School of Social and Political Science

College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Research Award - Social and Political Science


The scholarship application system for academic year 2024/25 closed at 23:59 (GMT) on Thursday, 1st February 2024. Late applications cannot be accepted.

As a guide to competition levels, in the 2023/24 cycle 126 applicants applied for 2 scholarships. The number of available awards may change each year. For 2024/25 we are offering 2 CAHSS-SPS Research Awards.

Ensure you visit the Important Information and Recommendations section before you apply. We consider this section to be essential reading.

Application deadline

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

  • Application for admission to a PhD degree in the School of Social and Political Science (must be submitted at least 5 working days before the scholarship deadline)
  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Research Award - School of Social and Political Science  application

Updated or additional documents or information for your PhD programme application cannot be accepted after you have received an offer for the programme. Before then, any updated or additional documents must be uploaded directly to your PhD application via your MyEd account.

Updated or additional documents or information for your scholarship application cannot be accepted after you have submitted your scholarship application.

Late applications cannot be accepted.

Who can apply?

The 'CAHSS Research Award - SPS' scheme is designed to attract high quality students applying for PhD research.


Candidates for the 'CAHSS Research Award - SPS' must be seeking to start Year 1 of full-time or part-time PhD study in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences within the next academic year. 

MSc by Research programmes are not eligible.


The 'CAHSS Research Award - SPS' has a high number of applicants, and as a result are highly competitive. Applicants must be of outstanding academic merit and research potential.

As a student with us you will work with some of the most influential academics in your chosen field and learn about the very latest developments in your subject.

Those chosen exemplify the high standards the University of Edinburgh sets for its research students and the investment that we make in their potential.

Research Council Awards

Those candidates with research areas that fall under UK Research Council Awards, and meet eligibility criteria, are advised to apply to the relevant Research Council as well. 

Value of award

The award provides:

  • Full tuition fees (UK, EU or Overseas level)
  • The stipend will be set to the UKRI level for 2024/25. The UKRI level for 2023/24 is currently £18,622 for full-time students, or the pro rata equivalent for part-time students.

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.

PhD students in the School of Social and Political Science can apply to the PGR Research Support Fund for help with fieldwork and other research-related costs throughout their period of study, providing they meet the fund's eligibility criteria. CAHSS Research Award - SPS scholars may apply for this fund.

College Research Award application process

Ensure you visit the Important Information and Recommendations section before you apply. We consider this section to be essential reading.

The scholarship award application process involves two main applications:

  1. Apply for your chosen PhD degree programme
  2. Apply for your chosen scholarship

Application for admission to PhD degree

Please note: you will only be able to apply for a scholarship after you have submitted an application to study.

The application to study is made via the University's online applications system EUCLID.

You must submit a full application by the deadline, including:

  • research proposal
  • final or interim official undergraduate and postgraduate transcripts (note - PhD Social Anthropology applications require undergraduate only)
  • name of proposed supervisor
  • references

The application to study must be submitted at least 5 working days prior to the scholarship application deadline. This allows your University Username (UUN eg s1234567) to be activated in time for you to submit your scholarship application before its deadline.

You do not need to wait to receive an offer to study before applying for a College Research Award - but you must submit a complete application to study by the deadline or your PhD Award application will not be considered.

For further information on PhD study please see our PhD programmes webpage.

For further information on the application process, please see our how to apply page.

'CAHSS Research Award - SPS' application

Once you have submitted your application for study (via the How to Apply page below) you can then submit your funding application(s), you must submit a separate application for each individual funding scheme you are applying to.

Application to the 'CAHSS Research Award - SPS' is via the University's online scholarships application form located within the EUCLID applicant hub.

After submitting your application for your programme of study, you will receive a University Username (UUN) and access to MyEd where you can reach the scholarship application system.

Please note that applications for the 'CAHSS Research Award - SPS' are extremely competitive, and every year demand far outstrips supply. 

Supporting documents

References and research proposal for the application to study are also used for the scholarship application and will be automatically pulled through to the scholarship system.

Please also note that all material will be reviewed and assessed digitally and, as part of the shortlisting process, an external representative may be reviewing submitted applications.

Before applying, please read the self-assessment page, which provides helpful information about the factors that help make a successful application. Please note that applications for scholarships are extremely competitive.

Research proposal

We recommend you follow the guidance on writing research proposals.

Personal statement

The scholarship application system will ask you to provide a personal statement (up to 500 words/3500 characters including spaces).

We are interested in you as a whole person, not just academically. Please tell us about your preparedness to undertake and complete a PhD and to flourish as a result of PhD funding, and how you will contribute to a positive and diverse PhD community within the School. This could include diversity of identity, experience, or viewpoint. You may also wish to include any experience of overcoming adversity.

Conditional offers

If you are in receipt of conditional offer (including conditional on English language), you are still eligible to apply for the 'CAHSS Research Award - SPS'.

Should you receive an award, but not meet the conditions of your offer, they would not be able to take up the award.

Help and support

Information on the Student Systems website may help you with guidance on the scholarship application system.

Applying for a postgraduate scholarship

Technical support and guidance

You can also view our applying for scholarships frequently asked questions: 

Frequently asked questions - applying for scholarships in the MyEd portal

Tips for writing a successful proposal

Your proposal should provide insight into what you plan to research, how you will conduct your research, and the contribution(s) it will make.

At this stage your proposal provides evidence of your ability to write, think, create, and argue. It also helps indicate how your research will fit into the institution and its goals.

A strong proposal:

  • contains a clear proposition and/or question
  • sets up outcomes that can be delivered
  • contains several propositions which are then connected to for the structure
  • is intelligible to non-experts, has a relevant audience, and shows critical thinking
Assessment process and results

Stage One

Postgraduate Advisors and supporting Subject Area academics assess scholarship applications for their Subject Areas.

Scholarship applicants are then ranked and the top candidates are put forward to the next stage. Applicants not progressing to Stage Two will be notified by the end of April.

Stage two

A panel of assessors, comprising of the Director and Deputy Director of Postgraduate Research Programmes and at least one other senior School academic, assess all ranked scholarship applicants and rank them individually.

The ranks are then collated, and agreement on awards, reserves, and unsuccessful applicants are documented, with notifications emailed to applicants. Awardees are given 7 calendar days to respond to the scholarship offer. If no response is received by the given date, the offer will be rescinded and awarded to the next reserve candidate.

Assessors will use the SGSSS Marking Framework for their ranking process in both stages.

The School selection panel will meet in the Spring, 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, for example because they obtain different funding. In this case, the award will be offered to the top candidate on the reserve list. 

We aim to have contacted all 'CAHSS Research Award - SPS' candidates to let them know the outcome of their application by the end of May.

Due to the volume of applications we receive and the lengthy assessment and ranking process, we are unable to answer individual responses until then.

Other funding opportunities

This funding form is also used for several other awards, including:

Important - please ensure you check each scholarship deadline as they may differ.

You must enter a separate funding application for each award you wish to be considered for.

Student category