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  Applying the concept of civic stratification to refugee policy in the devolved nations of the UK

   Cardiff School of Social Sciences

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  Prof P Chaney, Prof IR Jones  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

The Wales Institute of Social & Economic Research, Data & Methods (WISERD: supported by the School of Social Sciences, invites applications for PhD study. This Large Centre Associated Studentship is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, and is available on a 3-year, full-time basis only. It will commence in January 2023.

Applications are invited from exceptional candidates with an appropriate Masters’ degree. The studentship is available as ’+3’ (i.e. three years of full-time doctoral study).

Applications welcomed by 14 November 2022 (1200 hours).

This is a Research Centre Associated studentship award. Applicants should take careful consideration of the working title and description of the project and may wish to contact the named members of staff for a discussion prior to applying.

Project Aims

Over recent decades the UK has responded to successive refugee crises. Most recently these have involved those fleeing Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine. Whilst regulation of asylum and immigration are reserved matters for the Westminster government, the Welsh and Scottish Governments determine key areas of social policy for refugees. The devolved governments have sought to work with local authorities and civil society and provide what they assert are expansive and welcoming policy frameworks. In Wales, this is captured in the policy ‘Nation of Sanctuary’. In Scotland it is set out in ‘New Scots: Refugee Integration Strategy (2018-22)’. 

In social theory terms, David Lockwood’s concept of civic stratification refers to both the systemic denial and granting of rights and emphasises social cohesion and how citizenship has a strong role to play in the structuring of group interests. Refugees are prime case in point. Contrasting territorial policy frameworks and rights regimes underline how they are subject to civic gain and civic loss. Lockwood’s work offers a propitious analytical framework to explore contemporary developments.

Overarching Research Question

Applying the concept of civic stratification, what are policy actors’ views of the issues, progress and challenges of refugee policy in the devolved nations of the UK?


A review of the literature on refugees, welfare policy and devolved governance.

In order to address the overarching study aim the research may employ a comparative case study design and, undertake social scientific data-gathering and analysis of the views of a range of policy actors associated with refugee policy in the two nations.

Theoretically informed analysis using the work of Lockwood will be applied in order to explore the impact and implications of the territorial policy frameworks on refugees in the two nations.

The 3-year timescale reflects the time necessary to gain access to the field and, in order to undertake an in-depth study of the contrasting policy frameworks, sufficient time to collect data over time and in different settings to enable a comparative analysis.


Professor Paul Chaney, WISERD Co-Director:

Professor Ian Rees Jones, Civil Society Centre Director, WISERD:


ESRC studentships are highly competitive. Candidates should have an excellent academic background in the social sciences, holding a relevant research training Masters degree (or an equivalent background in research training) to be considered for this 3-year award. Successful applicants will be eligible for a full award consisting of a maintenance stipend and payment of tuition fees at the UK research organisation rate. Applicants must satisfy studentship eligibility requirements. For further details see the UKRI website.


The closing deadline for applications is 12.00 noon on Monday, 14 November 2022. Short-listed applicants will be invited to interview, which are expected to take place between 28/11/2022 and 02/12/2022.

Economics (10) Geography (17) Politics & Government (30) Sociology (32)

Funding Notes

This studentship award commences in January 2023 and will cover your tuition fees at the UK rate (£4,577 in 2022/23) and a maintenance grant for 3 years full-time to current Research Council rates (£16,234 stipend for academic year 2022/23), plus support for travel/conferences/ consumables. Unfortunately, due to funding constraints, this studentship can only be offered on a full-time basis. International fees cannot be covered in this instance.


Applicants should apply to the 'Doctor of Philosophy in Social Sciences' with a start date of January 2023.
In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select ’I will be applying for a scholarship/grant’ and specify that you are applying for advertised funding from WISERD LARGE CENTRE ASSOCIATED STUDENTSHIP - School of Social Sciences: Teaching New Subjects: citizenship and curriculum reform
Please include:
1. Covering letter: Set out your reasons and motivation for applying to study at Cardiff University and the pathway; your understanding and expectations of doctoral study; your academic interests generally, and particularly of those relating to your proposed research. The letter should be no more than two pages.
2. Academic / Professional Qualifications Where appropriate, this should also include proof of English Language Competency (7.0 IELTS minimum).
3. References Two academic references. 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 headings in your 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;
• Indicative bibliographic references.
Mae’r rhaglen hon ar gael drwy gyfrwng y Saesneg yn unig. I wneud cais am wybodaeth yn Gymraeg, cysylltwch â’r Tîm Recriwtio Ôl-raddedigion (
This program is available in English only. To request information in Welsh, please contact the Postgraduate Recruitment Team (

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