At the end of last month we received our award letter from the ESRC detailing the number of students that would be funded via the ESRC South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (SCDTP) (see UoP news item regarding the initial announcement of ESRC accreditation).
ESRC have now pledged to fund 36 bursaries per year beginning Autumn 2017 across the three institutions involved in the SCDTP (Southampton, Brighton and Portsmouth). The award of bursaries will be based primarily on student excellence and then on the merits of the social scientists making up the supervision teams. There will be no quotas attached to the allocation of bursaries but awards can only be made to students whose supervisors are attached to REF units of assessment (UoA) that meet the strict REF 2014 criteria for DTP inclusion. For Portsmouth these are UoA 27 (Area Studies) and UoA 4 (Psychology). ESRC have also stipulated that 12 students each year should be ‘steered’ to work in the field of advanced quantitative methods (4 students), undertake PhDs that use ESRC datasets (4 students) and engage in interdisciplinary research that straddles other research council remits (4 students).
Whilst students will receive subject level training as part of a Masters in Social Research Methods in their first year and via subject expertise training throughout their PhD registration, they will also receive parallel training linked to a ‘thematic cluster pathway’, designed to stress interdisciplinary approaches. This will ensure that their analytical, research and communication skills can be applied within interdisciplinary teams in order to deal with the global challenges of the future.
There will also be opportunities for students to be involved in work visits and placements and much focus will be placed on promoting the ‘cohort’ nature of the DTP students across the three institutions. Portsmouth DTP students, for example, will receive sessions at the Universities of Southampton and Brighton as well as in Portsmouth.
The announcement of the SCDTP undoubtedly prompts a lot of questions and for this reason the DTP team are delivering supervisor roadshows across the three institutions. The adverts for the bursaries are planned to go out in early November and we will be inviting relevant staff and eligible supervisors to the Portsmouth supervisor roadshow event (scheduled for November 1st 10.30-11.30am) to explain more about the student application and bursary allocation process. If you are a member of staff and think you are eligible to be part of a supervisory team attached to the SCDTP and have not received an invite by Friday October 14th then please get in touch with Alanna Smith at the graduate school who will send you a link to the eventbrite page (firstname.lastname@example.org).