ESRC Review of the PhD in the Social Sciences icon

ESRC Review of the PhD in the Social Sciences

In January 2020, CFE Research in partnership with the University of York were commissioned by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to undertake independent research to inform the first major review of the PhD in the Social Sciences for over a decade. The research explored the skills needed by social science PhD graduates for careers within and beyond academia and the optimum ways to develop them. It provides robust evidence with which to shape ESRC’s strategy for doctoral training and wider discussions on the development of doctoral training as part of the UKRI’s Talent Strategy.

The report published today (7th October) alongside ESRC’s response to the findings and recommendations is the culmination of 18 months of research and consultation which captured the views of more than 1,300 UK and international stakeholders, supervisors, students, graduates and employers representing over 120 organisations. The research was informed by a rapid evidence assessment of UK and international research on doctoral training published in April 2020. Read the executive summary or the full report.

If you have specific queries about research, please contact the project director at CFE, Lindsey Bowes:

Broader enquiries about the Review should be directed to Dr Lucy Thorne, Head of Leadership and Skills, ESRC on