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The University of Southampton
Doctoral College

EPSRC Doctoral Prize


Award details

The EPSRC Doctoral Prize Scheme helps universities retain the best EPSRC-funded PhD students beyond the point of PhD submission. This scheme aims to increase the impact of EPSRC PhDs in terms of publications, knowledge transfer and outreach, and to encourage high quality candidates to pursue research careers. These awards are supported through the University of Southampton’s EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership grant (DTP), and are allocated through a competitive tender.

Recipients of the EPSRC Doctoral Prize may receive up to 12 months of funding for salary based at the University of Southampton and based on ERE Level 4 Point 27. Support of research running costs, and/or extension of the Prize through industrial collaboration, or through Faculty support, is both permissible and is encouraged.

Awards may start at any time between 1 April 2021 and 31 December 2021.

In order to be eligible for a Doctoral Prize, candidates must:

  • have submitted their theses after 1st October 2020 and be able to commence their doctoral prize before 31st December 2021;
  • have achieved an examiners’ recommendation of at least a pass with minor corrections;
  • have received an EPSRC funded PhD (e.g., DTP, CDT, iCASE). Please note you will need to quote the grant reference number in your application form to confirm your eligibility;
  • have the support of their chosen University of Southampton host School/Department to apply to this scheme;
  • suggest a project within EPSRC’s remit;
  • identify a suitable University of Southampton project mentor who should not be the candidate’s PhD supervisor.

Proposals should be led and submitted by the candidate; however approval from the supervisor and Faculty Finance will also be required. Candidates are required to submit:

  • a 2-page CV
  • a 1-page list of relevant publications
  • a completed application form (below), including:
    • a brief description of your PhD project (no more than 1 side)
    • a Case for Support (no more than 3 sides)
    • your Supervisor’s endorsement (no more than 1 side)

Please include in your Case for Support the measures that will be put in place to ensure the project can be undertaken safely and the mitigations for working during the pandemic and under COVID secure conditions that might delay progress.

Applications should be submitted to by 4pm on Friday 18 December 2020.

The Case for Support (no more than 3 sides) should give details of the applicant's name and host department, the start and end date, the project title, and the proposed mentor. It should also describe the background, aims and objectives, methodology and work plan for the project, and include a brief statement of the applicant's career goals. It should also detail and justify all non-salary costs. Applicants are encouraged to consider the review criteria in preparing their proposal.

The Letter of Support (no more than one side) should be signed. As well as detailing the personal qualities of the applicant, it should detail the fit of the proposed project to the Department's research strategy, and the support the candidate will receive if successful (including mentoring).

Applications should be submitted to by 4pm on Friday 18 December 2020.

In line with EPSRC recommendations, applications will be assessed through a rigorous selection process followed by an interview of the shortlisted candidates. Applications will be considered by a panel chaired by the Director of the Doctoral College. The criteria used by the panel to shortlist candidates for interview will be as follows:

  • Quality of applicant
  • Quality of the proposed project and its fit to EPSRC’s remit
  • Expected outputs and impact of project
  • Independence, leadership potential and a long-term career plans of the applicant

Interviews will last 20 minutes and will include a 5-min presentation, followed by a 15-min Q&A session.

Candidates will be shortlisted for interview around mid-February, and interviews will take place in March.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I apply?

Applications should be submitted to by 4pm on Friday 18 December 2020. Please see the How to Apply tab for the Application Form.

I've not studied my PhD at Southampton, can I apply?

Yes, we encourage applications from students external to the University of Southampton.

My PhD wasn't funded by EPSRC, can I apply?

Unfortunately not, the EPSRC regulations stipulate that applicants must have been funded by EPSRC for their Research Degree in order to be eligible.

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