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The School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences runs a competition every year for a small number of university scholarships, which are funded by Northern Ireland’s Department for the Economy (DFE Scholarships), and Ulster University’s Vice Chancellor for Research (VCR Scholarships).

The competition for these scholarships opens every year in mid-December, deadlines for applications falls in mid-to-late January, interviews are conducted in late March, and decisions are taken by the end of April. The competition takes place across each academic unit in the University, which means that the overall process is administered and coordinated centrally by the university’s Doctoral College. The Doctoral College has information about the timeline of each year’s annual competition.

If you are interested in applying to the School’s annual competition for a scholarship, you will apply centrally via the Doctoral College, but in anticipation of that central deadline, we encourage you to engage with the School in order to clarify and strengthen your application.


First, it’s a good idea to take a close look at the range of researchers in our School, so you can find an academic who aligns closely to your research interest. If you can’t find someone working in precisely the area of your interest, it’s nonetheless worthwhile to make contact.


Second, if you believe there is appropriate supervision available for your piece of research, we would encourage you to develop a short proposal – the first draft could be as short as 750-1,000 words – that develops the idea at the centre of your application.

For more information on what a good proposal looks like, read the School’s PhD Handbook.


Third, if you’re now satisfied that you’ve got a close fit with a supervisor, and your proposal is in good shape, you’re almost ready to submit your full application to the Doctoral College.

If you’ve any question about the procedural part of the application process (Qs about deadline, qualifications, paperwork, etc.), please write to an administrator in the Doctoral College; if you’ve any questions about the academic part of the application process (Qs about supervision, proposals, etc.), please write to the School’s Postgraduate Tutor, Dr Shane Mac Giollabhuí.