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Doctoral College

London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership awarded multi-million ESRC funding

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has announced that it fund 15 Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) awards across 89 UK Research Organisations (ROs) for student intake from 2024 onwards.


The London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (LISS DTP), led by King’s College London (KCL), in partnership with Imperial College London (ICL) and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), will train the next generation of research leaders, innovators, and entrepreneurs who will transform the way social scientists tackle complex problems and global challenges.

LISS DTP’s vision is informed by three interwoven core principles:

  1. Interdisciplinarity: students will develop the competencies to engage with challenge-led doctoral research across topics and disciplinary boundaries, both within and beyond the social sciences;
  2. Data-driven research: students will be equipped with enhanced data analytics and digital competences to exploit increasingly large-scale and complex data for research purposes whether their foundation is quantitative or qualitative;
  3. Impact: students will develop the competences to engage with extensive networks of non-academic collaborators, and co-design research and training with users, practitioners, and potential future employers.

Building on the successful LISS DTP funded in 2017, this new award, led by Professor Pietro Panzarasa, will support five additional cohorts of talented PhD students across the three partner institutions. In total this flagship doctoral research and training programme will equip more than 600 LISS-funded research leaders and innovators (and at least as many junior scholars beyond LISS) with a strong capacity for working across disciplines and sectors and leveraging data to translate social science research into impact.

"On behalf of the entire DTP leadership team, we are delighted with this outcome and thank the ESRC for their endorsement of our programme. We are very grateful to all partner institutions for their support and commitment, which the ESRC clearly valued as a strength of our bid. We now look forward to working with our vibrant and global networks of academic and non-academic partners to develop what will become a flagship DTP in the UK and beyond, training the next generation of research leaders to innovate with data and lead complex projects across disciplines, institutions, and sectors."

- Professor Pietro Panzarasa, Visiting Professor, The Policy Institute, KCL, Professor of Networks and Innovation, QMUL.


"The announcement of funding for the continuation of LISS DTP into its second iteration makes for an exciting period of doctoral research in the social sciences across the three partner institutions, focused on impact and interdisciplinarity. We must now work hard to ensure that we live up to our vision of being the most diverse social sciences DTP in the country."

- Professor Michael Sanders, The Policy Institute, KCL

Underpinned by partner institutions’ research strengths, LISS DTP will be structured around six major Research Areas (RAs):

  • RA1 Global Health Innovation, led by Prof. S. Harding (KCL), Prof. M.R. Jarvelin (ICL), Dr G. Russo (QMUL);
  • RA2 Business Analytics, Management, and Applied Economics, led by Dr D. Chilosi (KCL), Dr P. Demirel (ICL), Dr G. Demirel (QMUL);
  • RA3 Language, Culture, and Education, led by Prof. A. Georgakopoulou-Nunes (KCL), Prof. E. Autio (ICL), Dr L. Stockall (QMUL);
  • RA4 Environment and Sustainability, led by Dr Z. Shabrina (KCL), Dr A. Sivakumar (ICL), Dr G. von Graevenitz (QMUL);
  • RA5 Global Order and Security, led by Dr N. Palmer (KCL), Prof. D. Chana (ICL), Dr S. Plonski (QMUL);
  • RA 6 Public Policy and Governance, led by Prof. M. Sanders (KCL), Dr N. Van Zalk (ICL), Dr R. Johnson (QMUL).

Our key collaborative arrangements with a wide range of non-academic partners will help our LISS DTP students across all RAs to reinforce transferrable skills, develop a global outlook on impact and employability, strengthen their leadership skills, and gain invaluable cross-sectoral experience. The DTP will encourage students to explore various routes to research impact, including collaboration and stakeholder engagement, enterprise, and taking ideas to market through business planning and scalability.

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