Doctoral Training Partnerships

CHASE: Consortium for Humanities and the Arts South-East England

The Consortium for Humanities and the Arts South-East England (CHASE) is an AHRC-funded Doctoral Training Partnership, providing funding and training opportunities to the next generation of world-leading arts and humanities scholars.

Essex is one of the 8 world-leading institutions that comprise the membership of the CHASE DTP:

  • Essex 
  • Birkbeck (University of London) 
  • University of East Anglia
  • University of Kent
  • The Courtauld Institute of Art
  • University of Sussex
  • Goldsmiths (University of London)
  • SOAS (University of London)

What does the studentship provide?

You will receive subject-specific and advanced training, whilst undertaking your research in an innovative, ground-breaking and empowering research environment, amongst our thriving postgraduate community. You will also be provided with opportunities to attend world-class training, attending and presenting at conferences and events, academic publishing and work placement opportunities.

CHASE Studentship Funding supports both full-time and part-time study and covers:

  • Fully-funded studentships: a tax-free maintenance stipend to cover your living costs, this is set at £18,022 (full time equivalent) for 2023-24.
  • Fees: whether you have home or international fee status, you will not have to pay university tuition fees during your studentship funding period.


Are you eligible?

Regardless of whether you are a "home" applicant or an "international" applicant, you can apply for a studentship. However, there is a cap on numbers, as only up to 30% of studentship awards can be made to international applicants.

To be classed as a home student, you must meet the following criteria: 

  • be a UK national (meeting residency requirements), or 
  • have settled status, or
  • have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have indefinite leave to remain or enter

If you do not meet the criteria above, you are classed as an international student. Further guidance on residential eligibility is provided in the UKRI Guidance

Applicants will hold an undergraduate degree, and will normally have a Master’s degree, or be studying for one. However, CHASE also welcomes applications from candidates with sustained experience beyond their undergraduate degree level that is specifically relevant to their proposed research topic.


CHASE has produced an informative online application guidance - CHASE Doctoral Training Partnership.

PhD Studentships are available on a full-time or part-time basis. We strongly encourage you to contact the School or Department you wish to apply to at the earliest opportunity in order to discuss your research proposal and potential supervision arrangements.

This is particularly important in order to give supervisors enough time to assist in the development of your application to ensure the best chance of success. Please note that you will need to discuss your application with the department to which you are applying for a place of study. The department will provide you with an access code for you to commence the application process.

This studentship competition is now closed for applications for October 2023. Please check back in October 2023 for details of the studentship competition for October 2024. CHASE studentship applications will need to be submitted using the CHASE application form on SM Apply.

In addition to your CHASE Studentship application, you must also apply for your place on the relevant PhD course at Essex, using the online application form.

You can already start thinking about and drafting the key aspects of your application; you can outline your research proposal, plans and timeline for completion. Your supervisor will be able to offer you advice about how best to do this.

You can also start on your personal statement, which should address the following key questions; why are you applying for this studentship; why are you the best person for this research project; how are you and your proposed supervisors the best fit; why CHASE and how will the CHASE studentship enable you to achieve what you are proposing?

Applying online

This studentship competition is now closed for applications for October 2023. Please check back in October 2023 for details of the studentship competition for October 2024.

What's the selection process for studentship competitions?

After the CHASE studentship submission deadline, applications pass through an internal University selection process, before a decision is made whether to nominate particular applications to CHASE, for consideration at the relevant CHASE Panels. We are able to nominate 17 high-quality applications across the range of discipline areas. Applications put forward to these panels are considered alongside applications from other CHASE partner institutions.

You will be notified at the point we nominate the final 17 applications from Essex whether or not you have been successful at that stage.

The final selection phase, conducted by the CHASE Management Board, will be held in late March, and you will be notified by mid-April whether you have been awarded a CHASE student-led studentship.

The selection criteria used to assess applications across all panels, degree types and at all levels of the selection process is:

1. Research proposal (50%) (evidence: Research proposal, supervisor statement)

  • The proposal is clearly-written and demonstrates engagement with an academic field at a high level of sophistication.
  • The project demonstrates original thinking in its field (or fields)
  • The project is clearly situated in its field (or fields)
  • The methodology proposed clearly demonstrates the viability of the planned research.
  • The planned research is described in a way that inspires confidence that it will definitely be completed within the funded period.
  • The application demonstrates excellent motivation for the research project.
  • The proposed research may be timely or urgent in nature, but not all excellent projects will be time-critical or topical.

2. Preparedness for research (25%) (evidence: academic record, professional achievements, Widening Participation Statement, references)

  • The applicant demonstrates understanding of appropriate research skills required for successful completion of the project.
  • The applicant has appropriate training at Master’s level or equivalent (including experience gained outside of higher education) to undertake the project.
  • The applicant’s references fully support the applicant’s preparedness for doctoral study
  • The applicant demonstrates outstanding competency in organisational skills and initiative through their previous activities, and a capacity to overcome obstacles.
  • Where a widening participation statement is provided, it gives context on aspects of the candidate’s preparedness and on their motivation to undertake doctoral study. CHASE is committed to addressing inequalities in participation in our DTP, and encourages applications from all under-represented groups, including people with disabilities, ethnic minorities, lower income families and mature students. Assessors should consider information provided in the widening participation statement alongside other answers in this section.

3. Suitability of research environment (25%) (evidence: Research proposal, supervisor statement)

  • The research environment (as constituted by the proposed supervision, the home department(s) or equivalent, the institutional support (including available archives, sources, research centres), any external organisations) is appropriate to the project.
  • The applicant has given clear thought to the fit between their project and their proposed research environment.
  • The supervisor statement fully supports the project’s fit with the proposed research environment.
Get in touch