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Cardiff University School of Law and Politics - ESRC-funded PhD Studentship in Politics and International Relations

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Funded PhD Programme (European/UK Students Only)

About the Programme

ESRC Wales DTP - Cardiff University's Department of Politics and International Relations

The Department of Politics and International Relations/School of Law and Politics at Cardiff University, supported by the ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership for Wales (Wales DTP), invites applications for funded PhD study, with the possibility of being awarded a fully-funded ESRC DTP Studentship, available to start in October 2021.

The Department of Politics and International Relations at the School of Law and Politics provides an enthusiastic and intellectually stimulating environment for postgraduate research to those wishing to study a PhD. With a combination of established researchers with international reputations the Department has a dynamic and forward-looking research ethos, and hosts research groups and centres that cover a variety of diverse and cutting hedge subject areas.

These studentships are ‘open’ awards. Applicants should consider approaching a potential supervisor before submitting their application to confirm that there is appropriate supervisory capacity within the Department and to discuss their draft application. Information on the research interests of our staff can be found on the Department of Politics and International Relations webpages.

The closing deadline for applications is 12.00 noon on Wednesday 03 February 2021.


ESRC studentships are highly competitive, candidates should have an excellent academic background in the social sciences, holding a 1st or strong upper 2nd class degree; applications from those also holding a relevant research training Masters degree (or an equivalent background in research training) will be considered.


Short-listed applicants will be invited to interview, which are expected to take place in late February/early March 2021. After interview, a final short-list of applicants will be put forward to a Panel convened by the ESRC Wales DTP Management Group at which final decisions with regard to studentship awards will be made. In most cases successful applicants can expect to hear by early April 2021.


Applicants should apply online to the Doctor of Philosophy in Politics or International Relations with a start date of October 2021. In the funding section, please select 'I will be applying for a scholarship/grant' and specify that you are applying for advertised funding from [title of studentship]. Incomplete Applications or applications received after this specified time will not be accepted.

The application must contain the following documents:

1. Covering letter: Please address to Dr Andrea Calderaro. The covering letter must set out your reasons and motivation for applying to study at Cardiff University, and the ESRC DTP Politics and International Relations pathway; your understanding, and expectations of doctoral study; and your academic interests generally, and particularly of those relating to your proposed research. The covering letter should be no more than two pages. Please also specify which pathway you will be applying to and whether you wish to apply on a +3 or 1+3 basis.

2. Academic / Professional Qualifications: Where appropriate, this should also include proof of English Language Competency (7.0 IELTS minimum).

3. References: All applications require two academic references to be submitted in support. Candidates must approach referees themselves and include references with their application.

4. Curriculum Vitae: It should be no longer than two pages.

5. Research Proposal: The proposal should be up to a maximum of 1000 words, not including bibliographic references. We suggest that you use the following five headings in your research proposal:

·        Title, aims and purpose of the research;

·        Brief overview of the academic literature relevant to your field;

·        Proposed design/methods;

·        Academic contributions of your research.

·        Bibliographic References

Please mark your application for consideration for ESRC DTP Politics and International Relations Open studentship. Incomplete applications or applications received after this specified time will not be accepted. Please ensure you apply for an October 2021 start, and put the ESRC 3+1 scholarship in the funding box.

Funding Notes

Studentship Awards commence in October 2021 and will cover your tuition fees as well as a maintenance grant (currently £15,285 p.a. for 2012/21 for full-time students, updated each year); and includes access to an additional Research Training Support Grant (RTSG), though an element of this latter fund may be ‘pooled’ and require separate applications from 2021 onwards. There are other opportunities and benefits available to studentship holders, including an overseas fieldwork allowance (if applicable), internship opportunities, overseas institutional visits and other small grants.

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