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Global Development Futures

PhD studentship in Global Development Futures (Advert Reference MRDF22/EE/GDF/BAILLIE-SMITH)

As part of our continued commitment to research excellence, Northumbria University is offering studentships aligned to each of our Multidisciplinary Research Themes (MDRTs). Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in the new interdisciplinary Global Development Futures Hub at Northumbria University. The Hub brings together academics from every university faculty to develop interdisciplinary research to help meet the challenges faced by marginalised and vulnerable communities in the global South.

The Hub particularly supports research which contributes to shaping development futures that address histories of issues of inequality, exclusion and environmental degradation. It is also concerned with developing ways of doing research that are more inclusive and equitable. To achieve this, the Global Development Futures Hub works in partnership with a wide range of academics, organisations and government bodies in the global South to jointly develop research and create opportunities for dialogues between research, policy and practice.

The Hub’s research covers a broad range of disciplines and interests, including: environmental governance; civil society, volunteering and activism; disaster preparedness; mobility, migration and displacement; humanitarian action, conflict and crises; entrepreneurship, livelihoods and work; air quality and pollution; health inequalities; colonial and development histories; participatory design.

We are particularly interested in applications from prospective PhD students interested in developing doctoral research in one of the following areas, but are also open to other proposals that meet the broad purpose and interdisciplinary approach of the Hub:

  • Digital technologies in humanitarian and development action
  • The climate emergency and adaptation in the global South
  • Data and evidence for the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Just transitions and sustainable development
  • Citizen science and global sustainable development
  • Research and interdisciplinary knowledge production for development

In their proposal, applicants should demonstrate how their research supports the overall focus of the Hub on supporting better development futures for vulnerable communities in the global South. It should also show how their research has potential to make both an academic contribution, as well as contribute to policy and practice. Applicants should indicate the kinds of methodologies they will use and how these fit with the Hub’s overall approach.

We welcome applications from students from any discipline represented at Northumbria University and which demonstrate a commitment to interdisciplinarity. The successful applicant will be provided with a suitable interdisciplinary supervision team that supports these ambitions.

Please see here for some examples of some the past and current projects and research groups make up the Hub:

To make an informal enquiry please contact Professor Matt Baillie Smith at:

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Each studentship supports a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2021/22 full-time study this is £15,609 per year) and full tuition fees. UK and international (including EU) candidates may apply.

Studentships are available for applicants who wish to study on a part-time basis over 5 years (0.6 FTE, stipend £9,365 per year and full tuition fees) in combination with work or personal responsibilities.

Please also read the full funding notes which include advice for international and part-time applicants.

Please note eligibility requirement:

  • Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
  • Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
  • Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere or if they have previously been awarded a PhD.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see:

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference MRDF22/EE/GDF/BAILLIE-SMITH will not be considered.

Deadline for applications: 18th February 2022

Start Date: 1st October 2022

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff and students. We welcome applications from all members of the community.

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