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South Coast DTP

Fund your PhD with an ESRC SCDTP bursary

South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership logo

Subject to continued funding, the ESRC South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (SCDTP) is now accepting funding applications from students wishing to commence their studies in the 2024/25 academic year.

The University of Portsmouth is part of the South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (SCDTP), alongside the Universities of Southampton, Brighton and Chichester.

The SCDTP is a beacon of excellence, innovation and imagination in the training of the next generation of social scientists. Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the South Coast DTP will be awarding a minimum of 34 studentships per year to social scientists carrying out PhD studies, or Masters + PhD studies.

All three universities are home to research centres with global reputations for their expertise and excellence, alongside a diversity of other specialisms.


SCDTP programme highlights

  • Monthly training sessions for the whole SCDTP cohort
  • A wide-ranging training programme including skills workshops, PhD forums, research groups, seminars and reading groups
  • Thematic Cluster Pathway (TCP) inter-disciplinary training across the whole duration of the programme
  • High profile events such as a final year conference, a student-led SCDTP Research Methods Festival, an annual residential trip and collaborative workshops
  • Access to the Research Training Support Grant (RTSG), intended to pay for expenses which the student/supervisor/department deem to be in direct support of a student’s research, including fieldwork or attending specialist training courses
  • Extensions to funding available for internships and overseas visits

Explore our research areas

You should approach potential supervisors with your own research idea, or may develop a proposal to fit within our areas of expertise in Area Studies, Business and Management, Criminology or Psychology. Check the box below for more details, and to make contact with our supervisors and research coordinators.


Area Studies

The University's Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR) brings together world leading research in Area Studies. There are more than 60 members of CEISR, and their research is organised into nine clusters.

Contact Dr Brigitte Leucht

This research group explores the history, societies, cultures, politics and languages of different regions of the world, with a particular emphasis on decolonial perspectives. It focuses particularly on centring the experiences, voices and ways of understanding the world of people and groups who are marginalised by the dominant power relations in a given place at a given time. It is interested in the complexities of how different political systems, societies and cultures function and promotes inter- and intra-area comparative study.

A second focus of this group is the exploration of global power relations, including relations between states, legal structures, borders, interactions between the local and the global, the changing centres and structures of knowledge production itself and its traditional Eurocentric ontology and epistemology. 


Contact Dr Maria Cannon or Dr Robert James

The History research group includes diverse scholars working on aspects of social and cultural history in America, Asia, Britain and Europe. 

Key areas addressed in strategic projects are the importance of ports as sites of unique socio-cultural exchange (Port Towns and Urban Cultures), and the representation of the supernatural in urban environments (Supernatural Cities). Another major research project evaluates railway worker accidents in Britain and Ireland (Railway Work, Life and Death). 

Other areas of focus in the research group include student activism and civil rights, gender history, and revolutionary political cultures.


 Contact Dr Melita Lazell or Dr Patricia Shamai

The Peace, Conflict and Security (PSC) research group is an interdisciplinary forum for sharing research, knowledge and research practice focused on the intertwined fields of peace, security and conflict studies.Our members focus on research areas including: security and development, war and film, religious extremism, insurgency and political violence, war and the body, the character of warfare, international relations theory, emotion and terrorism, african security, gender and security, multinational warfare and coalitions, cyber security, weapons of mass destruction and socio-technical security.


Contact Ms Laura Hyman or Professor Barry Smart

The Sociology and Social Theory Research Group brings together researchers from the fields of sociology, social psychology, politics, history, linguistics, and cultural studies. It serves as a hub for interdisciplinary exchange on questions of theory and methodology in the study of contemporary society. The specialist research interests of group members include: classical and contemporary social and cultural theory; climate change: social, economic, and political issues; consumption and the environment; culture, class, taste and aesthetics; eating, food, and drink; economic life, work, and employment; education, knowledge, and social reproduction; emotions, happiness and wellbeing; gender, sexuality, and identity; globalization, inequality and protest movements; homelessness and migrant homelessness; race, ethnicity, citizenship, and nationalism; religion and secularisation; sport, culture and economy.


