School of Social and Political Science

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


The scholarship application system is now closed.

Application deadline

Information on scholarship availability and application opening and closing dates will be advised.

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

  • Application for admission to a PhD degree
  • College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Research Award - School of Social and Political Science  application

We cannot accept applications or additional information or documents after the deadline.

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 are required to apply to the relevant Research Council as well.

College Research Award application process

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

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:

  • references
  • research proposal
  • all supporting documents

The application to study must be submitted at least five 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

The supporting documents submitted with your application to study (research proposal, academic transcripts and references etc.) will be used to assess your funding application.

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

Personal statement

If the scholarship system requests a Personal Statement, please note you do not need to provide one for this scholarship.

Please write, 'Personal Statement not required for this scholarship' in the appropriate section of the scholarship application.

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
Value of award

The award provides:

  • full tuition fees (UK, EU or Overseas level)
  • an annual stipend of £15,500

PhD students in the School of Social and Political Science can apply to the PhD Research Support Fund for help with fieldwork and other research-related costs throughout their period of study, providing they meet the eligibility criteria.

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.

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.

Assessment process and results

Stage one

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

Scholarship applicants are then ranked and the top candidates are put forward to the next stage.

Stage two

A panel of assessors, comprising the Postgraduate Research Programmes Director and two senior School academics, assess all ranked scholarship applicants and rank them individually.

The ranks are then collated and agreement on awards, reserves, and unsuccessful applicants are documented and actioned.

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

The School selection panel will meet in 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 are aiming to contact 'CAHSS Research Award - SPS' 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.

Student category