Students Staff

02 August 2016

Essex taking lead role on postgraduate training as part of ESRC-backed Doctoral Training Network

Students working together

The University of Essex is to play a major role in training the next generation of leading researchers as part of the national Doctoral Training Network launched this week by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

The new Network will create the next generation of leading social science researchers. The University of Essex will be the lead institution of a new Doctoral Training Partnership and a key partner in an innovative Centre for Doctoral Training covering biosocial research. They will build on the success of Essex's existing doctoral training partnerships and centres.

The 14 new Doctoral Training Partnerships covering the UK have been accredited for six years and will start taking students in October 2017. In total around 500 studentships will be available per year with 50 Postdoctoral Fellowships also funded through the Network.

The University of Essex is committed to excellence in education and excellence in research. It was 4th in the UK for research excellence within social science in the last Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014).

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Heather Laurie said: “Providing high quality doctoral training in the social sciences within a world-class research environment is central to our mission to develop the talented and innovative academics and researchers of the future. We look forward to working with our partner institutions and the ESRC in developing the next generation of research leaders for the UK.”

The University of Essex will lead the new South East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS) Doctoral Training Partnership which will widen access to postgraduate study and deliver the highest quality training in the social sciences.

The Essex led partnership also includes City University London, University of East Anglia, Goldsmiths College, University of Kent, University of Reading, Roehampton University, Royal Holloway, University of London, University of Surrey and University of Sussex.

SeNSS Director Professor Shamit Saggar said: “The ten universities in the SeNSS consortium have great strength and ambition in the social sciences, and the award of a Doctoral Training Partnership by the ESRC is recognition of our plans in developing doctoral training. Through our 13 training pathways, advanced skills modules, cohort development, and engagement with research users and practitioners, we will deliver step change in the student experience. I am delighted to lead SeNSS in this exciting venture. My aim is to ensure that SeNSS quickly becomes a sought-after badge of academic and practical excellence.”

The two new Centres for Doctoral Training, being established alongside the Doctoral Training Partnerships, are designed to “pump prime” the development of training in new and emerging areas. Funding is for three cohorts of at least 10 students per year.

The University of Essex and the University of Manchester are partners within the new Social Biological Centre for Doctoral Training, called Soc-B, led by University College London. It will be 50 per cent co-funded with the BBSRC.


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