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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Graduate School of Social and Political Science PhD Awards

Deadline for applications: 1 February 2018

Please note: you will only be able to apply for a scholarship after you have submitted an application to study; the application to study must be submitted in advance of the scholarship application deadline. It is recommended that the application to study is submitted at least two weeks prior to the scholarship application deadline.

Guidance on the scholarships application system is here.

Before applying, please read the Self-Assessment page, which provides helpful information about the factors that help make a successful application.  Please note that the SSPS Scholarships application is extremely competitive, and every year demand far outstrips supply.  In 2016 we received 210 applications and in 2015 221 applications for around 12 Scholarships.

The Graduate School of Social and Political Science is pleased to offer a number of funded PhD awards for 2018/19 entry. Please see the following links for more information:

Value of Awards

We have two different types of award on offer to PhD candidates applying for a programme within Social and Political Science:

Graduate School Studentship: pays the Home/EU fee rate and a maintenance stipend of £14,000 per annum, for 3 years.

Graduate School Scholarship: pays the Home/EU fee rate and a maintenance stipend of £7000 per annum, for 3 years.

Awards are made for one year in the first instance and are renewable for up to a further two years (pro-rata for part-time students), subject to satisfactory academic progress. 

Students liable to pay international fees may combine the SSPS Scholarship with other Scholarships (such as EGRS), to cover all the fee costs.


These awards are available both to students intending to commence PhD study in September 2018 and to students currently in the first year of their PhD in the School (if successful this will be a 2-year award). These awards are available to all areas of research within the School of Social and Political Science.

Please note these scholarships are only for PhD study, not for MSc by Research.

When making decisions, the Selection Committee will consider the applicant's academic achievements, research proposal, research potential, any publications made, any relevant non-academic experience, and the degree of support provided by references.  Financial status and nationality are not taken into account.

Please ensure you read the Self Assessment section to ensure you meet all the criteria as the application process is very competitive.

Application Process and Deadline

Deadline for receipt of funding applications for 2018 entry is 1 February 2018.

Applicants must submit two separate applications by this deadline (further information about both is given below):

PhD Awards Application

Application to the Graduate School PhD Awards is via the University's on-line scholarships application form located within the applicant hub. Instructions on the online awards/scholarship application system is here.

Please note the following:

  1. Once you have submitted your application for study you can then submit your funding application(s), you must submit a separate application for each individual funding scheme you are applying to. Each funding application will ask for you to provide a personal statement.
  2. This form is also used for several other awards, including Edinburgh Global Research Scholarships, Principal's Career Development PhD Scholarships, College Research Awards and the Chrystal Macmillan Studentship all of which have the same deadline as the Graduate School PhD Awards. You must enter a separate funding application for each award you wish to be considered for.
  3. You do not need to wait to receive an offer to study before applying for a School PhD award - but you must submit a complete application to study by the deadline or your PhD Awards application will not be considered.
  4. The supporting documents submitted with your application to study (research proposal, academic transcripts and references etc.) will be used to assess your funding application.
  5. We cannot accept applications or additional information or supporting statements after the deadline.
  6. Note that applicants in receipt of conditional offers (including conditional on English language) are still eligible to apply for PhD Awards.  Should they receive an award, but not meet the conditions of their offer, they would not be able to take up the award.

 Application for admission to a PhD research degree

You must submit a complete application for admission to a PhD research degree by the awards deadline.  Please note the following:

  1. The application to study is made via the University's on-line applications system EUCLID - you are encouraged to make this application two weeks prior to making your awards application but no later than 48 before the awards deadline to allow time for any technical difficulties.
  2. For further information on PhD study please see our PhD Programmes webpage.
  3. For further information on the application process, please see our How to Apply page.
  4. You must submit a full application by this deadline, including references, research proposal and all supporting documents. 
  5. References and research proposal for the application to study are also used for the awards application.


The School selection panel will meet in Spring 2018, and results will be communicated to candidates by email shortly thereafter.  Note that we also hold a reserve list; in the event that a successful candidate later declines their award (e.g. because they obtain different funding) the award will be offered to the top candidate on the reserve list. 

We are aiming to contact all School award candidates to let them know the outcome of their application in early April. Due to the volume of applications we receive and the lengthy assessment and ranking process, we are unable to answer individual responses until then.

First Year SPS PhD Students

First year PhD students already at the School of Social and Political Science and, if successful, would receive 2 years' funding.

Application is via the student self-service channel in MyEd.

The default position is that we will look at the two references and your original research statement provided on your EUCLID application for PhD study.  However, we would recommend that current first years request your supervisors, who can comment on your progress to date, to provide updated references.  We also strongly advise that you update your research proposal (3-4 pages).  These should be emailed (from a University account) to the Graduate School Office ( by the funding application deadline.

Edinburgh Students