Contact Professor Wolfram Kaiser or Dr Nora Siklodi 

The broad focus of this group is research into cross-border transnational and supranational dimensions of Europe, the European Union and the wider world past and present. The group comprises researchers from political studies, history, sociology, ethnology and cultural studies fostering interdisciplinary debate and co-operation.

Our members focus on research areas including: education in transnational spaces; ethnicity in cross-border relationships; expertise in supranational policymaking; governance beyond the state; identity; migration; non-governmental organisations; politics and policymaking in the european union; revolution and gender; transnational mobilisation and law; transnational political parties. 


Contact Dr Lana Chikhungu or Dr Isabelle Cockel

This group comprises scholars from a range of disciplines including historical studies, social studies, international development, media and education working on women and gender issues in a wide range of historical, social and cultural contexts. 

There are a number of areas of interest including:women’s suffrage; biographies and life stories; femininities and alcohol consumption/sobriety; sexualities; women and gender in North Africa, Taiwan, India and South Sudan; intersections of feminism and race; ending violence against women and girls; harmful gender based cultural practices such as FGM; gender and the civil rights movement in the USA; religion and gender; gender and education; gender and sexual harassment; gender representations in the media. 


Business and Management

Our Business and Management research spans over five research centres: the Agile Centre for Equitable Sustainability, the Centre of Blue Governance (CBG), the Centre for Innovative and Sustainable Finance (CISF), the Centre for Operational Research and Logistics (CORL), and the Centre for Business Resilience Inclusive Development Growth and Enterprise (BRIDGE).

For more information on the potential research areas and available supervisors, please explore our research centre pages.

PhD programme enquiries to be directed to Prof Diego Vasquez-Brust (diego.vazquez-brust@port.ac.uk)

The Agile Centre for Equitable Sustainability develops new, actionable, transformative and interdisciplinary knowledge bridging social and environmental research in sustainability across disciplines, we aim to achieve world-class standing for the quality and relevance of research and education in Equitable Sustainability; with a focus on engendering action and innovation to provide agile responses to challenges affecting pathways towards an equitable and sustainable society. 

Equitable Sustainability aims to provide on the one hand socially feasible and just solutions for environmental challenges such as pollution and waste, climate change and biodiversity reduction and on the other hand environmentally sound and just solutions to address poverty, deprivation and social and economic inequality, injustice and exclusion.

We propose scalable solutions for sustainable development challenges and contribute to the UN SDGs through our areas of excellence in a) responsible and sustainable production and consumption, b) global justice, sustainable and inclusive communities, c) innovation and project management for equitable sustainability and humanitarian action, d) sustainable and affordable energy and inclusive climate action, e) environmental justice and wildlife protection


PhD programme enquiries to be directed to Prof Pierre Failler (pierre.failler@port.ac.uk)

The Centre for Blue Governance at the University of Portsmouth aims to meet the holistic and multi-disciplinary research needed to inform blue governance mechanisms. The CBG takes a more expansive view of Blue Economy to encompass marine and freshwater systems and conceptualises them as development spaces. 

The overall objective of the Centre is multidisciplinary collaboration to contribute to the design, setting-up and implementation of blue growth in countries, regions and political entities. It will develop and provide inter-disciplinary research expertise at both sectoral (various economic branches) and overall levels (coordination, planning) with a strong emphasis on the challenge synergising nature conservation and economic development. 

The Centre for Blue Governance will also serve as a nexus to facilitate collaboration across stakeholders in blue governance. It provides multi-discipline expertise to the multi-sector and multi-user landscape of aquatic governance. The Centre's activities encompass research, development policies, social justice and education.


PhD programme enquiries to be directed to Dr Scott Mahadeo (scott.mahadeo@port.ac.uk)

Global warming, pandemics, recurrent financial crises, and new web-based technology — in response to a world in constant flux, The Centre for Innovative and Sustainable Finance (CISF) is undertaking research that helps governments, organisations, individuals, and society adapt to the evolving national and international financial landscape.


PhD programme enquiries to be directed to Dr Huijing Chen (huijing.chen@port.ac.uk)

In the Centre for Operational Research and Logistics (CORL), we're using our expertise in analytics, data, algorithms, system design, simulation, modelling, programming, and forecasting to help organisations around the world make better decisions.

