The NINE DTP Nomination Process: A Supervisors Guide The NINE DTP Studentship Competition is live

Nomination Form

Download a copy of the NINE DTP Nomination Form

Nomination Form

Consent Form

The DTP requires the consent of the candidate to process their data

Consent Form

Equal Opportunities

Candidates should complete and submit this form to their dept by 20 Jan 2023

EOM Form

Nomination Guidelines

Download the Nomination Guidelines and competition marking scheme


Action for Equality Scheme

Download the guidance for the AforE Scheme for UK-domiciled Black, Asian, or mixed Black or Asian heritage candidates

AforE Scheme

Pathway information

Supplementary Information for Pathway Leads and Directors


NINE DTP run a single recruitment call every academic year.

The actual number of studentships awarded each year may fluctuate based upon levels of matched funding; however, we anticipate offering between 40-50 studentships across the partnership each year.

A brief overview ...

All candidates should apply to the University of their choice, in accordance with that institutions recruitment guidelines and policies.

Upon receipt of the application, supervisors and students should discuss whether the student is eligible for funding, and confirm that the department is in a position to nominate the student to an appropriate Pathway.

Finally, supervisors should complete a nomination form for their candidate. This should be submitted to the relevant Pathway, for the Pathway level competition; successful candidates will then be forwarded to the final round of the competition.

Find out more about each element of the process below:

Timeline, 2022-23 - Modified

17 October 2022: Competition opens

The NINE DTP nomination form will be made available on 1 October each year, signalling the commencement of NINE DTP recruitment.

20 January 2023: Application Deadline

All candidate applications must be submitted to Departments in advance of this date to be considered for ESRC DTP funding.

10 February 2023: Pathway Deadline

All Departments must submit their selected applicants to the relevant Pathway in advance of this deadline.
Complete documentation (including research proposal, nomination form, references, transcripts and consent form) is required at both stages of the competition.

7 March 2023: Nomination Deadline

All Pathways must submit their final nominations to the Studentship committee in advance of this deadline.

March: Studentship Committee

The Studentship Committee will meet in late March; candidates will be informed of the outcome of the competition shortly thereafter.

Is your student eligible for funding?

Students must fulfill a number of criteria in order to qualify for funding.

Firstly, they must satisfy the ESRC eligibility requirements. These are detailed in full on the ESRC website; a truncated version of these rules can be found here.

Secondly, your student must align with a suitable pathway, and the primary supervisor must be situated in a department which has been identified as being of an exceptional standard (as defined by the ESRC, based upon REF performance in REF 2014). Non-lead supervisors can reside in other departments, and we actively encourage multi-institutional supervisory teams; however, if the primary supervisory is not in a qualifying department, the nomination will be deemed ineligible for funding.

Thirdly, it is essential that their proposal is sufficiently aligned to the disciplinary requirements of the ESRC. Whilst NINE DTP can award some cross-council awards, which are multidisciplinary in nature, it is essential that the research proposed maintains a strong link to the social sciences; a project which deviates from social science research could potentially lose ESRC support retrospectively.

If you have any doubts about the nature of the research, and its alignment to the ESRC disciplinary remit, brief proposal statements can be submitted for review by the DTP and ESRC in advance of the competition.

Finally, you will need to ensure that your student possesses the requisite qualifications for funding. This includes a good honours degree at first- or upper second-class level, or its equivalent.

If you have any queries or comments about these requirements, or should you wish to discuss a particular applicant, please contact us.

Please note: Supervisors should familiarise themselves with the terms and conditions of the funding, in order to ensure the projects they are supporting are feasible within the bounds of the funding. This includes, for instance, the guidance indicating that the DTP cannot support overseas fieldwork in countries to which the FCDO advise against travel.

Departments eligible to submit students

The Nomination Process

Once you are satisfied that your candidate meets the eligibility requirements for funding, you can proceed with the nomination process. Supervisors are required to complete and submit a nomination form. This form will include details of the student's research proposal, their qualifications and educational background, and any collaborative element of the proposal. The Supervisor will then need to complete sections on the form relating to the supervisory fit, and research environment. Please note, the Supervisory element of the proposal accounts for at least 25% of the final mark, so supervisors should try to ensure that the case made is strong, and specific to the candidate in question. A generic answer may disadvantage your applicant. Once the form has been completed, it should be submitted to the appropriate Pathway (note, students can be submitted to a single pathway only). The Pathway Leads will review all nominations, and will then proceed to submit candidates to the Studentship Committee. The number of nominations Pathways can submit is demand managed by NINE DTP. The aim of this approach is to better manage the administrative requirements of the competition, and to reward and incentivise ESRC grant success and REF performance. The number of standard nominations that Pathways can put forward will be capped; however, nominations for collaborative or cross-council applications are not limited by the demand management arrangements and Pathways are free to nominate as many steered nominations as they wish.

The Studentship Committee

The Studentship Committee comprises the seven institutional Academic Leads and at least 4 external expert reviewers. Nominees will be reviewed against the following criteria:

  • Research Proposal
  • Supervisory fit and Research Environment
  • Background & Qualifications of the Applicant
  • Collaborative element, where such an element exists

Applications are scored using ESRC’s recommended scoring system to produce a ranked list, with all those meeting the agreed quality threshold (usually 80%) being considered fundable.

The studentship committee will then announce to departments and pathways which students have been awarded funding, which have not, and also which are on the reserve list in case any applicants have to withdraw from the competition for any reason.