Students Staff

Doctoral training centres

ESRC Doctoral Training Centre

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Information for current students

The Essex ESRC Doctoral Training Centre (DTC) is no longer accepting applications for new ESRC-funded studentships and will be replaced by The South East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS).

If you were recruited to the Essex DTC (2011-2016), you will remain on the terms and conditions at the time of your award and Essex will continue to manage, receive and approve RTSG, OIV, etc applications.


  • May 2018

    ESRC Postgraduate Funding Guide

    PDF document

    This guide from the ESRC provides full detail of our ESRC DTC studentships and their administrative processes.

Training courses

If you have any queries about training courses offered by the Essex ESRC DTC, please contact your department's Graduate Administrator.

Accessing the Research Training Support Grant fund

If you hold an Essex ESRC DTC studentship, you will be entitled to access the Research Training Support Grant Fund (RTSG) during the doctoral research phase of your pathway. We receive £750 per student per year, and an additional £250 per student, per year for those funded via an advanced quantitative methods studentship.

The grant isn't personal to you, but you can apply for funds from it for the purposes outlined below. This amount accumulates during your period of research. If you're a full-time student and you don't access your grant in years one and two of your doctoral award, we will have accumulated £2,250 (£3,000 for those using advanced quantitative methods) which you can apply to spend in year three. Unspent money is lost at the end of your award, so we encourage you to use it.

To check how much you have remaining in your fund, please contact your department's Graduate Administrator.

Eligible items for funding

This allowance is intended to be used to pay for expenses which you and your supervisor deem to be in direct support of your research. Examples provided by the ESRC are:

  • UK fieldwork expenses
  • UK, EU and overseas conferences and summer schools
  • language training courses usually undertaken in the UK prior to an overseas fieldwork trip
  • reimbursement of interpreters, guides, assistants
  • survey costs, eg printing, stationery, telephone calls
  • purchase of small items of equipment of research purposes eg cameras, tape recorders, films, cassettes
  • gifts for local informants

Overseas fieldwork is funded separately. Further information is provided in the ESRC Postgraduate Funding Guide above.

In exceptional circumstances, we may be able consider requests to purchase a laptop or other computer equipment, including software, from this allowance. Any such request must be clearly and adequately justified based on the nature of the research being undertaken and as being essential for the successful completion of the PhD. In these instances, any equipment purchased in excess of £200 must be returned to the University following completion of your award.

How to make a claim

  1. Discuss your plans with your supervisor.
  2. Complete the Research Training Support Grant claim form (.rtf).
  3. Provide all receipts/equivalent evidence of use of funding to your department. These receipts are used for the annual financial reconciliation and funding cannot be given without receipts/equivalent evidence of use of funding.
  4. Your supervisor and Graduate Director or Head of Department will consider your request and approve it if it's deemed to be appropriate.
  5. The money will be paid to your department if your claim is approved.
  6. Your department will make arrangements to reimburse you.

If you're unsure about the eligibility of your claim, please email