Collaborative Studentship

ESRC Collaborative Studentship 2016/17:  Guidance Notes for submitting a project proposal to the DTC

For: Heads of School/Department, Pathway Leads, Graduate Schools/Scholarships Office/Student Financial Support Units

The White Rose Doctoral Training Centre (WRDTC) Collaborative Studentships Scheme aims to ensure that at least 20% of the WRDTC studentships are linked to partners in the private, public or third sectors.  These links do not have to involve funding and could be internships, placements or other forms of meaningful collaboration.

This means that our six Collaborative Awards which we have made available for competitive bids from departments do not need to have secured financial support from an external body, but must at least show strong evidence of a real partnership with that body. Nevertheless, we expect that the project partner will meet any travel, subsistence and accommodation costs incurred by the student associated with visits made to the non-academic organisation.

Applications that include additional financial support will be especially welcomed. 

Process and timeframe

The timeframe for handling these particular awards is different from the other awards given differences in the approval process. We are inviting academic units to submit project proposals to the DTC Academic Quality Committee (AQC) via the DTC Office by 12:00 noon 8 December 2015 using the ESRC Collaborative Studentship 2016/17: Proposal Form. Please include a letter/email from the partner indicating their support for the collaboration.

The Academic Quality Committee (AQC) will then determine which six (more maybe available) are to be supported, with the successful School/Department notified of the outcome by the end of January 2016. These awards can then be advertised via the relevant University/School/Department website for student applications, with a deadline to be set internally by the relevant unit.  The Schools/Departments will then relay to the AQC via the DTC Office their preferred candidates for final approval by April 5, 12:00 noon 2016.

Please note that these awards can be made to students on any accredited training pathway within the DTC. i.e. this is an open competition


Date Task Responsible body
6 October 2015 Deadline for Expression of Interest (EOI) form requesting attendance at the Development Workshop* to be submitted to DTC Office via Schools/Departments
12:00 noon, 8 December 2015 Deadline for submission of proposals to DTC Office ( Schools/Departments
By end of January 2016 6 x Collaborative Awards announced by DTC DTC Academic Quality Committee (AQC)
Date to be determined by school/dept Successful award holders advertise, shortlist, interview etc for collaborative studentship Schools/Departments
12:00 noon, 5 April 2016 Nominations (top ranked and 2 x reserves) into DTC Office via submission to local Scholarships Officers Schools/Departments
w/c 11 April 2016 Students/staff informed of outcomes Scholarships Offices at each HEI

* Development Workshops will take place on the following days: 12 October 2015, 10:00-12:00, University of Leeds, 19 October 2015, 10:00-12:00, University of Sheffield, 29 October 2015, 10:30-12:30, University of York – venues to be advised.

Assessment Criteria

Proposals will be assessed by the WRDTC Academic Quality Committee using the following criteria:

  • added value of the studentship in terms of establishing relationships with external partners
  • strategic relevance
  • extent and nature of interaction with the partner organisation
  • novelty, timeliness and clarity of the proposal
  • quality of supervision and training
  • priority will be given to new relationships with organisations, as opposed to already established collaborations
  • proposals will not be considered without an attached letter/email of support from the partner organisation
  • proposals will not be considered without a named contact person within the partner organisation who is responsible for overseeing the collaboration

See also: ESRC Collaborative Awards Studentships good practice guide

If you have any queries contact Nicola Reilly, WRDTC Manager, at or telephone 0114 222 6060.