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School of Law

London Inter-Disciplinary Social Science (LISS) Doctoral Training Partners (DTP) ESRC PhD Studentship

About the Award

  • The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded London Interdisciplinary Social Science (LISS) (provided by Queen Mary, in conjunction with King’s College London (KCL) and Imperial College) Doctoral Training Programme (DTP) is offering a range of studentships for the next academic year (2022-23) and applicants to the School of Law PhD programme are eligible to apply for these awards.
  • The Studentship comprises a full fee waiver at Home/EU rates and an annual stipend of around £17,000 per year.
  • The deadline for apply to the award is 5pm on Friday 28 January 2022. Applicants must have:
    • Completed the appropriate online ‘LISS DTP Application Form’ (there are two different versions of this form – for information on which is appropriate for you, please see the section below on the two types of funding available).
    • Secondly, the online ‘Supervisor Statement Form’. This form must be completed by your proposed primary supervisor. Therefore, you must have made contact with a proposed supervisor and gained their agreement to act as your supervisor prior to the application deadline date, in time for them to complete this form. Further information on this is given below.
    • Both of these on-line application forms are found at LISS DTP Studentship page.
    • Thirdly, a copy of your undergraduate and postgraduate degree transcripts (or interim transcripts if you currently completing a degree). If your transcripts are in a language other than English please have them translated.. These should be e-mailed as attachments to
    • Fourthly, a reference from a person other than your supervisor who can testify to your potential to undertake doctoral study (this would normally be from an academic who taught you on your PG degree). These should be emailed as attachments to

In addition, applicants must have:

  • Completed their main PhD/MRes application form (including uploading all required supporting documents) by the deadline. Applicants should indicate on the QMUL PhD/MRes Online Application Form, in the appropriate section, that they wish to be considered for ESRC Studentship funding. To notify the School of Law that you wish to apply for the ESRC Studentship award, in response to the question given within this section - ‘How do you intend to finance your studies at Queen Mary?’ there is a drop-down list of options provided. Please select the “I will be applying for a scholarship/grant” option. Then, specifically, in response to the following question – ‘Please give details of any scholarships or grants, including QMUL Studentships, you are applying for or have already secured’, you should indicate you wish to apply for a ‘LISS DTP ESRC Studentship’ specifically.
  • *Important* - some of the same documents are required for both the ESRC Funding application and the School of Law PhD programme application – please note, you must duplicate and submit the required documents with both applications.

For information about the LISS DPT ESRC Studentships, please see their webpage (from which you can also complete online the relevant ‘LISS DTP Application Form’

For information on how to make an application to the School of Law PhD programme itself, what the programme’s entry requirements are, and what supporting documentation is required, please see the Queen Mary law PhD programme page.

We advise all applicants to the Law PhD programme to view the information on this webpage before applying, as this web-page, unlike any other on the College web-site, contains information pertaining only to the application process for the School of Law PhD programme specifically.

Important Note:

However, please see the section below on ‘Contacting Supervisors’, as this details how the application process specifically for the LISS DTP Studentship awards differs from the normal application procedure for the MRes/PhD programmes.

For information on how to make an application to the relevant School of Law MRes programme, and what the programme’s entry requirements are, and what supporting documentation is required, please see the webpage for the MRes programme you are applying for:

Please note, the International Economic Law MRes specifically covers the areas of international trade law, international investment law and international financial regulation. Additionally, IP law, tax law, competition law and dispute resolution could fall within this remit, but only as long as the proposed research project focuses upon the international governance of these matters. 

+3 and 3+1 Studentships - Eligibility

The LISS DTP Studentship scheme offers funding for either 3 years or 4 years.  Which scheme an applicant is eligible to apply for depends upon their academic background.

+3 Studentship - Eligibility

Core Training Requirements

The ‘+3’ funding is open to applicants who have already graduated from and thus hold an MA degree in Law – thus, applicants in this position can apply for doctoral funding only – the 3 year award covers your doctoral degree. However, to be eligible, the applicant’s MA degree must have provided research training that covers 75% or more of the ESRC’s key social science perspectives and methods requirements, as set out the core CTR’s webpage.

If you hold an MA degree, but are unsure whether this would make you eligible for the +3 Studentship, please contact to receive guidance.

