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Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) Scholarship

Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) Scholarship

Funded PhD studentship/Graduate Teaching Assistant (PGTA) position in Human Geography

The School of Geographical Sciences, University of Bristol has a Postgraduate Teaching Assistant position in Human Geography to fill for 2021/22 entry, with an anticipated start date of 01 September 2021. The School is consistently ranked as top in the UK in terms of the amount of research its staff produce which is deemed "world class". It has a vibrant and expanding Graduate School of some 150+ PhD and MSc students.

At current 2020/21 rates this position is funded as follows:

  • A stipend at 85% of Research Council UK standard rate = £12,992 p.a.
  • An expected teaching payment = £4,925 p.a.
  • A fees payment = £4,457 p.a.
  • A research travel support amount = £1,000 p.a.

for a total of £23,374 p.a.

During the first four months, the Geography GTA scholar will focus on starting their PhD and undertaking training and shadowing. Teaching will begin in the January after commencing the PhD.

The GTA scholarship awards will be for 4 years. For the first 3 years the Geography GTA Scholar will spend 85% of their time carrying out research as a PhD student and 15% of their time supporting undergraduate (or exceptionally taught PG) teaching, typically in tutorial, seminar, field or laboratory classes and under the direction of the member of academic staff responsible for the taught unit, including in some instances teaching-related duties such as assessment and examination marking.

The maximum number of teaching hours per year under the PGTA scheme is 250, in line with University policy. The final 6 months will be free of teaching to enable the GTA to focus on completing their PhD write-up, but Geography PGTAs typically will not have any teaching load in their final year. Training and support for teaching will be provided in line with the University’s Policy on Postgraduate Research Students who Teach and will be appropriately mentored.

Scheme details (PDF, 174kB)

Who should apply?

The successful candidate will have an excellent track record of academic excellence and research potential in Human Geography, in addition to evidence of teaching experience or experience potential matched to teaching needs. The full-time studentship is only open to students who are eligible for home fees (determined by residency, find more information here).

We welcome applications from all members of our community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as members of the LGBTQIA+, BAME and disabled communities.

How do I apply?

The successful applicant will propose a research topic for their PhD in Human Geography, in consultation with staff at the School of Geographical Sciences. The proposal will be considered as part of their application.

For all information on entry requirements and how to apply for our research degrees, please see the following page.

Applicants must submit the following as part of their formal application:

  • Formal application to University
  • Research Proposal (1,500 words max, excluding references)
  • Personal Statement (maximum 2 sides of A4, 11- or 12-point font)
  • CV
  • Two letters of academic reference

Applicants must develop their project ideas and proposals in consultation with potential supervisors within the School before formal application.

Only proposals and applications that have agreed written support from potential supervisors will be considered. Interdisciplinary research projects supported by human and physical geographical supervision will be considered. However, the lead supervisor of a proposed project must be a human geographer.

For queries about the application process, please contact the School’s Postgraduate Research Administrator, Vicki Sackwild (

For further information on the position and enquiries about potential supervisors, applicants may contact the School’s Year One Director, Dr Ed Atkins ( or the School’s Education Director, Professor Jonathan Rigg (

When is the deadline?

The deadline for submission of the application is 29 April 2021.