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 QMUL, 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 (2020-21) 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 00:00 on Friday 31 January 2020. Applicants must have:
  • Completed the appropriate on-line ‘LISS DTP Application Form’ (there are 2 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).
  • Completed their main PhD/MRes application form (including uploading all required supporting documents) by the deadline. Applicants should indicate on the QMUL PhD/MRes On-line 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. 
  • Organised for their proposed supervisor to complete and submit A ‘Supervisor Statement Form’ . 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.

For information about the LISS DPT ESRC Studentships, please see their webpage (from which you can also complete on-line 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 click here.

We advise all applicants to the Law PhD programme to view the information on this web-page before applying, as this web-age, unlike any other on the College website, 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 IEL 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

  1. 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 ‘Core Training Requirements’.  Information on the FTR’s can be found here.

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

  2. 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.  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, then please contact

    Thematic Pathway

    Area of related socio-legal research

    3 Health, Bio-politics and Social Inequality

    Medical Law and Ethics

    (Sub-pathway C ‘Medicine, Health and Public Policy’) 

    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’) 

  3. 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

  1. 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 QMUL offers 5 MRes courses that are ESRC-eligible, and they are listed on this web-page 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 web-pages 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.

  2. 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

  • ERSC LISS requirements are that applicants must have completed and submitted their main QMUL PhD application (and all required supporting documents) by their Friday, 31 January 2020. However, the School of Law recommends, because applicants must have a primary supervisor organised by the time of the funding deadline, that they submit a PhD application to the School of Law as the first step of the application process. Once this has been submitted then the School of Law can appoint a supervisor with relevant expertise as part of our application review process. Applicants should only then prepare and submit their LISS ESRC application form and Supervisor Statement form once they have spoken to their appointed supervisor. 
  • Given that the PhD application review process can take a few weeks, applicants are strongly recommended to have submitted their main PhD application by early December 2019 (6 December 2019) so that they will receive notification of their appointed supervisor in time to contact them and arrange the Supervisor Statement Form prior to the late January final deadline date.
  • 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 31st January deadline, quoting your name and that you have applied for the QMUL School of Law PhD programme, to

Residency requirements

To be eligible for a full award (including a fee waiver and a stipend), you must:

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

To be eligible for a fees only award (with no stipend), you must:

  • be ordinarily resident in an EU member state, in the same way as UK students must be ordinarily resident in the UK.

Thus applicants who are classed as ‘overseas’ or ‘international’ for fees purposes are not eligible for these funding awards.


  • The award is open to applicants wishing to commence their doctoral studies in September 2020
  • 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.
  • For information about the LISS-DTP scheme’s own eligibility criteria, please see their web-page:

The application process

After applicants have submitted their MRes/PhD main application (including supporting documents) via the QMUL on-line application system, their ‘ LISS DTP Application Form’ (via the LISS on-line application system provided on their web-page), and their proposed supervisor has submitted the ‘Supervisor Statement Form’ (to the appropriate e-mail submission address) by the 31 January 2020, 5:00pm 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 2020.

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 'Funding' section. In response to the question: How do you intend to finance your studies at Queen Mary, University of London? you need to choose, from the drop-down list of options, ‘I will fund my studies by other means’.  Then, in the ‘Please give details of any scholarships or grants you are applying for or have already secured’, you should specifically state that you wish to apply for an ESRC LISS DTP Studentship. Without this notification, you will not be considered as a funding applicant. You will be treated as an applicant to our PhD programme only.


  • For further information about how to apply for the ESRC award, and to download the appropriate application form click here.
  • 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