitting the ‘Submit’ link and ensure that your proposed primary supervisor downloads the LISS DTP Supervisor Reference Form to complete (this is also available under the Open competition 1+3 and +3 tab on the Studentships page).  Prospective supervisors must be submit their form by email (which is attached to your application form and your central admissions data to create a complete LISS DTP application) to liss-dtp@kcl.ac.uk by 31 January 2018, 17:00 GMT.  Your supervisor should title their email to LISS DTP with reference attached ‘LISS DTP studentship reference- STUDENT’S NAME’.

Links to the online application forms for 1+3 and +3 LISS DTP studentships and links to download LISS DTP Supervisor Reference Forms are available on our Studentships page.

Once the 31 January 2018 deadline has passed, the LISS DTP office will gather admissions materials and record the details of all applications received.  The LISS team will also check the eligibility of all applicants and double-check the assignment of each applicant to the appropriate Thematic Pathway.  You will be notified by email by end of day, 2 February 2018 to acknowledge whether we have received all necessary materials for your application to proceed.  Eligible application forms, reference forms and admissions application material will then be appended together and circulated to relevant selection panels, organised for each LISS DTP Research Area (groups of thematic Pathways), for review, marking and ranking.

All results will be announced via email in the first instance.  Eligible applicants who have been considered for a studentship will be informed of the outcome in late March 2018.

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.