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Development Engagement Lab PhD Studentship – Understanding Public Engagement with Global Poverty

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, May 30, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This four-year studentship is part of the Development Engagement Lab (DEL) project led by Professor David Hudson (University of Birmingham) and Professor Jennifer Hudson (UCL), funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The Development Engagement Lab is a multi-year (2018-2023), cross-national investigation of the drivers of engagement with development and overseas aid in four donor countries: France, Germany, Great Britain, and the United States.

The successful applicant will be based at the University of Birmingham and will be supervised by Professor David Hudson. Candidates are invited to develop a PhD proposal in line with the DEL research agenda.

DEL objectives are to:
1. identify the drivers of attitude and behavioural change with global development;
2. provide a rigorous research base to inform development organisations’ communications, fundraising and advocacy capacity;
3. collaborate with development organisation project partners to co-design research and use findings to inform policy and practice.

For guidance on how to structure the PhD proposal, please see the section PhD Research Proposal Ingredients in the

Examples of potential research areas could include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Which frames are more effective in deepening people’s engagement with global development issues?
• Which factors affect how, why or when international development organisations (NGOs, donor government agencies) use evidence to inform policy or practice?
• Which formats are more compelling for communicating the contemporary reality of developing countries?
• What factors drive individuals’ support for development assistance?
• What is the structure of an individual’s values, knowledge, attitudes and behaviour in relation to global development?
• How does public support influence political decisions (MPs and / or government bureaucracies) about development aid spending and priorities?
• How does the media / family and friends / NGO and charity fundraising appeals / culture, art, documentaries affect individuals’ attitudes or behaviour towards global poverty and development?
• How do attitudes towards global development relate to attitudes towards domestic redistribution / climate change / migration / populism?
• How does the process of collective deliberation or social norms affect individuals’ position on or reasoning about responsibilities to distant strangers?
• What differences do survey / experimental / focus group / interview data reveal about people’s engagement with global development and how could we assess their validity?
• How do school-based global citizenship education / volunteering / travel impact on people’s values and orientation towards global poverty?

Person specification
• A Masters degree (or nearing completion) in politics, international relations, international development or relevant discipline
• Interest in development communications, public/elite opinion, attitude/behavioural change, international development, political engagement
• Evidence of English proficiency at the Advanced level
• Good knowledge of empirical research methods
• Interest and ability to draw connections between research and real-world challenges related to public engagement with global development
• Ability or desire to work with a range of international stakeholders: academics, NGOs, government agencies, funding bodies
• Excellent writing and communication skills
• Good organisational and interpersonal skills

Closing Date: 30 May 2019

Funding Notes

This four-year studentship is part of the Development Engagement Lab (DEL) funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Politics and International Studies?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 47.07

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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