Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Studentships

The University of Edinburgh is a member institution of the Scotland-wide Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) which is funded and accredited by the Social and Economic Research Council (ESRC). The DTP provides world-class postgraduate research and training in the social sciences across a wide range of disciplines, known as ‘Units of Assessment’.

Psychiatry and Neuroscience within the School of Health in Social Science

The Unit of Assessment draws together strengths in qualitative and quantitative research, training and knowledge exchange in this topic area, supplementing existing recognised MSc provision offered by social science disciplines in the participating institutions.

For enquiries for Psychiatry and Neuroscience, please contact our Unit of Assessment Lead - Dr Ewelina Rydzewska  ( (School of Health in Social Science)


Psychology is the study of human behaviour, essential to understanding individuals and societies. Scottish psychological research is internationally influential in advancing the understanding of behaviour and the application of that knowledge to important societal issues.

Psychology research is highly interdisciplinary, and researchers and students from the pathway participants already benefit from links with a wide range of disciplines across national and international institutions. A particular strength of the pathway participants is the Advanced Quantitative Methods training, which is applied to a wide range of social science issues addressing cross-disciplinary themes. All institutions have links with SINAPSE, the Scottish Imaging Network, promoting interdisciplinary research on the brain and behaviour, and three have access to their own imaging centres.

Modern psychology is strongly interdisciplinary in nature, and so tends to require specialised training in a wide range of research-topic specific methodologies.

For enquiries for Psychology, please contact our Unit of Assessment Lead - Dr Jasmin Wertz ( (School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences)

How to apply

The Student-led Open Competition for PhD study commencing in Autumn 2024 will open for applications in October 2023.

Please note that students applying for the +3.5 funded programme (PhD only) must have previously met the ESRC core training requirements through a Masters programme. The 1+3 programme includes an integrated Masters programme which precedes the three year PhD and which delivers the majority of the core training requirements. For further guidance contact the relevant Unit of Assessment lead.

There is an initial two stage application process and both stages must be completed in order to be considered for ESRC funding.

Stage 1 - For the following School of Health in Social Science programmes, applicants interested in being considered for ESRC funding through the Student-led Open Competition must have must have applied online for admission by 13th November 2023.

PhD in Clinical Psychology, PhD in Counselling Studies, PhD in Health in Social Science, PhD in Nursing Studies

How to apply for a PhD programme at the School of Health in Social Science

Any queries about applying to a PhD programme at the School of Health in Social Science can be directed to

Stage 2 - Applicants must also make a funding application to SGSSS Apply before 5pm on Friday, 1st December 2023. Any queries about registering or logging into SGSSS Apply can be directed to the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science.

Please make contact with the School and apply AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE if you wish to be considered for ESRC funding. 

Please note that the PhD in Psychology delivered by the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences (PPLS) has a different admission deadline for this funding and further information can be found on the PPLS website.