At a time when businesses are facing ever-more complex questions – around issues such as technology, efficiency and sustainability – we're working closely with partners in the public and private sector to solve their problems and challenges.

At CORL, experts in mathematics, technology, business and industrial research work on research that spans many potential applications. Recent projects have explored ways to make transport systems more efficient and how analytics can be used to improve healthcare and renewable energy.



The School of Criminology and Criminal Justice was founded in 1992 and is internationally-recognised for its study of crime, its causes, and the societal and personal impact it has. We're the largest criminology department in the UK and we have interdisciplinary expertise in criminological analysis, applied psychology, policing, community justice, penology, risk, security and international and comparative criminal justice.Our courses and research range from criminology and criminal justice, to counter fraud, forensics, criminal psychology and cybercrime. 

We have a strong international reputation for research and innovation, which feeds into our teaching and makes a positive impact on society. We have eight groups in Criminology research. We also have the Centre for Cybercrime and Economic Crime harnessing, coordinating and developing the cybercrime and economic crime expertise across the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the wider University, including the School of Computing, the Department of Psychology, and the Faculty of Business and Law. As one the largest groups of active researchers in these areas in the UK, our members are at the forefront of researching and understanding the challenges posed by cybercrime and economic crime. Their work contributes to solutions that address these risks and enhance societal and organisational security and resilience.

  • Professor Becky Milne | Cognitive interview; Investigative interviewing: PEACE: Tiers 1-5 (PIP Levels 1-2 specialist); Miscarriages of Justice; Interviewing vulnerable groups (e.g. children, people with learning disability, trauma); Investigation processes.

  • Dr Gary Dalton | Eyewitness memory, face recognition and police interview techniques

  • Dr Amy Meenaghan | Criminology, psychology, VR as a research tool, expertise and decision-making in offenders

  • Dr Fiona Wadie | Police wellbeing; Police investigations and police culture; Investigative interviewing; Police specialisms - particularly police divers; Research methods

  • Dr Simona Ciobotaru | Cyberpsychology; Social media; Social network analysis; OSINT; Trolling online and Cyberbullying; Missing people; Safeguarding online; Misinformation.

  • Dr Aram Ghaemmaghami | Counter-terrorism; countering violent extremism; political extremism; community resilience; community policing; communities at risk; gang crime; race politics; race relations; policy making; social responses to climate change; environmental sustainability; education; ethics of AI technologies.

  • Dr Gizem Guney | Domestic violence against women and LGBTQI+; ECHR, ECtHR and the Istanbul Convention; The judicial interpretation of the right to equality; Cultural relativism; Feminist legal theory and feminist criminology; Queer theory; Gender and crime; Comparative criminal justice; Online/cyber forms of violence against women; Internet-of-things and domestic violence.

  • Dr Chloe Hawkins | Cybercrime; online fraud; repeat victimisation; victims; social media; risk crisis and disaster; modern slavery;human trafficking

  • Dr Vasileios Karagiannopoulos |Information technology law and regulation; Cybercrime/Cybersecurity; Cyberawareness education; Hacktivism, cyberterrorism and cyberwarfare; Crime, punishment and new technologies; Human rights online; Critical criminology; Internet politics and political protest; Ethics and Artificial Intelligence.

  • Dr Iain Reid | Risk-based approaches to strategic deception detection; Environmental and physiological impacts on human cyber security behaviour; Perceptions of security and risk amongst software developers; Innovative approaches to cyber deception for defence; Digital Footprints and emissions; Socio-psychological understanding of the impact of doxing.

  • Dr Moufida Sadok | Socio-technical approaches to information systems security; Cybersecurity and work systems; Social engineering and human-related risks; Usable security; Design and development of security policies; User acceptance of security policies and technologies; Organisational governance for cybersecurity; Global governance of cybersecurity; Sustainability as governance and systemic sustainability issues.

  • Dr Lisa Sugiura |Cybercrime and online deviance; Gender and feminism; Technology facilitated sexual violence and rape culture; Domestic Abuse; Online harassment and abuse; Incel and alt-right communities; Propaganda, Fake news and online dis/misinformation; Dark web and cryptomarkets; Online pharmaceuticals; Online research ethics.

  • Professor Mark Button |Counter fraud; Cyber-frauds; Computer misuse; Victims of fraud and computer misuse; Fraud measurement; Private policing; Security management; Private security regulation.

  • Dr Paul Gilmour | Beneficial ownership transparency; Tax havens and secrecy jurisdictions, and offshore finance; Freeports; Anti-money laundering control; Money laundering and tax evasion; Financial technology and regulation; Application of blockchain technology; Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and cryptocurrencies; Organised crime and Illicit markets.

  • Dr Branislav Hock | Transnational Economic Crime; Anti-Corruption Law; Compliance; Law & Economics; Collective Action; Private Ordering; Public Procurement; Money Laundering; Global Sanctions.

  • Dr David Shepherd |Fraud; Corruption; Fraud measurement; Fraud prevention; Organisational characteristics.

  • Dr Katherine Brown |Forensic science; decomposition; taphonomy; entomology; digital technologies; VR; 3D printing; AR.

  •  Dr Jodie Coulston |Fingermark visualisation - development (on various surfaces) and understanding of current and novel techniques; Chemistry of fingerprints; Microscopic analysis of fingermarks; The use of analytical methods to understand fingermark visualisation methods; How to determine the numerical quality of a fingermark.

  •  Dr Helen Earwaker | Decision making within fingermark development and comparison; Fingermark visualisation techniques; Cognitive forensics and human factors.

  • Professor Paul Smith |Crime Scene Examination / Management / Co-ordination; Advances in Forensic Science; Technology and Policing;Human Factors.

  • Dr Craig Collie |Missing persons; search and rescue; abduction; trafficking; experience of families; missing person campaigns; law.

  • Dr Dion Glass | Offender Profiling, with special interest in the application of Geoprofiling; Behavioural (Psychological) Profiling; Linguistic Profiling; Victim Profiling; Crime Scene (& linkage) Profiling and Community Profiling; psychological constructs that lead to offending, human trafficking, and forensic psychology and mental health.

  • Dr Damien Cassan |criminology; policing; police training; police socialisation; police culture; international comparison; policing and mental health; police and ageing; ethnography; qualitative research; documentary analysis.

  • Professor Sarah Charman |Policing; criminology; police cultures; policing organisations; police leadership; politics of policing; police training.

  • Dr John Fox |Police occupational culture; Child Death Investigation; Surveillance society; Discretion in police investigation; Police training and guidance; Police oversight.

  • Professor Peter Lee |The politics and ethics of war and military intervention; the ethics and ethos of lethal military drone operations; the politics and ethics of identity, and the application of Foucauldian conceptions of power; truth and subjectivity to contemporary political discourse.

  • Dr Jemma Tyson | (Disablist) hate crime; Equality and diversity in policing; Policing.

  • Dr Andy Williams | Cyber-activism relating to online child sex offender grooming and internet stings; sexual and violent offenders; and systems of public protection and probation management.


  • Dr Hannah Baumer | Sport for development within the criminal justice system and the wider community; masculinity; psychological theories of motivation; and investigative interviewing.

  • Dr Dennis Gough | The Probation Service and community punishment; Implementing Restorative Justice approaches to entrenched problems; Risk Management, Multi Agency Public Protection Arrangements and the management of dangerous offenders; The Voluntary Sector in Probation and Prisons; Ex-service users as peer mentors; The treatment and rehabilitation of offenders.

  • Professor Francis Pakes | Comparative Criminal Justice; Criminal Justice in the Netherlands; Psychology and Criminal Justice; Criminal Justice and Mental Health; Prisons in the Nordic countries, in particular Norway and Iceland.

  • Dr Aaron Pycroft | Complexity theory; substance misuse;mental health; probation/prison; relationships between criminology, theology, law and ethics. Hermeneutical phenomenology, critical criminology.

  •  Dr Dina Santos | Race, gender, migration, but also on love and deviance, sex work in the UK, childhoods in war affected areas.

