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School of Geography and Sustainable Development PhD Studentship Competition 2021

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Funded PhD Programme (Students Worldwide)

About the Programme

The School of Geography and Sustainable Development (SGSD) is delighted to announce the 2021 PhD Studentship Competition. Two fully funded PhD scholarships are available to join the School’s vibrant research community. This is a continuation of scheme initiated in 2020, representing the School’s commitment to postgraduate research.

The Studentships are funded by the School of Geography and Sustainable Development, the Robertson Scholarship and the University of St Andrews Handsel scheme

Deadline for Application: Monday 1st February, 17.00 (UK time).

Entry Requirements: For general entry criteria for PhD programmes see:

The minimum academic qualification is a 2:1 Honours Degree (or overseas equivalent) in a relevant subject.

How to apply: Applications should be made via the central University of St Andrews system:

You should select School of Geography and Sustainable Development and clearly indicate in the funding section “SGSD Scholarship Competition 2021”.

For the application you will need:

1.      A covering letter providing: a) statement of your reason for wishing to undertake PhD study at SGSD and b) a statement of support from your proposed primary supervisor

2.      A Curriculum Vitae focusing on your academic track record.

3.      Transcripts and/or certificates of academic qualifications.

4.      A research proposal which should comprise the PhD project title, a project abstract (no more than 300 words), and case for support (maximum 2000 words) which should include:

·        Overview and rationale for project, aims, research questions and methods

·        Proposed first and second supervisors

·        Statement on the fit of the proposed project with research of the School

·        Anticipated project outcomes in terms of research output and likely impacts

·        Statement of the feasibility of the project, identifying risks and how these will be mitigated

5.      Names and contact details of two referees who can provide references

6.      Evidence of English language capability, which may include evidence of prior Higher Education study in English or relevant certification (e.g. IELTS)

Selection Process

Applications will be reviewed by a panel of staff from SGSD. The panel will score applications in 3 domains: academic track record, research proposal (including fit to SGSD), support from supervisor. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview, which we anticipate will likely occur through video conferencing. Candidates will be informed of the outcome following interviews. Successful candidates will be expected to start on 27th September 2021.


Please address enquiries to the PGR Administrator, Helen Olaez, at

Eligibility: The competition is open to candidates of all nationalities. 

Funding Notes

School of Geography and Sustainable Development PhD studentship: The successful candidates will receive funding for three years as follows: a stipend in line with UKRI rates (currently £15,285), an annual Research and Training Grant of £750, payment of tuition fees (home/international). The competition is open to candidates of all nationalities.

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