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How to apply

Information for Applicants

Before formally applying, you are strongly advised to contact us to discuss your potential research topic and supervisor. Please email us: your CV/Resume, your research proposal (1000-2500 words), and if possible tell us who you would like to be your supervisor. You can find the list of available supervisors here. Please note that if there is no-one at ISER working in your area then you should not apply to us.

Also check that you fulfil our entrance requirements.

The application for a scholarship is a two-part process: first you will need to receive an offer for a place on our PhD programme, after you have received an offer from us you can apply for a Scholarship.

To apply for the ISER PhD programme: all formal applications are made through the The University of Essex's online application system.The portal will ask you to specify a department in which you want to study. Applicants to our PhD programme should select ISER (Institute for Social and Economic Research). Applicants to Masters programmes should not select ISER, but should select the partner department in which the Masters degree is hosted. If you are applying for a 1+3 (Masters + PhD), you will need to make two separate applications – one for the Masters course and one for the PhD.

The University of Essex online application system will ask you for the following documents:

  • A full CV/Resume
  • A short personal statement (max 500 words) outlining the reasons for your interest in your proposed area of research
  • A research proposal (1000-2500 words)
  • Official transcript(s), in English or a certified translation, of your academic results to date, showing a full breakdown of your marks or grades.
  • Two references, at least one from an academic referee. References should be verifiable, according to the University’s guidelines
  • Evidence of English language qualifications (see How to apply)
  • You may also like to submit samples of written work, publications, etc.

After you have received an offer from us you can apply for a Studentship.

When to Apply

For self-funded applicants you should apply at least six weeks before the start of the term in which you plan to commence your studies, to allow us to process your application. Most students apply long before this. We encourage students to start in October, though we do also accept students starting in January and April.

Note that although we accept applications at any time during the year, there are deadlines for scholarships. For those taking part in the ESRC Studentship competition please note the deadline has now passed.

Further information

This information should be read in conjunction with the Introduction to Postgraduate Research at Essex and the Postgraduate Prospectus, which give more information about academic and social life at the University.

If you have any questions about your eligibility or the application process, please don’t hesitate to get in touch


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