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Scope of Civil Society, Development and Democracy


Funded PhD


3 years (full-time)

Application deadline:

Wednesday 23 January 2019

About this project

The University of Hull is part of the ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership - a collaboration between the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield, York, Sheffield Hallam, Hull, Bradford and Manchester Metropolitan University - and through this is able to offer a range of ESRC funded Postgraduate Scholarships. 

The University of Hull can accept applications to five Interdisciplinary Themed Pathways of ESRC training in the 1+3 (Masters and PhD), +3 (PhD only), for both full and part-time study. Applicants who would not have an equivalent qualification already would need to take the MSc Social Research (DTP). The MSc can be funded as part of a  DTP studentship, but applications and also encouraged from people undertaken this or a similar masters already.

This pathway increases understanding of changing natures of civil and political society paying attention to governance, institutions, community, individuals, migration and difference. Themes addressed include political climate of devolution, constitutional change, democracy, legitimacy, and citizenship; set within context of crises, inequality, uneven international development, public policy and rising powers.

At the University of Hull, we offer doctoral students the opportunity to contribute to and benefit from our research excellence in understanding the changing nature of civil and political society: governance, institutions, community, individuals, migration, and difference.

Active areas of our high-ranking rated research address topics including political climate of devolution, constitutional change, patterns and processes of democracy, legitimacy, and citizenship.

Current research within the School of Environmental Sciences is set within the broader context of crisis, inequality, processes and patterns of uneven international development, public policy, situated development studies, and dynamics of rising powers.

This pathway is led at Hull by Elsbeth Robson.

The University's Postgraduate Training Scheme (PGTS) provides a range of generic and discipline-specific modules to support research students through their programme. 

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The library has an exclusive lounge for postgraduate research students and a dedicated Skills Team to provide a wide range of study and research skills help. 

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The Graduate School provides support to postgraduate research students. Offering skills development opportunities and dedicated facilities, the school is here to help you achieve your potential. 

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Research at Hull tackles big challenges and makes an impact on lives globally, every day. Our current research portfolio spans everything from health to habitats, food to flooding and supply chains to slavery. 

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The type of ESRC scholarship awarded is based on an applicant's residency status. UK and EU applicants who have been a resident in the UK for at least 3 years immediately preceding the start of their course are eligible for the full scholarship. This pays

  • the standard UK/EU tuition fees
  • an annual, tax-free maintenance stipend at the standard UK research rate (£14,777 in 2018-19)
  • access to Research Training Support Grant funds to support conference and other expenses
  • students may apply for additional funding to support overseas fieldwork, language training and overseas institutional visits, but must include this in their application.

UK and EU applicants who have not been resident in the UK for 3 years immediately preceding the start of their course may be eligible for a fees-only award, paying the standard UK/EU tuition fees only.

Further details about the ESRC’s residency requirements and eligibility for funding can be found on the ESRC website

International students are not eligible for ESRC scholarships.

There is no funding for a Masters degree only. 

Entry requirements

For 1+3 and +3 awards, applicants must hold at least a UK Upper Second Class Honours degree or equivalent (a less than sufficient undergraduate degree may be enhanced, e.g. by a Master's degree). All applicants should apply for a PhD and, if successful on the basis of their research proposal, will be offered funding for a PhD preceded by funding for the MSc Social Research (DTP) at Hull, if they do not already have a Masters degree that meets ESRC research training requirements in social research methods. 

You are strongly advised to discuss your research proposal with your prospective supervisor before you apply and to give sufficient time for this process well before the application deadline of 23 January 2019.