The deadline for applications
for 2018-19 is
12 January 2018.

Submit your application to
your department or University
in advance of this deadline.

NINE DTP runs a single, combined annual studentship competition to recruit and select postgraduate researchers of the very highest calibre to study at Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria, Teesside, Sunderland, Queen’s or Ulster Universities. We operate an open competition for the awarding of studentships, which is centred on the quality of candidates and their proposed research.

Our studentship competition has been designed to be as open and transparent as possible, and all decisions concerning which students are funded are based upon clear assessment criteria. You can read more about these criteria on our page about Developing your Research Proposal.

NINE DTP has more than 50 fully-funded postgraduate studentships to award each academic year.

Candidates wishing to apply for funding should apply directly to the university at which they wish to study and NOT to NINE DTP. Applications that meet eligibility and quality criteria will be entered into the Studentship Competition by the Supervisor.

On the following pages, we will provide your with an overview of the studentship competition, and how you can apply for ESRC funding.

Full guidelines

Download a copy of the NINE DTP Annual Studentship Competition Guidelines

Guidelines (pdf)

Our awards

Candidates may apply for funding for the three year Doctoral Programme (a +3 award), or may also apply for funding for both Masters and Doctoral study (our 1+3 or 2+3 awards).

NINE DTP also offers an innovative +3.5 programme, which allows students with a Masters (or equivalent experience) to complete a funded course on research methods training should they be lacking the necessary qualifications in social science research methodology (a prerequisite for funding for the full Doctoral studies).

Your supervisor can advise you as to which award type is most suitable for you.

Candidates should be aware that not all award types will be available at each institution, or with each pathway.


The 1+3 award is for undergraduate applicants wishing to complete a research training Masters degree before progressing on to a PhD.

Students who have only completed or are in the process of completing an undergraduate degree and wish to study for a PhD must apply for these awards.

The +3 award is for applicants who will have a Masters degree (or equivalent) which includes the requisite research method training to progress directly onto the PhD Course.

The candidate must be able to evidence the equivalent of 60 credits of research methods training, covering both quantitative and qualitative methods.

The +3.5 award is for students who possess (or are in the process of attaining) a Masters degree which doe snot include the requisite research methods training.

The +3.5 award provides an additional 6 months of training to allow for the completion of a 60 credit Certificate of Research Methods.

This award is granted to students who need to complete a language-based Masters degree including Research Methods training, before progressing to the PhD.