  • Dr Nick Pamment |Wildlife Crime; Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT); Conservation Social Sciences; Green Criminology; Environmental Justice; Youth Crime; Youth Justice.

  • Dr Jacki Tapley | Victimology; victims of crime; criminology; gender; victim-centred policies and legislation; policing; CPS; gender-based violence; female offenders.

  • Dr Busra Sarac | State-led and state-sanctioned violence; Violence by non-state actors; Gender-based violence; Feminist Theory; Gender and terrorism; Migration.


The Department of Psychology is home to internationally-renowned experts and exceptional facilities for practical and theoretical research. There are over 45 members of staff, organized into four research centres; the International Centre for Research in Forensic Psychology (ICRFP), the Centre for Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology (CCEP), the Centre for Interaction, Development & Diversity (CIDD), and the Quality of Life, Health & Wellbeing research group.  

  • Dr Lucy Akehurst | Investigative interviewing, and credibility assessment, of child witnesses and/or vulnerable/intimidated adult witnesses

  • Dr Hartmut Blank | Reversibility of memory distortion/false memories; Applied/eyewitness memory (e.g. effects of multiple misinformation); Hindsight bias ('Knew it all along' effect); Social influence on memory; Meta-analysis

  • Dr Ana Gheorghiu | First impressions and their effects in social and legal outcomes; How does a person’s appearance influence our judgement and decision-making?; Social judgement; impression formation; person perception; judgement and decision-making

  • Dr Stefana Juncu | Missing persons investigations; Missing persons appeals; Eyewitness memory; Lineup identifications; Improving face recognition
  • Dr Alistair Harvey | Experimental psychology; attention and memory;  impact of alcohol on  spatial attention, selective listening, face processing, auditory/visual memory, eyewitness memory & executive functioning.

  • Dr Lawrence Patihis | False memories and memory distortions. Memory of emotion malleability. Event memory unreliability in court cases. Skepticism about, and an interest in people’s beliefs about, repressed memories, dissociative amnesia, and dissociative identity disorder. Concern about the scientific validity of trauma and dissociation measures and correlations.

  • Dr Dominic Pearson | Evaluation of programmes for reducing adult deliberate firesetting; Victim and offender engagement with restorative justice; The role of monitoring in assessment and management of people subject to custodial release; The impact of Dad deprivation on the development of offending.

  • Dr Renan Saraiva | Memory performance and eliciting information in forensic contexts; Eyewitness memory; Lineup identifications; Memory and ageing; Metamemory and metacognition; Investigative interviewing

  • Dr Zarah Vernham | Lie detection; Detecting deception using a collective interviewing approach; Collaborative memory; Examining the utility of individuating strategies in collaborative recall contexts; Investigative Interviewing; Information elicitation in forensic contexts; Offender behaviour and cognition

  • Dr Miznah Al-Abbadey | Chronic pain – impact and management; Psychosocial outcomes and cancer, including cancer-related pain; The development and validation of patient reported outcome measures

  • Dr Nina Attridge |  The impact of pain on cognitive function, including attention, reasoning and decision making.

  • Dr Chris Jones | Social Acceptance of Energy Technologies: Assessing public attitudes and behaviour towards established and emerging supply and demand side technology options (e.g., nuclear power, wind power, carbon dioxide storage and utilisation, smart metering), including understanding the implications for health and well-being, planning policy, public communication, and engagement.

 Sustainability and Environmental Behaviour: Assessing the factors that facilitate and inhibit action on environmental issues and the promotion of more consistent sustainable behaviour (e.g., compensatory beliefs and moral licensing), including studying the interface between business/industry and the public.

  • Dr Daphne Kaklamanou | Behaviour Change in health related behaviour (e.g. exercise, smoking) and within more specific populations (e.g. diabetes, obesity); Self-Regulation in Health Behaviour – specifically looking at trade-offs within health behaviours (e.g. compensatory health beliefs, self-licensing); User experience of Patient Reported Outcome Measures (PROMS) and new technologies

  • Dr Roger Moore | Brainwave (EEG) activity which links to anxious rumination and goal conflict; biomarkers of anxiety; experimental psychophysiology.

