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PhD in migration research- The role of intermediaries in shaping the relationship between migration and (in)equality

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  • Full or part time
    Dr K Jones
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Fully Funded PhD Studentship working with the UKRI GCRF South-South Migration, Inequality and Development Hub

The UKRI GCRF South-South Migration, Inequality and Development Hub addresses the complex and currently intractable problem of how to ensure that South-South migration reduces inequalities and contributes to delivery of the SDGs. The Hub creates a network of research and delivery partners from 12 ODA-recipient countries that constitute six South-South migration 'corridors' between which there are significant flows of people, skills, resources and knowledge: Burkina Faso-Côte d’Ivoire, China-Ghana, Egypt-Jordan, Ethiopia-South Africa, Haiti-Brazil, and Nepal-Malaysia. Each has markedly different inequality patterns and forms, a range of development challenges and diverse policy approaches enabling a rich comparative analysis of the complex and multifaceted relationships between South-South migration, inequality and development in origin and destination countries.

For more information on the Hub, please see

Project Description

The role of migration intermediaries are never far from international headlines, whether it be smugglers who facilitate journeys for refugees across the Mediterranean into Europe, or the labour recruiters which charge high fees to broker employment for migrants in South and South East Asia. Intermediaries may facilitate regular or irregular migration and may operate legally or not; they are also increasing in significance in international migration. Research on migration intermediaries (also referred to as ‘migration industry’) is an exciting, fast-evolving area of research both empirically and conceptually with work emerging from the disciplines of sociology, geography and many others.

The Hub will examine the ways in which a variety of migration intermediaries (including labour recruiters, travel agents, smugglers) impact positively and/or negatively on inequalities associated with migration including: rights abuses and exploitation (including forced labour/trafficking); fee-charging (recruitment and smugglers’ fees); access to labour rights/refugee protection, services, housing and jobs; financial impacts (remittances, taxation, investments). We will also explore the impact of legal and policy frameworks, migrant decision-making and socio-economic factors on intermediaries and therefore on migrants themselves (refugees and labour migrants). Fieldwork will be conducted primarily in three corridors: Brazil-Haiti, Nepal-Malaysia, Egypt-Jordan

The full-time PhD studentship will cover UK/EU or overseas tuition fee equivalent, and an annual stipend for 42 months.

The Centre for Trust, Peace, and Social Relations

The Centre for Trust, Peace, and Social Relations has over 60 full-time research staff supported by a team of professional support staff. Our staff are extremely well-connected and are called upon to contribute their expertise on the national and international stage, as advisers to governments and international bodies or at conferences worldwide.

We take a multi-disciplinary approach to our work that brings together creative thinking on concerns of trust, communities, social relations, peacebuilding, peace and reconciliation and on the contemporary challenges of societal relationships in a diverse and connected world. Our portfolio of excellent and impactful research seeks to change lives and enhance well-being. We convene and contribute to public debates, provide effective policy guidance at local, national, regional and global levels and generate international collaborative research through our global networks.

For further information about CTPSR visit our website at

Entry criteria for applicants to PhD

• A taught Master’s degree in a relevant discipline, involving a dissertation of standard length written in English in the relevant subject area with a minimum of a merit profile: 60% overall module average and a minimum of a 60% dissertation mark.
• The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a three-year period of study
• A minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)
• A first or good upper second class undergraduate degree in a related social science or in the humanities and a strong interest in pursuing research in this field.

How to apply

All applications require a covering letter, plus a 2000-word proposal addressing the research theme. Please state clearly which research project you are applying for.


Academic enquiries may be addressed to Dr Katharine Jones [Email Address Removed]

However the Research Admissions team will process your formal application and are the main contact point for all admission and administrative -related enquiries.

Start date: September 2019

Duration of study: Full-Time – 3.5 years fixed term

Application deadline: 15 April 2019

Interview dates: Week commencing 13 May 2019

Funding Notes

Fully funded – bursary and fees paid - UK/EU/International

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