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Fully-funded PhD studentships for Higher Education Research

  • Funded PhD Programme (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Programme (European/UK Students Only)

Profile Description

Partners: Coventry University, Centre for Global Learning: Education and Attainment (GLEA), United Kingdom and Aarhus University Centre for Higher Education Futures (CHEF) at the Danish School of Education, Denmark (Copenhagen)

Coventry University is inviting applications from suitably qualified UK or European graduates for two (02) fully-funded PhD studentships for research into higher education.

The successful candidates will enrol at Coventry University as their home institution and will have the opportunity to undertake a collaborative doctoral research programme under the supervision of academic experts from both universities and spend a year at Aarhus University.

The programme offers researchers the opportunity to advance their skills and expertise in the higher education field, whilst developing their intercultural and international skills through engaging in research in both the United Kingdom and Denmark. It will also provide the opportunity to develop international networks and collaborations.

Both students recruited to the programme will be expected to undertake comparative studies addressing one of the following areas:

• Identification and critical analysis of different supervisor pedagogies inherent in doctoral supervision provided in the Danish/Scandinavian and British doctoral education contexts.
• How doctoral supervisors, and doctoral supervision, have become inextricably entangled in the wider institutional context of Graduate Schools and quality assurance agendas.
• Analysis of the changing face(s) and purposes of the doctorate internationally – for academic careers, knowledge workers, professional development and other.
• Identifying how the changing landscape of the PhD becomes visible in dissertation formats, writing genres and processes of PhD students.
• Analysis of what ‘research' and ‘researcher education' mean in relation to the PhD today, and how the domains of research, education, and policy play up against each other in the discourse and practices around the PhD.
• The challenges of designing a collaborative PhD programme and creating a mutually supportive cohort of PhD fellows and future knowledge workers in interdisciplinary projects spanning several European countries.
• The influence of national and institutional contexts on the learning journeys of doctoral students, supervisory approaches and the wider doctoral provision.
• Exploration of informal and extra-curricular support systems and networks that doctoral students draw from during their PhD, and investigation of the impact of how such institutionally unrecognised and unacknowledged supports contribution to the well-being of doctoral students and to completion rates.
• The development of mutually supportive communities of practice, using student experience as well as tailored reading to internationalise the doctoral process.
• Academic staff as doctoral candidates. How does studying in the same institution in which they work impact on the identity of academic staff in different international contexts?
• Intercultural awareness as a crucial doctoral outcome in an increasingly globalised world: to what extent is it evident internationally?
• Disability and doctoral candidature. Are our systems set up to cope with inclusivity at doctoral level?
• What impact does international mobility have on the cultural, intellectual and social capital of doctoral candidates?
• How does the co-location of doctoral candidates in research centres contribute to their satisfaction, progression and completion?

Further details on each institution and their research focus can be found here:
and CHEF:

Please visit Guidance to writing a research proposal

Training and Development
The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills at both institutions.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.

Entry criteria for applicants to PhD
• A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average. 
• In the event of a first degree classification of less than 2:1, a Masters Degree in a relevant subject area will be considered as an equivalent.
• The Masters must have been attained with minimum overall marks at merit level (60%). In addition, the dissertation or equivalent element in the Masters must also have been attained with a minimum mark of merit level (60%).
Minimum English language proficiency of IELTS Academic 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component, if you are an EU (non-UK) or overseas national.

For further details see:

To find out more about the project, please contact:
Prof Lynn Clouder:
Prof Sue Wright:

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant's expertise and interests are relevant to the project.

To apply online please visit:

Start date: January 2020

Duration of study: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Enquiries may be addressed to:
Prof Lynn Clouder:
Prof Sue Wright:
Associate professor Soren Bengtsen

Funding Notes

Coventry University, UK and Aarhus University, Denmark jointly offer two fully-funded PhD studentships to UK/EU fee payers as part of a collaborative Co-tutelle programme of study. Each studentship will include:
• full tuition fees
• stipends for up to 3.5 years (c.a. £15000/year) depending on satisfactory progress

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