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University of Bradford welcomes funding for renewed UKRI Doctoral Training Partnerships


Generic image of three students talking

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) - part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) - has reviewed and expanded its Doctoral Training Partnerships in social sciences and interdisciplinary research, spanning 89 institutions, with PhD funding opportunities over the next five years starting in October 2024.

The aim is to support 500 PhD students each year across the UK.

The University of Bradford, along with six other northern universities, is a member of the White Rose DTP, one of 15 DTPs to be supported by the ESRC funding. The renewed funding will allow DTPs to further develop a programme of flexible training opportunities and a suite of research in practice opportunities for students, as well as fully funded studentships, which Bradford students can apply for. 

Marina Bloj, Professor of Health Research at the University and a member of the White Rose DTP management group, pictured above, welcomed the news.

She said: “We are delighted the ESRC has renewed its funding for the doctoral training partnerships. We are very proud to be part of the White Rose DTP. This is an ongoing collaboration which provides the University with the opportunity to participate in a key UKRI-funded doctoral training partnership. 

“We have a high success rate of recruiting students and projects to the doctoral training partnership as it is so well-aligned with our values, particularly around equality, diversity and inclusion.”

Stian Westlake, ESRC Executive Chair, said:  “Our vision for postgraduate training is that it will develop globally competitive social science researchers who can operate in interdisciplinary, collaborative, and challenge-led environments across a range of sectors and who have a diversity of backgrounds and experiences. This redesigned and expanded doctoral training opportunity will enhance the experience for PhD students and boost the UK’s capability.” 

World-class workforce

Investments in doctoral training partnerships (DTPs) are an important component of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and ESRC’s overarching vision to develop research talent and skills.  

These investments will provide a breadth of professional development training opportunities to enhance the capabilities of doctoral candidates and further develop a world-class, highly skilled workforce for the UK. 

Professor Felicity Matthews, Director of the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership (WRDTP), said: “The White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership (WRDTP) is an established partnership of the universities of Leeds, Sheffield, York, Bradford, Hull, Manchester Metropolitan and Sheffield Hallam, who have been working together since 2017 to deliver cutting edge social science training to postgraduate researchers. As a partnership we are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion; interdisciplinarity; academic rigour and excellence; and collaboration.

“We are delighted that the WRDTP has been recommissioned by the ESRC for a further five years.  This is a significant investment, and one that sends a clear message about the importance of the postgraduate research community and the WRDTP’s proven track-record in supporting postgraduate researchers to realise their academic and professional aspirations. 

“Together with the generous match-funding pledged by our partner universities, we will continue to offer a range of fully-funded studentship opportunities each year, as well as an extensive programme of postgraduate training and development.”  

Case study

Shania Boom, pictured below, is a PhD Student in the Faculty of Health Studies at the University of Bradford, funded through White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership. She previously studied for an MSc Social Sciences Research in Healthcare at Bradford. 

Shania's research focuses on physical inactivity and health in children and the development of behaviour change interventions. She hopes her work will drive research as a force for change in developing a health childhood. She is also currently supporting the data collection of Bradford's local delivery pilot (Join Us: Move Play) control trial. 

PhD student