  • Dr Nils Niederstrasser | Biopsychosocial factors influencing different aspects of pain; Recovery from post-surgical pain; Interactions between pain and cognition.

  • Dr Axelle Philippon | Moral injury in the context of child protection team work; Memory and traumatic experiences of vulnerable children and adults; vulnerable adults and children at risk of offending.   

  • Dr Lorenzo Stafford | Sensory system (mainly smell and taste) influences on eating and drinking behaviour; Alcohol, addiction (inc gambling); Eating behaviour – obesity, eating disorders, food neophobia and picky eating; The emotion of Disgust and its many faces.

  • Dr Mark Turner  | Social Media, Well-being, Body Image, Online Impression management; Computer-mediated communication; Human Factors; Employment and Skills Development in Higher Education.  

  • Dr Darren Van Laar | Organisational Psychology and Human Factors; The Quality of Working Life and job satisfaction of employees, and comparisons across occupational sub groups (e.g. nurses, barristers, teachers) or countries, including stress and wellbeing; Applied psychology projects; Psychometric scale construction.

  •  Dr Emine Gurbuz | Emotional contagion via reading and therapeutic implications of reading interventions


  • Dr. Nina Attridge | The development of reasoning, critical thinking and decision making skills through education. Dual-processes in reasoning.

  • Dr.Alessandra Fasulo | Communication in healthcare settings; Atypical interaction (i.e. interaction involving  people with different ways of communicating, or  language impairments); Autism seen through autobiographical and narrative data; Conversation analysis projects.

  • Dr Emine Gurbuz | Social interactions and double-empathy problem in autistic adults; Mental health and well-being in autistic university students; Cross-cultural comparisons of experiences of autistic university students; Stigma and prejudices against autistic adults.

  • Dr Steven Kapp | Autism and social justice (personality or advocacy); Autistic people’s experiences and identity; Views on supports and treatments of autism; Employment of autistic adults. 

  • Dr. Iris Nomikou | Language Development and Language Socialisation; Factors contributing to heterogeneity/ diversity in development; Typical and atypical development Multimodality in interaction/ communication.

  • Dr Kagari Shibazaki | Cross-cultural and comparative perspectives; Development of gender stereotypes in young children; Children’s collaborative creativity; Arts and Health, especially with a focus on music and dementia; Psychology of Music.

  • Dr Eszter Somogyi | Development of prosocial behaviours; Child-robot interaction; Effect of mindfulness in schools on children's wellbeing and academic performance; Effect of mindfulness in schoolteachers and nursery teachers; Children's learning in museums and other informal settings; Infant body know-how; Vocal and gestural communication in infancy.


  • Dr Lucy Bates | Evolution of empathy and social knowledge using elephants as model species; Mitigating conflicts between humans and elephants; Using knowledge of elephant behaviour and sociality to design effective strategies that encourage peaceful coexistence; Value of wildlife (especially elephants) to humans.

  • Dr Marina Davila-Ross | Evolution of humor: laughter and teasing in children and great apes; Emotional contagion and the development of empathy in playful interactions; Early language development and protophones: A new cross-cultural and cross-species approach to examine vocal production; Conservation psychology: The impact of humans on rehabilitation and sanctuary great apes

  • Dr Esther Herrmann | Cooperation and Self-Control; How are developmental factors and cultural characteristics influence cooperation and self-control?; Understanding the evolutionary origins of cooperation and self-control; Impact of social relationships on cooperative decision making. Specific topics: Prosociality, Reputation, Risk and Trust.

  • Dr Marine Joly | Evolution of Cognition; Navigation in the physical and social space; Social tolerance and inhibitory control; Inhibitory control and risk-taking behaviour; Spatial and social networks.

  • Dr Jérôme Micheletta | Macaque communication and social behaviour; NetFACS, using network science to study facial expressions; Social tolerance, social complexity and communication complexity; Conservation Education around the Tangkoko Nature Reserve, North Sulawesi, Indonesia; Multimodal communication.

