WRDTP ESRC Network Awards 2020/21: Information for academic colleagues submitting a project proposal to the WRDTP

WRDTP ESRC Network Awards (1x network, 100% funded, ie. 3 studentships)

The DTP is offering one new White Rose Network which is thematic and challenge focused.  Preference will be given to proposals linked to the ESRC research priorities, as identified in UKRI Delivery Plan Priorities 2019 (Productivity, Prosperity and Growth, Next-generation public services, Living with technology, Changing populations, The UK in a changing world, Global development, environment and society), though other research areas will be considered.

The Networks will be fully funded by the WRDTP (with co-funding from the White Rose University Consortium), though there MUST also be collaboration with an external partner (private sector, public sector or civil society/third sector etc).

Each studentship is distributed, bilateral and involves two supervisors – a principal supervisor per White Rose institution (Leeds, Sheffield University, York) and the co-supervisor at the partner institution. Each Network therefore consists of six academics and three PhD students. One academic (either principal or co-supervisor) will act as a Network leader.

It is expected that within supervision teams, there will be at least one academic member of staff who has prior experience of supervision of PhD students to successful completion. Therefore, where an academic staff member has not yet successfully supervised a PhD student to completion, they should be paired with a more experienced member of the supervision team who has successfully supervised PhD students to completion. Colleagues are advised to also consult their University for any additional local requirements in terms of supervision arrangements.

Process and timeframe

We are inviting academic units to develop project proposals to the Network Award competition 2020/21.

The following table summarises the process timelines:

Network Awards (Leeds, Sheffield, York only)

  Date Who Process
1. July 2019 DTP Office DTP announces 2020/21 Studentship Competition


2.  w/c 7 October 2019 Academic colleagues Development Workshop* for new Collaborative and Network Award proposals (see workshop timing below)


3.  November 2019 HEIs and Academic colleagues Internal peer review of Collaborative Award applications, details to be announced locally


4. 12:00hrs, 6 December 2019 Units of Delivery (Depts/Schools) Deadline for Proposal Forms to be completed


5. 15 January 2020 Academic Quality Committee Academic Quality Committee Moderation Panel meets
6. w/c 20 January 2020 DTP Office Collaborative and Network Awards announced
7. Date tbc Academic colleagues Successful Collaborative/Network Award holders set own local deadline and advertise studentships, shortlist and interview


8. 12:00hrs, 10 April 2020 Scholarship/Administrative Officers DTP student Nomination Forms and Application Packs completed/submitted to DTP Office for quality assurance checking and assessment


9. End of April 2020 or asap after that date


Scholarship/Administrative Officers Applicants notified of result

*Development Workshop for new Collaborative and Network Award proposals

The slides from the Development Workshop for new Collaborative and Network Award proposals for 2010/21 can be found here.

Application Procedure

Applicants must complete the:

White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership Network Awards 2020/21 – Proposal Form.

The Form requires the following 2 File Uploads.

  1. A letter from the partner indicating their support for the collaboration (Section 2)
  2. WRDTP Network Award Overview & Operations Upload Template template (Section 2)

Additional guidance is available below:

Please note that the online Proposal Form should be completed in one sitting, therefore it is recommended that you download the Guidance document below as a WORD document (to do this click File – Download As – Microsoft Word (doc x)) should you wish to prepare your application in advance.

Assessment Criteria

Proposals will be assessed by the WRDTP Academic Quality Committee using the following criteria:

  • Network excellence: significance, originality, and coherence of the proposed network and three research project(s)
  • Pathway excellence: fit with one or more of the WRDTP interdisciplinary pathways
  • Training excellence: the appropriateness and quality of the training provided
  • Collaborative excellence: collaboration with a non-academic partner and the extent and nature of interaction with other networks and stakeholders
  • Sustainability excellence: Potential for engagement/impact/future funding

If you have any queries contact Charlotte Massarella, WRDTP Manager, at c.l.massarella@sheffield.ac.uk or telephone 0114 222 7132.