Scope of Civil Society, Development and Democracy

Applications for 2018/2019 entry open on 1 November 2017. Register now to keep up to date with the latest news on postgraduate research programmes and scholarship rounds.

About this project

This pathway increases understanding of changing natures of civil and political society paying attention to governance, institutions, community, individuals, migration and difference. Themes addressed include political climate of devolution, constitutional change, democracy, legitimacy, and citizenship; set within context of crises, inequality, uneven international development, public policy and rising powers.

Hull perspective

At University of Hull we offer doctoral students the opportunity to contribute to and benefit from our research excellence in understanding the changing nature of civil and political society: governance, institutions, community, individuals, migration, and difference. Active areas of our high-ranking rated research address topics including political climate of devolution, constitutional change, patterns and processes of democracy, legitimacy, and citizenship. Current research within the School of Environmental Sciences is set within the broader context of crisis, inequality, processes and patterns of uneven international development, public policy, situated development studies, and dynamics of rising powers. 


You are strongly advised to contact a potential supervisor and to discuss your research proposal, well before you submit an application. Please refer to the Geography research pages and staff profiles.

If you have any queries about the ESRC White Rose DTP Scholarships please email the theme lead Elsbeth Robson, or the Programme Manager Dr Nigel Shaw.

Next steps


The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest funding agency for research and postgraduate training relating to social and economic issues. At any one time, the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and research policy institutes.

The University of Hull is part of the ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership - a collaboration between the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York, Sheffield Hallam, Hull, Bradford and Manchester Metropolitan University - and through this is able to offer a range of ESRC Postgraduate Scholarships. 

ESRC-funded postgraduates follow a 3-year PhD programme (known as a '+3') or a 4-year programme consisting of a Masters plus PhD (known as a '1+3')

The type of ESRC scholarship awarded is based on an applicant's residency status. UK and EU applicants who have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years immediately preceding the start of their course are eligible for the full scholarship. This pays:

  • the standard UK/EU tuition fees
  • an annual, tax-free maintenance stipend at the standard UK research rate (£14,553 estimated for 2018/2019)
  • access to Research Training Support Grant funds to support conference and other expenses
  • students may apply for additional funding to support overseas fieldwork, language training and overseas institutional visits.

UK and EU applicants who have not been resident in the UK for 3 years immediately preceding the start of their course may be eligible for a fees-only award, paying the standard UK/EU tuition fees only.

International students are not eligible for ESRC scholarships.

There is no funding for only a Masters degree.

Entry requirements

International students are not eligible for ESRC scholarships.

For 1+3 and +3 awards, applicants must hold at least a UK Upper Second Class Honours degree or equivalent (a less than sufficient undergraduate degree may be enhanced, e.g. by a Master's degree). Applicants who do not have a Masters should apply for a PhD and, if successful on the basis of their research proposal, will be offered funding for the MSc Social Research (DTP), which fulfils the ESRC research training requirements, as well as for a PhD.

Applicants applying for a +3 award must demonstrate that they have already completed the full research training requirements either through a Master's degree or equivalent experience. If you have a Masters degree which is not considered to meet the ESRC training requirements, you can be considered for a 1+3 award. Applicants should contact the theme lead or Programme Manager, though note that the DTP has the final decision on whether an applicant is qualified a +3 award.

Applicants whose first language is not English must meet the University's English Language requirements.

Applicants must live within a reasonable distance of the University of Hull whilst in receipt of the Studentship (except for time spent on agreed fieldwork).


Further details about the ESRC’s residency requirements and eligibility for funding can be found on the ESRC website.

ESRC funding commences on 1st October each academic year.

The University of Hull can accept applications to the five Interdisciplinary Themed Pathways of ESRC training in the 1+3 (Masters and PhD), +3 (PhD only), for both full and part-time study.  The Pathways and relevant subject areas at Hull are as follows:

In addition to the Themed Pathway awards, the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) is pleased to announce 4 fully funded Advanced Quantitative Methods Awards starting September/October 2018. The DTP will give priority to those who will be working with large data sets (an ESRC priority). The DTP also has 2 Studentships to work on project areas that span the boundaries between Research Council remits; the latter will be selected from applications to the themed pathway awards.

How to apply

Applications for 2018/2019 entry will open on 1 November 2017 with a closing date of Wednesday 24 January 2018 at 5pm. Applications for scholarship consideration at the University of Hull should be made through the Postgraduate Application system.

Please apply for a PhD in Geography and quote ESRC, SCSDD in your application.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to first identify and contact a potential supervisor from member of staff of the relevant school.

Application deadline: 24 January 2018 at 5pm


£14,553 (estimated for 2018/2019)