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Information for ESRC DTC Award Holders from 2011/12 onwards

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For the full terms and conditions of your award and allowances, please download and keep a copy of the "Key Conditions for ESRC Studentships".

Key Conditions for ESRC DTC Studentships - 2011 starters| (Word)

ESRC related payments are administered by Rose Harris| in the Financial Support Office in accordance with guidance issued to all higher education institutions who have ESRC sponsored students.

Maintenance stipend

The maintenance stipend is intended to cover all normal living expenses.

ESRC stipends are paid in instalments, based on the number of months in each term. The Michaelmas term is three months long, the  Lent terms is four months long and the Summer Term is five months long. This also applies to the Research Training Support Grant and any other Enhanced Stipend held.

Please note that ESRC maintenance cheques will be split into three months, four months and five months for the Michaelmas, Lent and Summer terms respectively.

Cheques will be available for collection from the Student Services Centre at the beginning of each term. For the 2014/15 session the first cheque will be available within one week after you have registered or re-registered (for continuing students, it will be 22 September 2014 at the earliest). The second cheque (Lent Term) will be ready for collection on 12 January 2015 and the third cheque (Summer Term) will be ready for collection on 27 April 2015.

If you have been given a fees only award, you will not be eligible fro a maintenance stipend from the ESRC, but you will receive an equivalent award from LSE.  However, you are not eligible for other ESRC additional funds funds (e.g. Difficult Language Training, overseas fieldwork).

Renewal of awards

Please make sure that your Annual Progress Report form is returned to the LSE Research Degrees Unit |before the end of July to ensure that your renewal for the next session can be processed.

Difficult Language Training

If your research requires you to acquire or develop a working ability with a difficult language in order to carry out fieldwork or other parts of your research, you may be eligible for additional support. To apply, please complete the form below and submit it to Rose Harris| in the Financial Support Office|. Further information can be found on Page 2 of the Key Conditions for ESRC DTC Studentships - 2011 starters| (Word). 

Difficult Language Training Form| 

Disabled Students Allowance

If you suffer from a health condition which affects your ability to work at a normal pace throughout your research, please contact both Rose Harris| and the LSE Disability and Well-being Service| as you may be eligible for additional funding.

Overseas Fieldwork Expenses

If you are on a full time programme, on the +3 element of your award, and intend to carry out fieldwork, you can apply for additional funding. You can only apply for this once during the period of your ESRC award.  To apply, please complete the form below and submit it along with a copy of your original research proposal to Rose Harris| in the Financial Support Office|

You cannot apply if your ESRC award covers fees only. 

Overseas Fieldwork Expenses Form|

Collaboration

The ESRC expects at least 20% of DTC students to be involved in collaboration during their programme.  This can include internships, placements and longer term collaborations with public, private or third sector organsiations in order to collect data or develop new skills and insights.

The ESRC is not prescriptive about the type of collaboration, but the general principles are that:

  • Co-funding can can be involved but is not essential
  • The collaboration must be with a non-academic organisation in the public, private or civil society sector
  • Collaborations must include substantative knowledge exchange and not just one way engagement (e.g. data collection) 

Additional funding is available from the DTC to assist periods of collaboration - please contact Rose Harris| for guidance on this.

Overseas Institutional/University Visits

This scheme is now run by the LSE DTC.  This additional funding is intended to provide applicants with the opportunity to establish research networks, to disseminate early research findings, to participate in seminars and other academic activities directly related to their research, or to undertake specialist research training that is not available in the UK.  In the application, students are required to enter detailed costs of their visit, e.g. flights, accommodation and general living expenses, along with justification of these costs.  the DTC will be looking at contributing to these expenses.

Please apply for this funding at least 2 months before the proposed date of your visit.  It is a condition that all successful applicants must submit an end-of-award report to Rose Harris| within 2 weeks of the end of the visit.

To apply, please print out the Overseas Institutional|/University Visits form|, the guidance notes and application advice.  It is important that your supervisor reads the notes before authorising the visit.

Once the form has been completed and you have the agreement of your supervisor, please submit the form to Rose Harris| in the Financial Support Office.|

DTC Partnership Visits - Overseas Institutional Visits to Partner universities in Africa, Asia and South America 

The DTC has sepcific funding for visits to partner universities in specific countries.  Details can be found on the DTC Moodle Site (ESRCPhD). The universities involved are:

  • National University of Singapore
  • Peking University (Beijing)
  • University of Cape Town
  • Gertulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil)
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences (India)
  • East Asia Group: University of Tokyo; Hitotsubashi University (Tokyo); Fudan University (Shanghai); Seoul National University
  • Africa Group: University of Dar-es-Salaam; Makerere University; University of Nairobi; University of Ghana; University of Ibadan

This scheme is designed to help you to make the most of the global opportunities offered by LSE, to enrich your research opportunities and to deepen and develop the important relationships between LSE and these institutions.

