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  PhD Studentship (3 years): Muslim Women Politicians: identity, religion and elections in the UK and Germany

   College of Business and Social Sciences

  Dr Parveen Akhtar  Monday, June 03, 2024  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship, supported by the College of Business and Social Sciences to be undertaken within the Department of Politics, History and International Relations at Aston University.

The position is available to start in October 2024.

Department: College of Business and Social Sciences

Contract Type: Fixed Term

Basis: Full Time

Closing Date: Monday 3rd June at 23.59 (UK time)

Supervisor: Dr Parveen Akhtar

Background to the Project

This project examines the experiences of Muslim women in British and German electoral politics at the national, the regional and the local level. Minority political participation is often taken as a hallmark of their integration in society. Whilst there is research on Muslim political participation in Europe, less is known about the political engagement of Muslim women. The research is interested in why these women aspire for political office, how they negotiate their Muslim identities and personal biographies in political campaigning and what kind of disabling and enabling factors they encounter when running for office.

The British and German contexts have been chosen specifically because of their differing approaches to minorities, citizenship and integration. Despite recent convergence, both countries differ regarding their citizenship regimes (UK more liberal than Germany) and the state’s approach towards Islam (UK more accommodating than Germany)(Fetzer and Soper, 2005). To allow for a systematic analysis and comparison by focusing on a section of the Muslim community (politically engaged women) who are usually absent from scholarship and public debate around Muslim communities, the project will contribute a unique angle to a pressing issue in many Western European societies: the political integration of Muslims.

Person Specification

The successful candidate should hold a Masters degree in the social sciences (or related disciplines) with a Merit overall (or equivalent) with a dissertation/research element, PLUS a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (or an equivalent qualification from an overseas institution). The successful candidate must be able to conduct research (literature reviews and interviews) in German and English.

Contact information

For formal enquiries about this project please contact Dr Parveen Akhtar

Submitting an application

As part of the application, you will need to supply:

  • A copy of your current CV
  • Copies of your academic qualifications for your Bachelor degree and Masters degree; this should include both certificates and transcripts, and must be translated in to English.
  • A research proposal statement*
  • A personal statement
  • Two academic references
  • Proof of your English Language proficiency

Details of how to submit your application, and the necessary supporting documents can be found here

*The application must be accompanied by a “research proposal” statement. An original proposal is not required as the initial scope of the project has been defined, candidates should take this opportunity to detail how their knowledge and experience will benefit the project.

Please include the supervisor’s name, project title and project reference in your Personal Statement.

If you require further information about the application process, please contact the Postgraduate Admissions team at

Politics & Government (30) Sociology (32)

Funding Notes

This studentship includes a fee bursary to cover the home or overseas fees rate, plus an annual maintenance allowance covering the full 3 years (£19,237 pa in 2024/25).

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