Project Linked Studentships (Fellowships)

Project - or grant-linked studentships are designed to add value to the proposed research outlined in the proposal, whilst providing a clear opportunity for a distinct and independent course of enquiry for the student. They may be requested on any proposal unless specified in the call documentation, as long as:

Rules and Regulations

Up to three studentships can be applied for on any single proposal. The studentships must be embedded within a Doctoral Training Centre, is subject to the same terms and conditions as a standard DTC studentship and the funds will be managed within the DTCs training grant. Before submitting an application that includes a grant linked studentship the applicant must obtain the support of the DTC Director and any new proposal must be accompanied by a letter of support from the DTC Director.

The studentship must not be a displacement of the normal research support required on the grant. Linked studentships are designed to add value to the proposed research outlined in the proposal, whilst providing a clear opportunity for a distinct and independent course of enquiry for the student. Through being embedded with a high quality research team, they should offer the student an opportunity to both develop their substantive research skills, alongside broader professional development. The main research grant project should still be viable without the studentship and should have distinct objectives that are not reliant upon the studentship.

If successful, the funds for the studentship will be ring fenced within the grant and paid alongside standard ESRC studentships. Such students will also be expected to submit their PhD within 12 months from their funding end date and will be included in the ESRC PhD Submission Rate Survey. Non-submission will therefore affect the RO’s postgraduate submission rate.

Whilst grant-linked studentships can outlast the grant they are linked to, the majority (more than half) of the studentship take place during the life of the grant.

Grant-linked studentships are subject to the standard rules for ESRC studentships and should be calculated on the same notional cost basis. For further information on this please see the Postgraduate Funding Guide for Accredited Doctoral Training Centres. The notional cost calculation should include appropriate enhancements for students undertaking PhDs in Economics or using Advanced Quantitative Methods (AQM). Additional costs will not be provided if enhanced stipends are not including in the original proposal.

Where an enhanced AQM stipend is included, the applicant must ensure that the studentship has been subject to the same procedure as the DTC has established for their own studentships to determine that the proposal meets the criteria of advanced quantitative methods. ESRC will be undertaking annual dipstick checks to ensure that those in receipt of the enhanced stipend are utilising advanced quantitative methods.

Support to meet provisions to aid students with requirements under the Disability Acts (DSA) may be claimed separately.

Studentships are not costed under full Economic Cost (fEC) arrangements, but if awarded, the grant will meet the full 100 per cent cost of the normal provision. The costs associated with the studentship(s) must be costed as part of the overall value of the proposal in the Other Staff Section of your proposal. No additional costs, for example travel and subsistence, conference attendance or items of equipment should be costed in to the grant. Where they are, these costs will be removed from the final award.

For each studentship the proposal will need to indicate:

Stipends may only be paid to students who are normally UK resident or EU students meeting standard ESRC eligibility requirements. Exceptions to this ruling can be made for students studying either Economics or AQM as the international eligibility rules have been relaxed. More information about this is available in Annex 1 of the Postgraduate Funding Guide for Accredited Doctoral Training Centres.


Under normal circumstances students must be studying within an ESRC accredited Doctoral Training Centre (DTC). However, where a grant is being funded as part of a cross council initiative, students may study within non ESRC accredited institutions and departments as long as they meet the equivalent criteria for the other council.

Studentship case for support (Project Student Request attachment)

The case for such a studentship will need to be set out as an additional attachment to the grant proposal. Where costs for a studentship have been entered  when completing the proposal via the Joint Electronic Submission System (Je-S), a separate case for each project studentship must be submitted with the proposal as attachment type "Project Student Request", where an additional two sides of A4 (max) can be used to give information and justification for each studentship. The studentship case for support must include:

Submission of student details

The ESRC is concerned with maintaining a high standard of training and supervision, and for this the Council relies on the co-operation of administrators, heads of departments and others who support students. The ESRC takes seriously its role to support high quality training opportunities for postgraduate students and believes in the consistent proposal of policies and practices to promote equality of opportunity and to eliminate unlawful discrimination. The ESRC expects that ROs are fair and transparent in the recruitment of students; students must be selected and treated on the basis of their merits, abilities and potential, regardless of their sex, transexuality, race, nationality, religion, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or age. ROs are expected to comply with all equal opportunities legislation in force and where an organisation is shown to be in breach of these, ESRC is prepared to invoke sanctions.

Student details must be submitted within one month of starting through the Je-S Studentship Data Portal(SDP). Details of the project should be submitted along with the student details, through the SDP. It is the responsibility of the RO to ensure all records relating to students are maintained on the SDP throughout the life time of the award.

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