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South East Doctoral Training Arc (SEDarc) Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP)

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council

SEDarc Open competition for doctoral awards

Note: the deadline for this competition has now passed. Information about the competition for October 2025 entry will be published in the autumn.

Kingston University has a vibrant PhD community with over 200 research students working across the Social Sciences and Health subject areas. We are now inviting applications to the SEDarc Open Competition for doctoral awards through Kingston University for 2024 entry under the theme "Healthy and Thriving Communities". Note that it is not possible to submit an application directly to SEDarc – you must apply through one of the member universities.

SEDarc Kingston: Support with your application

Please email if you would like support with your application or would like to attend our application catch-up for applicants and supervisors.


  • UK applicants who have been resident in the UK for at least three years immediately preceding the start of their course are eligible to apply for the full scholarship covering stipend and tuition fees.
  • International applicants are eligible to apply for the full scholarship covering stipend and tuition fees. See KU tuition fees for more information about fees and EU/Irish eligibility for Home fees status.
  • Awards are available for both full-time and part-time students.
  • ESRC and UKRI eligibility criteria apply, and all awards are subject to the ESRC and UKRI terms and conditions.

ESRC terms and conditions and eligibility

All Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) awards are subject to the ESRC and UKRI Terms and Conditions. Please ensure that you are familiar with them. They are set out in three documents which can be accessed via the Manage your award page on the UKRI website:

  • UKRI Terms and Conditions of Training Grants
  • UKRI Training Grant Guidance
  • AHRC studentships: additional requirements for research organisations and award holders

Doctoral funding

You can find current maintenance and fee rates, as well as other support provided by UKRI for studentship award holders on the ESRC page Funding for postgraduate training and development.

The full-time doctoral stipend for 2023/24 is £20,622; levels are likely to rise slightly for 2024/25 but have not yet been confirmed. Awards will be for 3.5 years full time or 7 years part time.

Application process for doctoral funding

1. Contact a potential supervisor at Kingston University

This is to discuss your research proposal, the supervision that may be available, and whether you might be considered a suitable candidate for an ESRC award. If you are not sure who to contact, please see the Research pages on the faculty website. Alternatively, please email the Faculty Research Student Coordinator for advice on, including "SEDarc" in the subject line.

2. Submit a KU online application

Submit a Kingston University online application for October 2024 entry.

You will need to include:

  • A draft research proposal or project outline
  • Your academic transcripts and or certificates
  • English language qualifications, if required
  • A photograph or scan of your passport
  • You may also wish to attach a CV or other relevant documents, for example a portfolio of art work

When completed please email with your application reference number and ‘SEDarc' in the subject header.

  • Deadline: 15 January 2024

If successful, you will be invited to an interview. Interviews are planned for 19 January (online).

Assessment process

If successful at interview you will receive further support to develop your application which will then be considered by an internal panel of subject experts at Kingston University. You will be informed of the outcome by 31 January 2024.

3. Final application stage (by invitation only)

Your draft application will be reviewed and, if successful, you will be given feedback and invited to submit a finalised application via the online SEDarc application portal.

  • Deadline: 19 February 2024

If your application does go forward, SEDarc will contact you with the outcome of your application by early May.

Further details of the assessment process can be found on the SEDarc website (coming soon)

Enquiries are best addressed to the relevant faculty or potential supervisor, but general questions may be sent to:

SEDarc Postdoctoral Fellowships

The SEDarc Doctoral Training Partnership has been awarded funding from the ESRC to host four Postdoctoral Fellowships (PDFs) for October 2024 entry. The scheme is aimed at providing a career development opportunity for those in the immediate postdoctoral stage of their career, to consolidate their PhD through developing publications, their networks, and their research and professional skills.

What is on offer?

The PDF grants provide funding for up to one year full-time, or up to two years part-time. In exceptional cases, applicants can apply for a fellowship for up to 18 months, however, this must be fully justified by the programme of activities being proposed.

Fellowships cover:

  • The Fellow's salary costs
  • Indirect costs
  • Estate costs
  • Up to a maximum of £10,000 for all other costs (to include costs such as mentoring costs, travel and subsistence, conference attendance, training, and fieldwork, for example)

Who is eligible for a SEDarc ESRC-funded PDF?

This call is open to those who have:

  1. completed their PhD at a research organisation that is part of a current ESRC-funded Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP); and
  2. been awarded a PhD or have passed their viva voce (or passed with minor corrections) by the application deadline of 16 May 2024 16.00 GMT and have been awarded their PhD by the fellowship start date of 1 October 2024; and
  3. have no more than 12 months (full-time equivalent) of active postdoctoral experience since passing their viva voce (allowing for career breaks) by the application deadline of 16 May 2024.

Please note, if you have passed your viva voce, but with major corrections, you will not be eligible for this year's call.

Which pathways or disciplines can I apply for?

Your proposal can be from a single discipline or a combination of disciplines, but social sciences must make up at least 50% of your Fellowship activities.

Kingston SEDarc applicants may apply for the 'Healthy, Thriving Communities' interdisciplinary pathway.

ESRC PDF guidance documents

The ESRC issued the following documents for PDFs starting in October 2023 onwards:

  • ESRC Call Specification: sets out what is included in a PDF awards, the eligibility criteria, what is required in the application etc
  • ESRC FAQs: provides answers to questions about PDF awards

 For further information from the ESRC, visit their webpage on early career researchers.

How to apply

We are now accepting informal enquiries until 14 March 2024. If we are able to support your application you will be asked to follow the steps outlined below.

Enquiries to be sent to email

Stages of competition:

  1. Submit your expression of interest (template provided) and CV to SEDarc by 23:59 GMT on 25 March 2024.
  2. There will an internal review of EOIs to select our two institutional nominees: if you are successful following this first review phase, you will be invited to complete a full, costed application by 18 April 2024. Our Research Development team will assist with the costings.
  3. The deadline for full applications is 16.00 GMT on 16 May 2024. SEDarc will then peer review the applications with a central team and make funding decisions on behalf of the ESRC, to a maximum of four awards, by 17 June 2024.

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