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Study a PhD looking at major events and human rights at the Observatory for Human Rights and Major Events (HaRM), School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (SHTM), University of Surrey, UK.

  School of Hospitality and Tourism Management

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 Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Programme

We are rapidly expanding our PhD community to join our new research ‘Observatory for Human Rights and Major Events’ (HaRM) at the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, University of Surrey, UK.

The School of Hospitality and Tourism Management (SHTM) at the University of Surrey, located just outside London in Guilford (UK) is delighted to invite self-funded applications to join our PhD programme for the new 2021/2022 academic year, starting September 2021.

SHTM is globally recognized as one of the leading Schools in its area with over 35 world-renowned faculty from over 17 countries. We run the largest PhD in Hospitality, Tourism, Events and/or Transport Management programme in the world. SHTM is also the editorial home of theJournal of Sustainable Tourism, previously Annals of Tourism Research and as of 2021-22 Event Management journal.

SHTM is ranked 2nd for hospitality, leisure, recreation and tourism in the Complete University Guide 2021, ranked 1stin the UK, 1st in Europe and top 5 globally for hospitality and tourism management in the ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2020, and top 10 in the world for hospitality and leisure management in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020. 

Observatory for Human Rights and Major Events (HaRM) and our three research pillars

We are looking for high quality applicants who seek to advance events research looking at the relationship between human rights and major events (cultural and sporting events).

You can find a detailed overview of HaRM’s vision, objectives and research here:

HaRM has three specific research pillars:

Pillar 1: Human trafficking and exploitation. 

Pillar 2: Visitor economy and experiences. 

Pillar 3: Urban development and community disruption.

To help guide proposals, our PhD supervisors have developed ‘ready-made’ projects aligned to each pillar above that self-funded students can use to guide their proposals, which, throughout the PhD can be shaped to the individual’s interests and expertise.

We list all seven projects below. For a full overview of each what each project hopes to specifically focus on, please visit: and click on the 'Study a PhD with us' for a detailed outline.

Dr Mike Duignan, Head of Department, Director of HaRM, and Reader in Events (

  • Project 1: Tackling human trafficking in major event cities
  • Project 2: Structural barriers to host community leverage in major event visitor economies
  • Project 3: Major event-led urban regeneration and development: Community disruption and displacement

Dr Yanning Li, Lecturer in Events and Prof Nigel Morgan, Professor & Head of School (

  • Project 4: Understanding and protecting the major event workforce
  • Project 5: The role of major events in promoting social sustainability in societies

Christy Hehir, Lecturer in Events, and Dr Mike Duignan, Head of Department and Reader in Events (

  • Project 6: Events for the greater good: How events can trigger attendees to take action.

Dr Nikolas Thomopoulos, Senior Lecturer in Transport (

  • Project 7: Modern Slavery Act in the Events and Tourism Industry Supply Chain

N.B. we are happy to accept proposals that do not specifically apply to one of the projects, but it must be linked to one of the three pillars outlined above.

Interested? Next steps:

Please email the respective supervisor on the email addresses provided above to discuss a potential application.

As we note above, for a full overview of each what each project hopes to specifically focus on, please visit: and click on the 'Study a PhD with us' for a detailed outline.

Information about the Surrey Hospitality and Tourism Management PhD, entry requirements, as well as the application process is available at:


·      Deadline to discuss potential application is between 6 April 2021 - 31 May, 2021.

·      Full PhD application required by 30 June, 2021.

For general enquiries, please email:

Funding Notes

The PhD opportunities on this programme do not have funding attached. You will need to have your own means of paying fees and living costs and / or seek separate funding from student finance, charities or trusts.
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