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Disability and Political Participation in the UK - Collaborative Project, sponsored by WISERD

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, March 31, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This PhD scholarship in Economics is funded through the new ESRC Research Grant Civil Society – Civic Stratification and Civil Repair awarded to the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD) Research Centre at Cardiff University ( It will contribute to a collaborative project between Cardiff and Swansea University on Identity and Civic Divides in the UK (lead by Professors Jones (Cardiff) and O’Leary (Swansea)) by undertaking the econometric analysis of nationally representative secondary data to examine the relationship between disability and political participation.

Despite extensive evidence of the economic and social disadvantage experienced by disabled people in the UK the relationship between disability and political participation has been neglected. This is despite evidence (see, for example, Schur and Adya, 2013) highlighting a substantial ‘disability voting gap’ (the difference in political participation between disabled and non-disabled people) in the US. This PhD aims to provide new evidence for the UK and, by integrating the broader literature identifying the causal relationship between disability and social and economic outcomes using longitudinal data (Charles, 2003; Mok et al., 2008; Jones et al. 2018) to political engagement, aims to make an important international contribution in understanding how the disability gap in political engagement develops with disability onset. The topic is highly policy relevant and aligns with government policy which aims to empower disabled individuals and remove barriers to participation.

This project will involve applying advanced quantitative methods, specifically undertaking econometric analysis of existing micro-data, namely Understanding Society, which provides complementary information on disability, political participation and engagement, and a range of personal and household characteristics for a nationally representative sample in the UK. The analysis will apply established econometric methodologies to longitudinal data (e.g. event studies or propensity score matching) to explore the impact of disability onset.

The successful applicant will be based in Cardiff Business School, and undertake the PhD in Economics, but will benefit from the opportunities available as part of the wider WISERD research network. The student thus has a unique opportunity to work as part of an existing research group and benefit from the developmental opportunities available as part of the interdisciplinary research centre. There will be substantial opportunities for external engagement since the findings will be highly relevant to non-academic organisations, including policymakers and third sector organisations.

For further information about the PhD programme in economics please see: For any further queries or details about the project, please contact the main supervisor: Professor Melanie Jones (email: , tel: 0044(0)29 20875079)

Funding Notes

This studentship commences in October 2020 and will cover your tuition fees as well as a maintenance grant (currently £15,009 p.a. for 2019/20 for full-time students); and includes access to an additional Research Training Support Grant.

Full awards are open to UK Nationals and EU students who can satisfy UK residency requirements.


Entry Criteria
Candidates should have an excellent academic background in Economics or an Economics-related subject. Applications are invited from exceptional candidates with a first class or strong upper second-class honours degree, and an appropriate master’s degree with an average mark of at least 65%. Applications can also be considered from holders of a first-class undergraduate degree in Economics or strongly related to Economics.

Depending on academic background, the studentship is available:
- As a ‘1+1+2 studentship’, involving two full-time years of research training, comprising of the MSc Economics and MRes Economics programmes, followed by two years of full-time Doctoral study.

- Or, for a suitably qualified applicant, as a ‘1+2’ studentship, comprising of one full-time year of research training in the MRes Economics programme, followed by two years of full-time Doctoral study.

A completed application form should be submitted no later than 31st March 2020.

Applicants should apply to the Doctor of Philosophy in Economics with a start date of October 2020.

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 ESRC PHD STUDENTSHIP.

Please include:

1. Covering Letter
2. Academic Qualifications
3. Two References
4. CV
5. Research Proposal (maximum 1000 words), taking into consideration the working title of the project.

This program is available in English only. To request information in Welsh, please contact the Postgraduate Recruitment Team ([email protected]).

How good is research at Cardiff University in Business and Management Studies?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 72.60

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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