Overseas Fieldwork

Social Science research is truly international in its nature and scope, crossing all borders and boundaries. In recognition of this, the ESRC provides NINE DTP with funds to support extended periods of fieldwork overseas, providing our Award-holders with outstanding opportunities to conduct research in the field … whether that is in Asia, the Americas, Africa, Australasia or continental Europe.

Overseas Fieldwork must be integral to the doctoral studies, and as such the need for the fieldwork must have been clearly identified in your initial research proposal.

Award-holders may only apply for overseas fieldwork funding once during the course of their studies, and should plan to conduct their overseas fieldwork as a single activity. Multiple flights will not usually be considered, unless there is a significant justification for multiple field visits.

When can you apply for Overseas Fieldwork?

  • Overseas fieldwork may only be undertaken as part of the full PhD; Award-holders undertaking their Masters or research methods training may not undertake Overseas Fieldwork until such time as they have progressed to their full Doctoral studies.
  • Applicants should submit their application form approximately 3 months in advance of their expected departure date; applications received later than this will be considered, but may not be processed in time to facilitate the application.
  • Fieldwork should not be undertaken during the last three months of the funded period of study.

Apply now

Complete and return this form to your local DTP administrator.

Application Form

Preparing your application

  • All applications should provide clear costings in GBP (£); The costings may not exceed the £7,500 allowance
  • Applicants should make clear the justification for the fieldwork,  providing a clear and reasoned case for the necessity of conducting research in the field;
  • Applications must be accompanied by a letter of support from the candidate’s supervisor, evidencing their support for the fieldwork intended;
  • All applicants should provide a clear plan as to how they will conduct their research, and what means, mechanisms and support they have in place to facilitate their plans;
  • In those cases where the Award-holder is applying for Overseas Fieldwork and Difficult Language training concurrently, a single application for both activities can be provided;
  • Visits are dependent upon the travel advice of the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO); the safety of our students is our primary concern. Should travel to your first choice location be prohibited, you and your supervisors should propose an alternate site;
  • Part-time students are eligible for Overseas Fieldwork; they would usually be expected to convert to full-time studies for the duration of their fieldwork.

Difficult Language Training

NINE DTP is able to fund Difficult Language Training, where such training is necessary for the development and execution of the Award-holder’s research.

Difficult Language Training is often applied for in conjunction with Overseas Fieldwork, although applications for Difficult Language Training may be considered independently of Overseas Fieldwork when sufficient justification can be presented.

Difficult Language Training is provided as per the ESRC guidelines, and can result an extension to the period of funded studies. The nature of the funding and extension provided is at the discretion of the reviewing committee, guided by the ESRC principles.

Extensions for Difficult Language Training do not automatically attract overseas fieldwork costs. Overseas fieldwork costs should only be considered alongside an extension where it is not possible to learn the language outside of the fieldwork site.

When can you apply for Difficult Language Training?

  • Award-holders may not apply for Difficult Language Training whilst undertaking a Masters degree, or Research Methods Training;
  • Applicants should ensure they apply for Difficult Language Training one month in advance of the commencement of such training in the United Kingdom; applications for periods of overseas language training should be submitted three months in advance, and are subject to FCDO travel guidance.
  • The need for Difficult Language Training and its centrality to the execution of the proposed research should have been identified in the initial studentship application.

Preparing your Application

  • Applications should provide the costings of all training proposed in GBP (£);
  • All applications should provide justification as to why the training is required;
  • Applications should justify the format of the training suggested, particularly where a candidate is seeking to conduct the Language Training overseas.
  • Applicants should indicate clearly the length of extension they would like to apply for, and provide justification for this; please refer to Annex 3 of the Postgraduate Funding Guide for guidance.