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Eligibility Requirements

Following a recent announcement by the ESRC, the Midlands Graduate School ESRC DTP is delighted to open this year’s studentship competition, for entry in October 2021, to both home and international students. All applicants will be eligible for a full award consisting of a maintenance stipend (£15,285 in 2020/21), and payment of tuition fees at the home fee rate.


To be classed as a home student, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK national (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have settled status, or
  • Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have indefinite leave to remain or enter

If an applicant does not meet any of the criteria above, they will be classed as an international student. Please note that we can award up to 30% of studentships to international students per cohort, and that we are awaiting confirmation on what proportion of the international tuition fee will be covered by funding from the Midlands Graduate School from each institution. Policies on this may vary between institutions. This guidance will be updated to confirm the fees information in advance of the open competition deadline (26th January 2021).

Residency requirements for UK nationals

In terms of residency requirements for UK nationals, for courses starting from 1st August 2021, candidates will continue to be eligible for home fee status as long as:

  • they were living in the EEA or Switzerland on 31st December 2020, and have lived in the EEA, Switzerland, the UK or Gibraltar for at least the last 3 years before starting a course in the UK
  • have lived continuously in the EEA, Switzerland, the UK or Gibraltar between 31st December 2020 and the start of the course
  • the course starts before 1st January 2028

Residency requirements for those with pre-settled status

If applicants do not have 5 years’ continuous residence in the UK when they apply to the EU settlement scheme, they will usually get pre-settled status. They must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020.

Those with pre-settled status will qualify as a home student if they have 3 years’ residency in the UK/EEA/Gibraltar/Switzerland immediately before the start of their course.

For more detailed guidance regarding residential eligibility please refer to the ESRC website.

Other Eligibility Criteria

  • Students intending to study part-time are eligible for an ESRC award.
  • Students are able to apply directly from undergraduate programmes (as we have a 1+3 award option with a Masters continuing onto PhD study) and we ring-fence a number of studentship awards for students applying straight from an undergraduate degree.
  • Students applying for Distance learning programmes are not eligible for an ESRC award.
  • Students who already hold an award, or who are financially supported by another organisation, which covers maintenance and/or tuition fees are not eligible for an ESRC award.
  • Students who have already commenced doctoral study are eligible to apply for an ESRC award, provided that they are within the first year of a full-time programme or the first two years of a part-time programme. However, if you have already begun your PhD, you must already have completed the required training as outlined in the Guidance Notes for Midlands Graduate School ESRC DTP applicants. The ESRC does not permit the suspension of a PhD to undertake the required training modules, nor for them to run alongside year 2 and 3 of a PhD.
  • Students must usually have qualifications of the standard of a good honours degree at first or upper second class level or equivalent professional experience.