The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Research Councils


Eligibility for research council awards differs for UK, EU and international students.

Students should clarify the criteria before proceeding with an application. 

The research councils that are most relevant to this School are:

There are also instances of interdisciplinary research studentships from more than one research council. Allocation of all these studentships are competitive.

Other research council studentships

At times, the School offers additional research council studentships, sometimes associated with particular projects or in collaboration with non-academic partners (ESRC-collaborative studentships).

These may be linked to the AHRC, ESRC or the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). Collaborative awards that are available will be advertised in the press and on this website.

The ESRC also occasionally offers collaborative studentships linked to a government department (such as the Department for Transport or the Scottish Government).

Information about these awards will be posted in the ESRC's website and available awards will be advertised here and in the press in the early summer.


This Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) competition offers postgraduate funding for certain areas of GPS research.

Funding is available for some areas of:

  • political and social philosophy
  • cultural/historical geography
  • political history
  • area studies

Contacts in the School

How to apply

The 2017 Northern Bridge competition is now open, the deadlines for the competition are as follows;

Expression of Interest Deadline – 13th December 2016
Internal Deadline for receiving all application material to – 4th January 2017 at 5pm
Northern Bridge application deadline - 11th January 2017 at 5pm.


Applicants must be citizens of the United Kingdom or another European Union country. Full eligibility criteria can be found on the Northern Bridge website.


We enjoy continuing high levels of ESRC funding success through three pathways within the school: Human Geography, Sociology and Politics & International Relations.

Newcastle University research institutes may also advertise specific bursaries and scholarship funding opportunities.

How to apply

The 2016 Northern Ireland and North East Doctoral Training Partnership competition will open shortly – details will be announced on 9th November 2016

International students

International students will only be eligible for an ESRC award if they have a relevant connection with the UK. A relevant connection may be established if you have:

  • been ordinarily resident* in the UK for the three-year period preceding the course; and
  • not been resident in the UK, in that period, wholly or mainly for full-time education (EU students see below)
  • settled UK status within the meaning of the Immigration Act 1971 (not subject to restriction on stay)

*Ordinarily resident is defined as a ‘habitual and normal residence from choice and for a settled purpose throughout the prescribed period, apart from temporary or occasional absences of the applicant, their spouse, civil partner or parent’.

Following the Bidar Judgement in 2005, EU nationals resident in the UK for three years preceding the date of an award, including for purposes of full time education, are now eligible for a full grant.

Check the ESRC website for more details.

Further links

The North East Doctoral Training Centre website provides more information about the ESRC awards.


The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology is a partner of the IAPETUS North East and Scotland multi-disciplinary Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP).

This is funded and accredited by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

IAPETUS’ postgraduate studentships are tenable for between three and four years, depending on the doctoral research project the student is studying.

They provide the following package of financial support:

  • a tax-free maintenance grant set at the UK Research Council’s national rate (2015/16 = £14,057)
  • full payment of their tuition fees at the home/EU rate
  • access to extensive research support funding

Part-time award holders are funded for between six and eight years and receive a maintenance grant at 50% of the full-time rate.

All studentships will commence in September/October 2016, except in exceptional circumstances.

How to apply

The call for applications for 2016 entry is now closed.

Further links

Visit the IAPETUS website for more information.