Research Training Support Grant

You are eligible for a combined Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) and UK Fieldwork Allowance. This also applies to part-time and fees only award holders. If you want to apply for the RTSG, you should contact the Department Manager or ESRC contact in your academic department.

More information on the Research Training Support Grant|

Changing your supervisor

If you intend to change your supervisor, you should notify the LSE Research Degrees Unit| in writing.

Internship Scheme (formerly known as Government Placements)

If you wish to take up a public body/government placement you will need to request prior approval from the ESRC. Please can you contact the LSE Research Degrees Unit |to inform them of your intentions.

Interruptions/Leave of absence

Studentships are intended to be held on a continuous basis. Sometimes you may need to interrupt studies, for example as a result of persistent health problems for yourself or a dependent; or to take up a temporary, short term job opportunity which can be justified if it is highly relevant to your thesis or research training.

Interruption requests on the grounds of financial hardship will not be considered.

Suspensions can be approved provided that:

(i) the period of suspension does not exceed one calendar year in any one instance. Total periods of suspension must not exceed one calendar year during the lifetime of the award;

(ii) your supervisor has given their permission for you to suspend your studies. For CASE awards the collaborative partner must also indicate their approval of any requested suspension period;

(iii) your supervisor certifies that the suspension of studies will not delay the submission of the final thesis by more than the length of the suspension;

(iv) the request is made in advance: retrospective requests cannot be accepted.

What happens if you interrupt retrospectively?

Periods of suspension are usually added to the standard calculation of the thesis submission date and thus taken into account when the ESRC thesis submission rates are calculated. 

If an award is suspended for any reason, you must repay any monies overpaid to you, including maintenance grant, fieldwork contribution, etc, back to LSE. All debts that arise as a result of overpayments, for whatever reason, must be actively pursued by the LSE.

Furthermore, you must refund any amount paid, which is more than the amount due for whatever reason, and to which they are no longer entitled by virtue of a change in status of your studentship.  This includes any payment for a period after a suspension whether by your own decision or that of the LSE.

Requests for a suspension to your ESRC award should be made in writing and should also include a supporting letter from your supervisor. These requests should be sent to Rose Harris| in the Financial Support Office|.

Maternity leave

If you become pregnant during the period of your ESRC award, the ESRC will allow up to six months paid maternity leave without the level of your award being reduced.  Further information can be found on Page 5 of the Key Conditions for ESRC DTC Studentships - 2011 starters| (Word). You will need to complete the form below and submit it to the Financial Support Office.|

Maternity Leave application form| (Word)

Mode of attendance

You should contact the LSE Research Degrees Unit |regarding any changes to your mode of attendance such as interruptions to your study, changing between part time and full time study, and taking Leave of Absence.

Paternity leave

A total of 10 days paternity leave may be taken at any time during a partner's pregnancy or within three months following the birth. This period is regarded as additional leave of absence from studies and the award will not be extended. If the student needs to take any further time, this must be taken as a suspension to the award. Further information can be found on Page 5 of the Key Conditions for ESRC DTC Studentships - 2011 starters| (Word).

If you wish to apply for additional paternity leave, the assessment will be done in conjunction with LSE Human Resources.  You will also need to contact the LSE Research Degrees Unit| and the Financial Support Office to confirm details. Please contact Rose Harris| for further information about paternity leave.

Transferring your research

If you wish to transfer your research to a different institution you will need to request prior approval from LSE via Rose Harris in the Financial Support Office and LSE Research Degrees Unit|.

Thesis submission dates

Students holding 1+3 awards should submit within 5 years of commencing the '1' (or 4 years from the commencement of the +3).  Students holding +3 awards must submit within 4 years of the commencement of their award.

Part-time students holding +3 awards must submit within 7 years.  Students holding part-time 1+3 studentships will be required to submit within 9 years.

As such, students who have a fixed period at full-time - whatever the length - retain their 7 or 9 year submission date, depending on the status of the award.

However, all students should aim to submit by the end of their funded period. 

Funding your writing up period

You are expected to submit your thesis by the submission deadline set out at the start of your award (usually one year after your funding period has ended).  If you have not completed your thesis within the funded period of your studentship, you can apply to LSE's Final Year PhD Fund| for additional support.  Your supervisor will need to confirm your planned timetable through to submission - the Financial Support Office will contact them to ask for this information.  Awards are made throughout the academic session. 

Extending your submission deadline

If you wish to extend your submission deadline you will need to request prior approval from LSE and the ESRC via Rose Harris|, two to three months before the submission deadline date. The ESRC will not accept direct representations - you must apply via Rose Harris.  The final decision will be made by the ESRC.

Finisher/Exit Questionnaire

Please note that all ESRC funded students need to submit the 'finisher/exit questionnaire' upon completion. If you fail to complete this questionnaire, any further applications for funding from the ESRC will not be accepted. A reminder will normally be sent from the Research Degrees Unit with your Annual Progress Report. The original questionnaire should be returned to the ESRC; a copy of the questionnaire should be returned to Rose Harris|.

Finisher/Exit Questionnaire| (Word)

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