Area of research

Your proposed topic of research, as outlined in your research proposal submitted with your main application, must fall within the broad social and behavioural science remit of the ESRC (Check if you’re eligible for funding – ESRC – UKRI). Further, the proposed research must relate to one of the Thematic Pathways of ESRC research, which are listed here. Please see the list below for the areas of research in law this covers.  Should you want guidance as to whether your proposed topic is DTP-LISS eligible, please contact

Thematic pathway Area of related socio-legal research
4 Economics, Finance and the world economy International Economic Law
(Sub-pathway E. ‘Governance of the World Economy – Trade, Investment & Finance’)
9 Political Ecology, Energy and Environmental Health Environmental Law
(Sub-pathway C ‘Environmental Law and Governance’)
10 International Development, Conflict and Human Security Immigration Law (Sub-pathway A ‘Development, Human Security & Migration’)
11 Global Order, Violence and Security Practice Criminal Justice Law;
Public International Law;
Human Rights Law
(all Sub-pathway B ‘International Law & War Crimes’)
13 Politics, Public Policy and Governance Theory of Law
(Sub-pathway A ‘Political, Legal & Social Theory’)

Academic Entry Requirements

Applicants are expected to meet the entry requirements of the School of Law PhD programme – these require applicants to gain a ‘Pass with Distinction’ on an LLM or equivalent qualification (or a grade equivalent to a UK ‘Pass with Distinction’ for degrees taken outside of the UK).  Other qualifications highly relevant to the proposed area of study, such as prior professional or work-related expertise, may also be considered.

3+1 - Eligibility

Area of Law - MRes Course

For all applicants not eligible for +3 Studentship funding, the remaining route open is the ‘3+1’ Studentship. This award is for 4 years of funding, and recipients must complete an MRes post-graduate degree in their first year, before then undertaking their doctoral degree.

The School of Law at Queen Mary offers 5 MRes courses that are ESRC-eligible, and they are listed on this webpage above, in the ‘About this award’ section. To be considered for the 3+1 route, an applicant must submit a research proposal that relates to an area of law covered by the MRes course they are applying to.  For information on the areas of Law covered, please see the information provided on the webpages for the MRes programmes given above.

Therefore, 3+1 funding applications must submit, as part of their MRes application, a Research Proposal.  The expectation is that the proposed research topic will form the basis of both their MRes Dissertation module, and their doctoral research.

Academic Entry Requirements

Applicants should have a very good first degree (an undergraduate degree, such as an LLB) – at 1st class level (or upper 2nd, with clear evidence of first class work).

General eligibility

Contacting supervisors – Completing the Supervisor Reference form

Important Note

  • Unlike for all other applications to the School of Law research programme, which advise there is no necessity for applicants to contact an academic staff member prior to submitting their application form, the LISS-DTP funding scheme does require that applicants contact a staff member during the application stage. This is because applications must include a Supervisor Statement Form, which has been completed by the proposed supervisor (without this, applications will not be considered).
  • Applicants must first identify an academic staff member with relevant expertise in their proposed area of research. Please see our academic staff list where you can search our staff by your proposed area of research in the ‘search’ box. Please note, only full-time staff at the School of Law (and thus not visiting academics) can act as doctoral/MRes supervisors.
  • Once you have contacted the staff members and gained their agreement to act as your supervisors, the staff members must complete the Supervisor Statement form, providing statements of support about the applicant’s research performance and the applicant’s research proposal, and submit this via e-mail prior to the 29 January deadline, quoting your name and that you have applied for the Queen Mary School of Law PhD programme, to


  • The award is open to applicants wishing to commence their doctoral studies in September 2022
  • The award is open to both Home and International applicants
  • Applicants who have already been awarded a PhD are not eligible
  • The award is open to applicant’s wishing to study on either a part-time or full-time basis (although the School of Law would prefer applications for full-time study. In both cases, a fee waiver is provided – for part-time students, the stipend is provided on a pro-rata basis.
  • View the information about the LISS-DTP scheme’s own eligibility criteria.

The application process

After applicants have submitted their MRes/PhD main application (including supporting documents) via the Queen Mary online application system, their ‘ LISS DTP Application Form’ (via the LISS online application system provided on their webpage), their supporting documents (transcripts and reference to and their proposed supervisor has submitted the ‘Supervisor Statement Form’ (to the appropriate e-mail submission address) by the 28 January 2022, 5pm deadline, the LISS-DTC funding body will then meet and select the candidates to be chosen. The decision should be made and communicated to applicants by March 2022.

When you complete your online PhD or MRes application you must tell us that you wish to apply for ESRC DTP Studentship funding by answering the questions in the ‘Other information’ section. In response to the question: ‘Are you applying for a Doctoral Training Programme (DTP)?’, you need to confirm ‘Yes’ from the drop-down menu. Then, from the next question ‘Which Doctoral Training Programme are you applying for?, you need to select ‘LISS’. Without this notification, you will not be considered as a funding applicant. You will be treated as an applicant to our PhD programme only.

If you wish to apply for other Queen Mary funding awards, you may do so. If you are unable to indicate this on the online application form, please e-mail with notification by the time of the relevant funding deadline.


  • To view further information about how to apply for the ESRC award, and to download the appropriate application, visit the LISS DTP website.
  • For any queries relating to eligibility for the funding scheme, please contact
  • If you require any further information about applying to the PhD/MRes programmes, please contact the Admissions Administrator, Mr Gareth Skehan by email on
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