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We’re leading a partnership to train the next generation of social scientists which has received over £28m in new funding.

Building postgraduate provision

The Northern Ireland and North East Doctoral Training Partnership (NINE DTP) brings together seven universities across North East England and Northern Ireland.

The NINE DTP will receive £20m from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), along with £8.5 million in match funding from the partner universities.

The successful bid was led by Durham’s Professor Deborah Riby, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Postgraduate Research Students and Professor of Developmental Psychology, and supports our strategy to build our postgraduate research community and provision at Durham.

The NINE DTP is the only Durham-led Doctoral Training Programme that spans all four of our faculties.

New opportunities

Over the next five years NINE DTP will offer PhD places in 18 training pathways across the full breadth of social science research.

This includes three new areas; criminology, policing and prisons; environment, climate and sustainability; and sport and society.

Professor Philip Steinberg, from our Department of Geography, took on the role of Director of NINE DTP earlier this year and will lead the partnership forward with this new funding.  

Challenging research

With the new funding, in each of the next five years, NINE DTP will admit around 55 PhD students across the seven partner universities.  

Students explore challenging and societally important questions through their research, with a strength in examining issues of regional importance to Northeast England and Northern Ireland.  

Research examples include regional inequalities in educational provision, sexual violence within prisons, and the role of physical activity in the wellbeing of youth with disabilities. 

The news of this successful bid comes weeks after Social Sciences at Durham was ranked 81st in the world in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings by Subject 2024.

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