  • Dr Sophie Milward | General topics: Development; Evolution and individual differences in social cognitive skills; Theory of Mind; Task Co-representation; Executive Functions; Empathy; Emotion Contagion; Collaboration; Joint action. Specific projects: Beyond the dyad: task co-representation of multiple co-actors.

  • Dr Edward Morrison | Evolutionary psychology; Facial perception; Movement and social perception.

  • Dr Leanne Proops | General topics: animal welfare, animal social cognition, human-animal interactions, equid behaviour. Specific topics: working equid and livestock welfare in the global south;  responses to social separation and grief across species.


  • Dr Teresa Romero | General topics: animal social behaviour and cognition, animal welfare. Specific topics: Socio-emotional competence and social integration in animals.  Art and Citizen science as tools for animal conservation and welfare.




Funding information and eligibility 

The studentships are funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for social science research in Area Studies, Business and Management, Criminology or Psychology. The studentships cover University of Portsmouth tuition fees and an annual maintenance grant of £18,622 (2023/24 rate).

The SCDTP is able to accept applications from UK and Overseas applicants to all of our accredited disciplines/pathways, however due to UKRI funding conditions, awards to non-UK residents are capped to a maximum of 30% of the total number of studentships awarded.  

You can apply for 3 different types of funding:

1+3.5 – Funding is provided for students to undertake a Master's programme followed by 3.5 further years during PhD funding, including a Research-in-Practice placement.

+3.5 – Students receive 3.5 years funding whilst undertaking an accredited PhD programme at one of the partner institutions, including a Research-in-Practice placement.

+4.5 – Exceptionally a +4.5 award will be made available to students who are undertaking research of a particularly interdisciplinary nature, and including a Research-in-Practice placement. In recognition of the additional training requirements of the research, 4.5 years funding will be provided whilst undertaking an accredited PhD programme at one of the partner institutions. You will be required to complete a tailored programme of 60 ECTS points, identified by the Development Needs Analysis which will be completed during your programme.

Entry Requirements 

You must have a Bachelors' degree at first or upper second-class level, from a UK academic higher education institution. Degree qualifications gained from outside the UK, or a combination of qualifications and/or experience that is equivalent to a relevant UK degree, may be accepted.  Studentships are open to UK, EU and international students.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Research proposal

For 1+3.5 funding applications please provide a research proposal of 750 words.

For +3.5 funding applications please provide a research proposal of 1,500 words.

Please refer to our research proposal guide for further advice. 


How to apply

The first thing you’ll need is a University supervisor to support your SCDTP application – so you’ll need to contact prospective supervisors before you submit an application.

You're strongly encouraged to regularly discuss your research proposal with the supervisor as it is developed. ESRC studentships are highly competitive and it is crucial that applications are as good as they possibly can be. Please check the areas of expertise listed in the 'Explore our research areas' section above and then contact the relevant supervisor to discuss your idea further.

For projects in Area Studies, apply here quoting project code SDTP8790124.

For projects in Business and Management, apply here quoting project code SDTP8810124.

For projects in Criminology, apply here quoting project code SDTP8800124

For projects in Psychology, apply here quoting project code SDTP8780124

Please note: you’ll need to submit two applications, an online application to the University of Portsmouth plus an application for funding to the SCDTP. For more details, visit the SCDTP website.


Application deadline

The application deadline is Friday 19 January 2024 (17:00 GMT).



Explore our research areas

Area studies postgraduate research degrees

Explore our pre-approved Area Studies PhD projects, learn more about our MPhil and other research degrees, and find out how to join the thriving research community at the University of Portsmouth.

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Psychology postgraduate research degrees

Explore our pre-approved Psychology PhD projects, learn more about our MPhil and other research degrees, and find out how to join the thriving research community at the University of Portsmouth.

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Criminology postgraduate research degrees

Explore our pre-approved Criminology PhD projects, learn more about our MPhil and other research degrees, and find out how to join the thriving research community at the University of Portsmouth.

Forensics student puts crime evidence in bag
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Business and management postgraduate research degrees

Explore our pre-approved Business and Management PhD projects, learn more about our MPhil and other research degrees, and find out how to join the thriving research community at the University of Portsmouth.

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