Skills Development Scotland Competition

The Scottish Graduate School of Social Science is delighted to announce the continuation of its partnership with Skills Development Scotland in 2017. Skills Development Scotland (SDS) is co-funding a number of 3-year PhD research projects with the ESRC to be delivered in Partnership with the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science and universities in Scotland.

The partnership aims to support 4 PhD studentships per year - 12 are currently underway, four which started in October 2015. Their research will provide new knowledge and insights to help advance the understanding of key skills issues from a Scottish perspective.

Current research topics include: the transition from education to work, employer voice in the skills system, gender and occupational segregation in apprenticeships, career pathways and their outcomes, models of collaborative working in employability and the role of social networking in career management skills.

Aims of SDS-SGSSS PhD Scheme

The overall purpose of the SDS-SGSSS PhD scheme is to engage with the academic community to support the production of new, high-quality research focused on the Scottish labour market. It will:

  • Contribute to the development of a cadre of high-quality academic researchers with a deep knowledge of the Scottish skills landscape
  • Provide SDS with access to high-quality academic research around topics of longer-term interest
  • Increase the range and scope of SDS engagement with academic experts in support of skills policy

Scottish universities have an international reputation for the quality of their teaching and research activities. However, across the UK, there are recruitment issues in some key disciplines, including critical underpinning subjects such as economics. The SDS-SGSSS PhD scheme will help to address this challenge by increasing the number of successful PhDs with the skills to apply social science knowledge to economic and policy challenges.

The SGSSS is a highly attractive environment for doctoral research and the participation of SDS in the collaborative PhD programme will enhance this further by providing students with a unique opportunity to develop their research expertise in a policy and practice context.


Proposals from academics across the SGSSS-DTP accredited pathways are welcome. Student applicants may not apply at this stage, though chosen topics will be advertised once this stage of competition is complete. Please download the SDS-SGSSS Information Package and Application Form for more information.


The deadline for applications in 2017 will be Monday 6th February.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome towards the end of February.

Last updated 13 Sep 2017 11:36am