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The Global Institute for Women’s Leadership (GIWL) within the Policy Institute at King’s College London.

  The Policy Institute

 Funded PhD Programme (UK Students Only)

About the Programme

Politics and International Relations is one of the largest and most vibrant subject areas in the University of Edinburgh, home to over 600 top undergraduates and 100 international postgraduate students every year. Our alumni include government ministers, members of parliament, policy analysts, broadcasters, business leaders, teachers and an increasing number of social entrepreneurs. 

Our academic staff produce world-class research across several areas, which not only informs our teaching but also the wider academic discipline. In the last UK-wide assessment of research we were rated within the top 10 universities in the UK, and number one in Scotland. 

There is a long, internationally recognized tradition of politics and gender research (P&G) in PIR, dating back more than three decades. It is now the largest concentration of P&G scholars in the UK. Three PIR politics and gender scholars are part of the QUALREP team: Prof. Sarah Childs, Prof. Meryl Kenny and Dr. Sarah Liu. The PIR Gender Politics Research Group has an ambitious programme of activities planned for 2023/4, coordinated by Dr. Annika Bergman Rosamond and Dr. Sarah Liu.In addition PIR’s Politics and Gender Scholars are active members of the School’s Gender and Sexuality Reading Group and the University’s Gender Network

The Global Institute for Women’s Leadership (GIWL) is situated within the Policy Institute at King’s College London. GIWL works towards a world in which women of all backgrounds have fair and equal access to leadership. Chaired by Julia Gillard, the only woman to have served as Prime Minister of Australia, GIWL brings together rigorous research, practice and advocacy to break down the barriers to women becoming leaders, while challenging ideas of what leadership looks like. Three KCL scholars are part of the QUALREP team: Prof Rosie Campbell, Dr Aleida Mendes Borges and Dr Anna Gwiazda. GIWL runs multiple internal and external events concerned with gender equality and participates in the activities of the KCL gender studies network.  

The Policy Institute offers a PhD in Applied Public Policy focused on investigating, understanding and helping to solve real-world social problems. 

Students are supervised by leading researchers across the full breadth of research areas in which the institute is active. 

Students will also have the opportunity to collaborate with a range of organisations across the public, voluntary sectors and private sectors, and to learn and use a variety of methods ranging from quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches. 

The focus of the doctorate is on applied research that helps to shape policy and practice and achieves lasting impacts in the world, while preparing students for future careers in academia, think tanks, or governments

There are two, UKRI fully funded PhDs linked to the 2023-8 The Quality of Women's Political Representation (QUALREP) Grant 

Applicants may apply for both posts, and should they choose to do so, they should submit only a single application, showing as appropriate their interest in and suitability for the different PhD foci.  

Please ensure you check your eligibility via UKRI condition TGC 5.2 before you apply. 

PhD1, Representation, intersectionality, and democratic practices (University of Edinburgh)

Will, in broad terms, investigate how processes of political participation and representation can better meet the needs of diverse women. It will be informed by feminist, intersectional and other critical approaches to the study of representation, parliaments, parties, and democracy; exploring the potential of democratic innovations and diverse democratic practices and devices to reform representative democracy for the benefit of all women. Informed by contemporary feminist theories of representation and the methodology of feminist democratic design, this PhD might also engage in the co-production of new democratic designs to trial innovative processes of participation and representation.  

PhD2, Women’s grassroots organisations and mobilisations (King’s College London)

Will, in broad terms, explore the priorities and activities of diverse grassroots women’s organisations/civil society. This could be a comparative project (Belgium, Poland, Portugal, Sweden and the UK) or a single country study of the UK. It will be informed by feminist and other critical approaches to the study of grassroots mobilisation, advocacy, social media activism and democracy, and theories of political participation and social movement theory. This PhD might also make use of innovative qualitative digital methodologies to investigate the affective political representation of diverse women.

Funding Notes

Please note that the award is only for full-time PhD applications and for students on the Home/UK fee rate. Please ensure you check your eligibility via UKRI condition TGC 5.2 (see link above) before you apply.

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