Staff at the IFS

PhD studentships

IFS has ESRC funding to host students from ESRC-approved DTPs. Apply from November 2023.

IFS has been allocated a number of associated studentship awards via our ESRC Institute for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy. Students must be studying or have a place to study on a pathway that is eligible for ESRC funding, based at a university within an ESRC-approved DTP (details will be updated in summer 2023, following the ESRC's review of DTP provision). Students work for their PhD at their university in conjunction with their supervisor, but are partially based at the IFS, sitting with a research team whose work programme has synergies with the student’s area of interest.

The aim of the scheme is to enhance the work of doctoral students by providing collaboration and learning opportunities in a vibrant and highly respected research institute, and to enhance our research community and networks with the inclusion of outstanding students.

It is our goal to build capacity in the social sciences in the UK more widely, and support and promote research that has a positive impact on society.

The Studentships are intended to give students the opportunity to broaden their research by accessing the opportunities available at the ESRC Institute at IFS Students have the chance to attend a range of internal seminars and other events, work with IFS researchers and receive support from the senior academics based at IFS. They will have the chance to develop networks with academics and develop their understanding of the interaction between research and policy, which will stand them in good stead for their future careers.

In addition to taking formal courses and carrying out doctoral research at their host university, the scholar will be integrated into the daily life of the ESRC Institute. The student’s research project will be managed as a sub-project of the Institute’s set of research projects. At least one senior researcher at the ESRC Institute will be assigned to mentor the student and provide additional supervision to their PhD work, to complement the supervision they receive at their host DTP.

Students are expected to work for part of their time at the IFS offices in central London when they are not at their university.

Eligibility criteria

Students must meet all the following eligibility criteria to be considered for the scheme.

  • Students must be registered on or have been accepted onto an accredited pathway and have the support of their university to undertake their PhD whilst partially based at IFS.
  • Students must be on a pathway eligible for ESRC funding. The Studentships are intended to fund the whole or the majority of the duration of a PhD. This includes 1+3 and +3 pathways.
  • The student’s supervisor (or equivalent) must support their application and be willing to continue supervising them while they are at IFS.


Funding to cover stipend, fees and any other allowances will be issued by the ESRC, as additional funding, to the relevant Doctoral Training Partnership's (DTP) or Centre for Doctoral Training's (CDT’s) doctoral training grant.

Students will be expected to abide by IFS policies: for example, regarding data access and equality, diversity and inclusion.

Application process


Applications open: November 2023

Application deadline: January 2024

Outcomes communicated: March 2024

How to apply

Candidates should discuss the scheme with their supervisor and university department to gain their approval to participate. We recommend sharing the guidance note for universities with your department.

Candidates apply directly to IFS, including the following information.

  • Why you are interested in applying to IFS and what you hope to get out of your time here; please refer to the assessment criteria outlined above. Please also let us know if there are any individual circumstances you would like us to take into account, such as a disability.
  • An outline of your research.
  • Details of two academic referees (who will be invited to submit a reference).

The deadline for applications will be in January 2024.

Download details of studentships 2023

Additional information and application

Salary - Funding to cover stipend and fees

Apply from November 2023

For any queries, please contact @email