Strategy and Vision

Building on the success of the North West Doctoral Training Centre (NWDTC), the North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP) brings together the Universities of Keele, Lancaster, Liverpool and Manchester. Our partnership involves a critical mass of world-leading researchers able to supervise PGRs across the full range of social sciences, providing advanced methodological training, professional development and substantial early career mentoring. The NWSSDTP will operate as a national hub for social science capacity building. We will achieve this vision through three key strategies:

  • providing high-quality, flexible postgraduate training;
  • advancing knowledge exchange;
  • enabling PGRs to develop into future research leaders.

Our vision is grounded within the social science research strategies of the partner institutions and will allow us to further develop capacity in areas of strategic significance and emerging opportunity in the North West, notably health, security, sustainability and economic vitality.

Our governance structure enables us to exploit institutional resources within the consortium and to engage in constructive dialogue with supervisors and PGRs to ensure our work enhances PGR capabilities and achievements.

Our strategy for developing future research leaders involves enhancing professional development, boosting employability initiatives, promoting access to bespoke careers support and making PGRs partners in shaping research, training and the environment. Establishing supportive structures for researcher development at all career stages is central to our core ambition of research excellence and the NWSSDTP will fully implement the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers.

Regular engagement with senior University executives allows us to play a vital role in shaping and achieving institutional social science strategies. In line with Manchester 2020, Lancaster’s Strategy for 2020, Liverpool’s 2026 Strategy and Keele’s 2015-2020 Strategic Plan, the mission of the NWSSDTP is to embed high quality PGR training as a vehicle for promoting research excellence, fostering interdisciplinarity and intensifying knowledge exchange opportunities.


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