Bloomsbury and East London Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) ESRC Research Studentships

The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) is a member of UBEL, the UCL, Bloomsbury and East London Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP). This is an ESRC-funded organisation which brings together five leading Social Science institutions (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, University College London, School of Oriental and African Studies, Birkbeck and University of East London) to offer PhD studentships each year.

UBEL is one of the largest ESRC-funded Doctoral Training Partnerships in the UK, offering over 40 studentships a year, in areas that span across the social sciences and economics. In order to organise so many interdisciplinary and cross-institutional studentships, the DTP comprises 25 different pathways across its 56 departments.

Disciplinary Pathways

LSHTM currently has direct oversight of three of the 25 pathways:

However, this does not mean that potential applicants have to apply via these pathways in order to be awarded a studentship to do a PhD at LSHTM – there are a number of other relevant pathways that might be more suited to their area of interest. For example, the Mental Health and Mental Health Care pathway, International Development pathway, and the Life Course and Social Epidemiology pathway.

Funding routes

Studentships are offered on a full-time and part-basis, across a range of routes:

  • 1+3 programme - funding for a Master's and a three-year PhD programme
  • 2+2 programme – funding to cover an extended masters, followed by a shorter PhD programme (only available for the Demography pathway at the School)
  • +3 programme - funding for a three-year PhD Programme at the School
  • +4  programme - up to four years funding for a PhD (this assumes that either core training requirements along with advanced training will be satisfied during the course of the programme)


The UBEL DTP’s fully-funded ESRC studentships cover:

  • Full payment of tuition fees per year (including masters and training years for 1+3; 2+3 and +4 studentships)
  • Annual maintenance stipend
  • Funding opportunities for training and overseas institutional visits.


ESRC studentships are open to all UK applicants. Other applicants may be eligible if they meet specific residential criteria. EU students  who do not meet these criteria are also eligible for fees only awards. For more details, please read the ESRC Residential Guidelines.

Additionally, however, EU and overseas applicants may be eligible for a full award (fees plus stipend) if their proposals are deemed to have a significant advanced quantitative methods component. However, this must be an integral part of the project, and clearly above levels that are taught as part of a Master’s degree.

Application process

Preliminary applications: you must follow the steps below before submitting an application.

1. Contact the leading academic(s) for the pathway of your choice.

2. You must ensure you have spoken to members of academic staff in order to discuss your research ideas and identify two potential supervisors. They will need to complete parts of your ESRC studentship application form.

3. Only ONE application per applicant for an ESRC studentship beginning in 2018 may be submitted to the UBEL DTP

4. Please ensure you complete ALL questions on the application which apply to you (applications will open shortly).

5. The application process itself is being conducted centrally by the UBEL DTP, rather than at LSHTM. Please access the following link regularly, where the online system will be live shortly: