School of Social and Political Science

Edinburgh Doctoral College Scholarship - School of Social and Political Science


The scholarship application system for academic year 2024/25 closed at 23:59 (GMT) on Thursday, 1st February 2024. Scholarship availability for academic year 2025/26 will be advised here in November 2024.

As a guide to competition levels, in the 2023/24 cycle 130 applicants applied for 1 scholarship. The number of available awards may change each year. For 2024/25 we offered 1 Edinburgh Doctoral College-SPS Scholarship.

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

Who can apply?

The Edinburgh Doctoral College Scholarship - SPS is available to a student intending to begin PhD study in any research area within the School of Social and Political Science in the next academic year.

This award is open to student from all nationalities.

Please note this scholarship is 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
  • 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.

Value of award

This scholarship covers:

  • 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 and a half 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 criteria. Edinburgh Doctoral College scholars may apply for this fund.


As an awardee, you will undertake a package of training and development which will help develop the necessary skills required to meet your career choices. Your supervisor will discuss your training and development needs with you following your award.

Training will also offer you a breadth of development opportunities in areas such as teaching, public engagement, entrepreneurship, data science, and research.

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)
  • Edinburgh Doctoral College Scholarship - 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.

Application for admission to a PhD research 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 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 must submit a complete application for admission to a PhD research degree by the awards deadline.

The application to study is made via the University's on-line applications system EUCLID - you are encouraged to make this application at least five working days prior to making your scholarship..

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.

You must submit a full application by the scholarship 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

References and research proposal for the PhD application to study are also used for the scholarship application.

Application for 'Edinburgh Doctoral College Scholarship - SPS'

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. Ensure you visit the Important Information and Recommendations section before you apply.

You do not need to wait to receive an offer to study before applying for the 'Edinburgh Doctoral College Scholarship - SPS' - but you must submit a complete application to study by the deadline or your scholarship application will not be considered.

Application to the 'Edinburgh Doctoral College Scholarship - 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 'Edinburgh Doctoral College Scholarship - 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. 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).

In your scholarship application, please tailor your personal statement to this scholarship. This should include:

  • why you think you are particularly suited to this scholarship
  • your intended area of career development
  • your aims for contributing to the School in this area

Additionally, 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.

Conditional offers

Note that applicants in receipt of conditional offers (including conditional on English language) are still eligible to apply for the 'Edinburgh Doctoral College Scholarship - SPS'. Should they receive an award, but not meet the conditions of their 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

Other funding opportunities

This 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 scholarship application for each award you wish to be considered for.

If you are applying for more than one PhD programme, you must also submit separate scholarship applications for each programme.

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 interview selection is made. Candidates who are selected for interview will be contacted with an invitation to attend either in-person or remotely. Awards, reserves, and unsuccessful applicants are then decided upon with notifications to follow. 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 'Edinburgh Doctoral College Scholarship - 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.

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