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 Northern Bridge competition for entry 2018 is now open.

The deadline for submitting applications is 5pm on Wednesday 10th January 2018.

Applicants should submit a University online application for the PhD programme of study quoting code AH18 under ‘Studentship/Partnership’ and ‘Who is your sponsor/funding body’ and attach to the application the following documents;

  • Current CV (2 sides of A4 maximum);
  • Research Proposal (maximum 750 words excluding bibliography);
  • Contact details of two referees;
  • Full transcripts of previous qualifications.

If you are submitting a partnership application please note there is an expression of interest deadline.


Applicants must be citizens of the United Kingdom or another European Union country.

Further Information

Further details of the competition 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 Northern Ireland and North East Doctoral Training Partnership (NINE DTP) competition for entry 2018 is now open.

The deadline for submitting applications is 4pm on Friday 12th January 2018.
(Note – individual pathways may have an expression of interest deadline, please liaise directly with the pathway leader for further details.)

Applicants should submit a University online application for the relevant programme of study (i.e. 1+3 = MA, +3 = PhD) quoting code ESR18 under ‘Studentship/Partnership’ and ‘Who is your sponsor/funding body’, and include a 2000 word research proposal within the application form. In addition the following documents should be submitted by the deadline to PGR secretary Jenny Dawley via;

  • Current CV
  • Confirmation of University application/offer for the relevant programme of study
  • Two references
  • Full transcripts of previous qualifications

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 Information

Full details of the competition can be found on the NINE DTP website.


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:

  • full UK/EU tuition fees
  • an annual tax-free stipend (or living expenses) of £14,296 (pending confirmation)
  • Extensive research support funding is also offered