ESRC Wales DTP PhD Opportunities in Sport and Exercise Sciences (Social Sciences) at Bangor, Cardiff Metropolitan and Swansea Universities

Bangor University (School of Sport, Health & Exercise Sciences), Cardiff Metropolitan University (Cardiff School of Sport & Health Sciences), and Swansea University (College of Engineering: Sport and Exercise Science), supported by the ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Partnership, invite applications from exceptional candidates for PhD study with the possibility of being awarded a fully-funded ESRC DTP Studentship in an area of the social sciences of sport and/or exercise. The three Schools are internationally recognised for the quality of their research and provide outstanding environments for postgraduate research study. The Universities value diversity and equality at all levels and 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), based at one of the Universities, but with the opportunity where appropriate for co-supervision across institutions.
Closing date: 3rd February 2020, 12 noon. Successful candidates will be expected to commence their studies on 1st October 2020.

Supervision and Research Areas

We invite applications to study in areas of the social sciences of sport and/or exercise that are broadly aligned with the research interests of academic staff within the Schools.

Please contact prospective supervisors to discuss potential applications well in advance of application.

Applications from students who have not contacted and elicited the support of potential supervisors will not be considered.

Staff research interests can be viewed here:

We particularly welcome applications to study in the following areas:

Bangor University

Sport psychology; exercise psychology; psychology of elite performance; motor control and learning; psychophysiology of performance, psychophysiology of health.

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Sport philosophy and ethics; sociology of sport and physical culture; critical sociology of sports coaching and physical education; sport and exercise psychology; sport management and policy.

Swansea University

Sport ethics, integrity, and governance; sport, exercise, and health psychology.

What the studenship will cover

Studentship Awards commence in October 2020 and will cover your tuition fees as well as a maintenance grant (currently £15,009 p.a. for 2019/20 for full-time students, updated each year); and includes access to an additional Research Training Support Grant (RTSG), though an element of this latter fund may be ‘pooled’ and require separate applications from 2020 onwards.  There are other opportunities and benefits available to studentship holders, including an overseas fieldwork allowance (if applicable), internship opportunities, overseas institutional visits and other small grants.


ESRC studentships are highly competitive, candidates should have an excellent academic background in the social sciences, holding a 1st or strong upper 2nd class degree; applications from those also holding a relevant research training Masters degree (or an equivalent background in research training) will be considered for a +3 award.  Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open to UK Nationals and EU students who can satisfy UK residency requirements.

1+3 OR +3?

With the exception of studentships in the Economics pathway, awards are available on either a 1+3 or +3 basis. A 1+3 studentship provides funding for four years (or part-time equivalent), to complete a research training Masters in the 1st year, followed by 3 years research funding for a PhD. A +3 studentship provides funding for the three years PhD research study only (or part-time equivalent).


The closing deadline for applications is 12.00 noon on Monday 3 February 2020. Short-listed applicants will be invited to interview, which are expected to take place in late February/early March 2020. After interview, a final short-list of applicants will be put forward to a Panel convened by the ESRC Wales DTP Management Group at which final decisions with regard to studentship awards will be made. In most cases successful applicants can expect to hear by early April 2020.

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.

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

Please submit your application directly to your chosen University via email to one of the addresses below.

ESRC Wales DTP Institutional Contacts:

*Bangor University: Dr Ross Roberts (
*Cardiff Metropolitan University: Please submit applications to Rachel Lusted *Enquiries in relation to potential applications should be made to Prof Lynne Evans (
*Swansea University: Please submit to
*Any informal enquiries in relation to possibilities at Swansea should be made to Dr Andrew Bloodworth (

Applications must be submitted by 12 noon, 3rd February 2020. Incomplete applications, applications where there has been no contact with a potential supervisor, or applications received after the specified time will not be accepted. Specify that your application concerns ESRC Wales DTP studentships and include in your application the name(s) of your prospective supervisor(s).

The application must include the following:

  • Covering letter. Please address to the ESRC Wales DTP Institutional Contact for the University you are applying to (see below). The covering letter must set out your reasons and motivation for applying to study at the University and in the Sport and Exercise Sciences (Social Sciences); your understanding and expectations of doctoral study; and your academic interests generally, particularly those relating to your proposed research. 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 research training Master’s degree or have an equivalent background in research training.
  • Academic/professional qualifications. This should include proof of English Language competency (7.0 IELTS minimum).
  • References. All applications require two academic references. Candidates must approach referees themselves and request references that they then submit with their application.
  • Curriculum Vitae. No longer than two pages.
  • Research Proposal. The proposal should be up to a maximum of 1000 words, not including references. We suggest that you use the following five headings in your research proposal:
  • Title, aims and purpose of the research;
  • Overview of the academic literature relevant to your field;
  • Proposed methodology;
  • Academic contributions of your research and potential impact outside of academia.
  • References