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 https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/Documents/college-social-sciences/government-society/courses/phd-guidance-for-applying.pdf
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?
• 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