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The White Rose Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership (WRDTP)is a regional consortium of seven universities with social science research excellence and involves the universities of Sheffield, Leeds and York as well as Bradford, Hull, Manchester Metropolitan and Sheffield Hallam.

The WRDTP delivers excellent supervision, first-class discipline and cutting-edge interdisciplinary research and transferable skills training, and a world-class intellectual environment for postgraduate research students. It enables PhD students to participate in local, national and international networks of non-academic partners, opinion formers, policymakers, as well as leading academics in the field. The WRDTP aims to produce doctoral graduates with outstanding skills and flexibility, with the imagination to tackle the thorniest challenges confronting the social sciences.


The WRDTP supports a wide range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary scholarship. It seeks to champion excellent ideas and students with outstanding potential by delivering research training through seven thematic interdisciplinary training pathways:

  1. Cities, Environment, and Liveability (CEL)
  2. Security, Conflict, and Justice (SCJ)
  3. Education, Childhood, and Youth (ECY)
  4. Data, Communication, and New Technologies (DCT)
  5. Wellbeing, Health, and Communities (WHC)
  6. Sustainable Growth, Management, and Economic Productivity (SMP)
  7. Civil Society, Development, and Democracy (CDD)

The WRDTP has been accredited by the ESRC to offer PhD scholarships across a range of schemes, and applications are now open for our Pathway Awards and our Advanced Quantitative Methods (AQM) Awards, to start in academic year 2023/4. Further information about these awards is here.

All of these awards are available on a 1+3 or a +3 basis (depending on whether a student has sufficient masters-level research training), can be held full-time or part-time, and are open to home and international students. We welcome applications from candidates with innovative ideas and a clear sense of how their proposed research will address some of the greatest challenges facing global society.

The deadline for candidates to apply for the following WRDTP ESRC Awards is 17:00 on 25 January 2023:

  • WRDTP Pathway Awards, incorporating WRDTP Interdisciplinary Research Awards and WRDTP/Stuart Hall Foundation Pathway Awards for Black British Students
  • WRDTP Advanced Quantitative Methods Awards
There will also be 10 x Collaborative Awards made to supervisory teams for projects involving collaboration with an external partner. These projects will be open for applications from students in April 2023. Further information about the Collaborative Awards can be found on the WRDTP website.

How to apply

Students do not apply to the WRDTP directly for a studentship. The process differs slightly at each of our seven partner institutions, and you’ll need to use their application systems to apply for your PhD place, and to be considered for a studentship. Therefore, we recommend speaking to the Postgraduate Research Officer or the member of staff responsible for PGR Admissions in your chosen academic department at your preferred university – they will be best placed to advise you on the application process. You are advised to contact your school or department at an early stage to discuss your application and identify a potential supervisor.


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