The distribution of studentships by discipline across the first cohort (2017) in both the Doctoral Training Partnerships (DTPs) and Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) is detailed below:

Discipline 2017
Anthropology 28
Area and Development Studies 38
Demography 14
Economics 54
Economic and Social History 19
Education 54
Human Geography 64
Linguistics 35
Management and Business Studies 58
Environmental planning 22
Politics and International Relations 70
Psychology 96
Science and technology studies 21
Social policy 50
Social work 16
Socio-legal studies 44
Sociology 71
Stats, Methods and Computing 15
Total 769

This data is based on the primary discipline but many of the studentships awarded are interdisciplinary. 
We will regularly review demographic data to monitor the health of UK social sciences. 


The ESRC Strategic Plan (2015) reiterates our core commitment to enhance social science capability and build capacity in priority areas. We have awarded additional studentships and applied a steer to DTPs considered strong in a priority area to ensure that capacity is built in them. These DTPs are required to allocate a minimum number of their studentships to these areas.

A steer has been applied in the following priority areas:

  • Advanced Quantitative Methods (AQM)
  • Use of datasets 
  • Interdisciplinary research which straddles other research council remits

These have been initially set for the first three cohorts and will be reviewed as part of the mid-term review process for the DTPs.

We have also set a target for all DTPs and Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs) that at least 30% of each cohort should be engaged in some form of non-academic collaboration and that 50% of studentships are allocated on a four (or more) year basis.