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PhD studentships for the 2021/2022 academic year

The School of Economics and Finance of the University of St Andrews would like to invite applications for full-time PhD studentships starting in the 2021/2022 academic year.

The School offers fully funded studentships for applicants seeking to work on any area of economics. The studentships include a tuition fee waiver covering full fees (home, UK, or overseas) plus an annual maintenance stipend and teaching allowance, which in total is equal to the current UK Research Council rate of £15,285 per year.

Closing date for all applications: 31 January 2021

About the studentships

The fully funded awards include a tuition fee waiver (for home, UK, or overseas applicants) plus an annual maintenance stipend and teaching allowance, which in total is equal to the current UK Research Council rate of £15,285 per year (adjusted annually in line with Research Council scholarship rates). Award holders will be required to undertake up to an average of 5 hours of undergraduate tutorial teaching per week during the semester.

We offer an additional research allowance of up to £400 per academic year to support travel to conferences or purchase of essential software, subject to prior approval.

Studentships are awarded on a rolling basis, to be taken up in September for the 2021/2022 academic year. They will be tenable for up to 3 years subject to the holder making satisfactory progression as assessed through the University’s procedures for reviewing the performance of doctoral students.

The competition is open to new home/EU and international students who are applying for a full-time PhD place. Candidates are required to submit their applications as outlined on the School’s website.

The research proposal (2,000 words) should give a detailed description of your planned research project, touching on the following points:

  1. Your research questions, how they relate to previous work in the relevant literature, and the contribution you expect to make;
  2. The theoretical framework;
  3. Your planned methodology;
  4. A rough outline of your research that will lead to a dissertation;
  5. References to the relevant literature and materials to be used.

Candidates will be considered for admission for the PhD first and for the award only after they have been offered a place on the programme.


We welcome applications from strong candidates who can demonstrate academic excellence and outstanding research potential.

  • First, we require the equivalent of a “Merit” in a taught MSc course in Economics and a distinction in their MSc dissertation. If needed, the student may be required to undertake further MSc level coursework in their first year of doctoral studies and pass with merit.
  • Second, the prospective student must have a carefully thought out research proposal with a clear research question.
  • Third, applicants must choose a qualified supervisor in the department who is both willing and able to supervise the student in his or her chosen line of research. Normally we do not consider applications from those students whose average grade is less than 60% across all modules of an MSc degree or a lower than 2.1 degree in the undergraduate degree.

For further information, browse the research interests of our academic staff.

How to apply

Please familiarize yourself with the process on how to apply for a PhD programme in the School of Economics and Finance.

The candidate’s PhD application must be complete by 31 January 2021 for the applicant to be eligible for an award. Applications are welcome in advance of the deadline and we will consider them on a rolling basis. All required documents must be in place, including a research proposal of 2000 words and two letters of reference.

For queries regarding the studentships available within the School of Economics and Finance please email the PhD Administrator, Laura Newman, at

The University of St Andrews is committed to equality for all, demonstrated through our working on diversity awards (ECU Athena SWAN/Race Charters; Carer Positive; LGBT Charter; and Stonewall). The School of Economics and Finance holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award and is fully committed to equality, diversity, and inclusion. We particularly invite applications from groups who are typically underrepresented in the field of economics.

Applied Microeconomics Group

At least one of the fellowships is available for working with Professor David Jaeger and the applied microeconomics group at St Andrews. Potential research areas include but are not limited to labor, immigration, education, health, development, public finance and public policy, and economic history. Candidates should have strong preparation in applied microeconometrics and causal inference and excellent performance as an undergraduate and MSc student. Candidates from outside the UK are also encouraged to apply. The Applied Microeconomics Group at St Andrews is an active and coherent group within the School that provides a rigorous yet supportive environment in which to do research. Members include Professor David Jaeger, Dr Antonella Bancalari, Dr David Escamilla-Guerrero, Dr Margaret Leighton, Dr Irina Merkurieva, and Dr Lorenzo Neri, with plans to grow in the near future.