ESRC DTP Collaborative PhD

Bangor University, School of Sport, Health & Exercise Sciences, supported by the ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Partnership (ESRC Wales DTP) and in collaboration with UK Sport, invites applications for a fully funded PhD studentship to commence in October 2017, with the following title:

A prospective study of the developmental biographies of Great British Pathway athletes. 

The research programme will involve close collaboration with UK Sport and aims to enhance the organisation’s talent development pathway as part of a larger eight-year project. The project will examine predictors of differences between higher and lower achieving athletes on UK Sport’s Performance Pathway with regard to a wide range of psychosocial and socio-cultural variables, life events and life-style, physical characteristics, training and practice conditions, and the coaching environment. The successful applicant will have an aptitude for both advanced quantitative research methods and qualitative methods, and will be expected and supported to develop skills in machine learning/pattern recognition. The project will be supervised by a team led by Professor Lew Hardy.

The School of Sport, Health & Exercise Sciences is internationally recognised for the quality of its research and provides an outstanding environment for postgraduate research study. Both the University and the ESRC Wales DTP value diversity and equality at all levels and we encourage applications from all sectors of the community. We welcome applications for both full and part-time study, with studentships available as either 1+3 (one year full time research training Masters + three years full-time Doctoral study, or part-time equivalent) or +3 (three years full-time Doctoral study, or part-time equivalent).

Academic Eligibility

ESRC studentships are highly competitive. Candidates should have an excellent academic background, holding at least a 1st or strong Upper 2nd class degree.  To be eligible for a +3 only award, candidates must hold a relevant research training Master’s degree (or an equivalent background in research training). Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open to UK Nationals and EU students who can satisfy UK residency requirements.

What the Studentship will cover

Full studentships cover the cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax-free maintenance grant (£14,296 per annum for 2016/2017 for full-time students, updated each year); an additional £750 per annum is normally available from the DTP for research expenses and there will be allowances for further research and subsistence costs to be covered by UK Sport. 

Residential Eligibility

To be eligible for a full award (stipend and fees), you must:

  • Have settled status in the UK, meaning there are no restrictions on how long you can stay.
  • Have been ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK for three years prior to the start of the studentship. This means you must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences).
  • Not have been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. This does not apply to UK and EU nationals.

To be eligible for a fees-only award, you must be ordinarily resident in an EU member state, in the same way that UK students must be ordinarily resident in the UK.

Further information:


Full-time ESRC studentship award holders cannot hold a full-time job, or a permanent part-time job, during the period of their award. Part-time ESRC studentship award holders cannot hold a full-time job. 

How to Apply

The deadline for applications is 1st February 2017, 12.00 noon. Incomplete applications, applications that do not conform to the guidelines below, or applications received after the specified time will not be accepted. 

Please submit your application by email to:

Dr David Markland, ESRC Wales DTP Sport and Exercise Sciences Pathway Convenor,

For initial enquiries and informal discussions about the studentship, please contact:

Dr Gavin Lawrence,

Applicants should take careful consideration of the working title and description of the project. The application must include the following:

  • Covering letter. The covering letter must specify that your application is for the ESRC Wales DTP/UK Sport collaborative studentship. Set out your reasons and motivation for applying to study at Bangor University’s School of Sport, Health & Exercise Sciences; your understanding and expectations of doctoral study; and your academic interests generally, particularly those relating to the description of the project. The covering letter should be no more than two pages. Please also specify whether you wish to apply on a 1+3 or +3 basis. If you are applying on a +3 only basis, please indicate how you meet the criterion of holding a relevant social sciences research training Master’s degree or have an equivalent background in research training.
  • Academic/professional qualifications. This should include proof of English Language competency, where relevant (7.0 IELTS minimum).
  • References. All applications require two academic references. Candidates must approach referees themselves and request references that they will submit with their application.
  • Curriculum Vitae. No longer than two pages.
  • Research Proposal. Applicants should present a research proposal that builds directly on the description of the project. The proposal should be a maximum of 1000 words, not including references. We suggest that you use the following headings in your research proposal:
  • Your reflection on the title, aims and purpose of the research;
  • Brief overview of some key research literature relevant to the project;
  • Proposals for developing the design and methods of the project;
  • A description of potential outcomes of the project for understanding, knowledge, policy and practice.
  • References


Short-listed applicants will be invited to interview, which are expected to take place in March 2017. After interview, a final short-list of applicants will be submitted to the ESRC Wales DTP Doctoral Panel who will make the decision with regard to the awarding of the studentship. The successful applicant can expect to hear by mid-April 2017.

Publication date: 29 November 2016