South East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS) Studentship

The South East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS) Doctoral Training Partnership, funded by the ESRC is a centre of excellence in social science postgraduate research training, and is in partnership between ten UK universities. SeNSS are offering ESRC fully funded and fees only studentships at the University of Surrey.


The SeNSS Doctoral Training Partnership, funded by the ESRC is a centre of excellence in social science postgraduate research training, and is a partnership between the Universities of City, Essex, Goldsmiths, Kent, Reading, Roehampton, Royal Holloway, Surrey, Sussex and University of East Anglia.

At the University of Surrey, SeNSS offers ESRC studentships to high-quality research students wishing to study Economics, Hospitality and Tourism Management, Linguistics; Environment and Sustainability or related multidisciplinary topics within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Related links

South East Network for Social Sciences Economic and Social Research Council SeNSS application frequently asked questions

Eligibility criteria

Candidates without a master’s degree can apply for funding to undertake a research training Master’s before starting their PhD where available (1+3 or 2+2 models). Studentships will be awarded on the basis of the academic excellence of both the candidate and the research proposal. This is an extremely competitive process and only very high calibre candidates will be successful.

Open to Home and EU candidates; please see guidance on residency requirements outlined in the RCUK's Conditions of Research Council Training Grants. International candidates may be considered for funding in Economics only.

English language requirements : IELTS overall score of 7.0 or above with a minimum of 6.5 in each component (or equivalent).

How to apply

It is not possible to apply directly to SeNSS for a studentship; applications for students wishing to be based at Surrey must be made via the University of Surrey. Your SeNSS application will therefore go through a two-stage process, being considered firstly by either the School of Economics, School of Hospitality and Tourism, the School of Literature and Languages or the Centre for Environmental Sustainability to go forward to SeNSS and, if successful, secondly by a panel of subject specialists from SeNSS members.

You will need to take the following steps to submit an application for a studentship:

Identify and speak to a prospective supervisor

Within the School pages above you will find links to the staff lists. Use the lists to identify a prospective supervisor and contact them to discuss your project before applying. You should also inform the PGR Director and SeNSS Pathway Institutional Lead that you are interested in applying for SeNSS funding. Their details are:

School of Economics

School of Hospitality and Tourism Management


Centre for Environment and Sustainability


Apply for funding and a place on a PhD programme

If you are selected to apply for a SeNSS studentship by your prospective supervisor there are two separate applications that you will need to make:

Apply for a place on a PhD programme: Please browse our programme listings for a relevant programme. You can apply for a place by clicking the ‘apply now’ button on the relevant programme page.

Apply for a SeNSS studentship: You will be provided with the link and access code for the SeNSS online application. This is a crucial part of the application process and should not be rushed. Make sure you liaise with your prospective supervisor when completing the form as they will be able to guide you and there are also sections they need to complete. The application also requires two references which your referees will need to add to your application, if these are not included you will not be able to submit your application.

The deadline for applying for a place and submitting your SeNSS application is 12:00 on 20 January 2020

Process after application deadline

Between 20 January and 17 February 2020, your studentship application will be considered by an internal panel. The highest quality applications will be put forward to SeNSS by 18 February 2020. SeNSS panels will review applications and ratify awards on 1 April 2020. Candidates will be informed of the outcome by 3 April 2020.

Students from EU countries who have not been resident in the UK for three years are eligible for a fees-only award. In other words, to be eligible for a fees-only award, you will be ordinarily resident in a member state of the EU, in the same way as UK students will be ordinarily resident in the UK. These eligibility rules are set on page nine of the ESRC Postgraduate Funding Guide.

Studentship FAQs

Read our studentship FAQs to find out more about applying and funding.

Application deadline

Contact details

Please contact us at:


Studentships at Surrey

We have a wide range of studentship opportunities available.