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 2018. Skills Development Scotland (SDS) is co-funding a number of 1+3/+3 PhD studentships with the ESRC to be delivered in Partnership with the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science and its partner universities in Scotland.

The partnership aims to support new 4 PhD studentships per year - 16 are currently underway. 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:

  • Transitions and labour market outcomes for ethnic minority young people in Scotland
  • Adapting to a changing landscape, SME engagement and best practice in creating workplace learning environment
  • New Opportunities for work-based learning in high performance organisations
  • The development of skills for the future of work.

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 Thursday 14th of December 2017.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome by the end of January 2018.

Last updated 7 Nov 2017 11:53am