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PhD studentship: Expertise and the future of global biochemical weapon control

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  • Full or part time
    Dr B Edwards
    Dr D Galbreath
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

We welcome applications for a full-time University PhD studentship to support and work in our Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies.


The recent use of chemical weapons in the Middle-East and the re-emergence of western concerns about chemical and biological terrorism have reaffirmed the importance of global Chemical and Biological Weapon (CBW) control. CBW are prohibited through a complex international regime. However, advances in science and technology, changes in the international security environment and transformations in global governance raise fundamental challenges.

Responding to these challenges is associated with an increasingly broad and complex set of expertise needs. How for example, do we ensure that advances in science in technology, or changing public values do not undermine the prohibition of such weapons?

The key sub-questions to be addressed within the project include:
- how is policymaking expertise currently conceptualised within the field of international relations?
- what is the existing expertise landscape in the CBW control issue area?
- what are the primary means though which epistemic communities impact upon policy making in this area?
- to what extent do existing expertise capacities meet existing and future institutional needs in this area?

The student will position themselves between policy practitioners and relevant academic literatures in order to analyse contemporary and future expertise needs in this policy area; in particular in relation to security concerns about cutting-edge civilian science and technology. The student will rely on a range of qualitative data collection and analysis techniques. This will include carrying our elite interviews and the analysis of technical documents.

The project

This project will build upon recent work of Dr Brett Edwards and Professor David Galbreath as part of the Biochemical Security 2030 project. As part of this project there is an opportunity for a suitable student to undertake a paid internship at a specialist Non-Governmental Organisation (VERTIC). The placement will help the student refine the proposal based on academic interests as well as policy needs. The student will also build links to help with conducting research and communicating project findings to relevant practitioners.

This project is embedded in the new Centre for War & Technology as well as the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences theme Conflict and Security, as well as the AHRC-ESRC Partnership for Conflict, Crime and Security (theme leader Professor David Galbreath).


The successful candidate should:
- fulfil the entrance requirements for a Politics, Languages and International Studies PhD (http://www.bath.ac.uk/study/pg/programmes/poli-lang-and-inte-stud-mphi/)
- have at least a strong understanding of international security and international organisation
- have training in relevant social science research methods

How to apply

- Apply online (http://www.bath.ac.uk/hss/graduate-school/research-programmes/how-to-apply/) to study for a full-time PhD in the Department of Politics, Languages & International Studies
you must quote the project title in section 3.2 of your application: Expertise and the future of global biochemical weapon control
you do not need to upload a formal research proposal as this studentship is for a specific project
- Complete the application form for an academic-led PhD studentship (https://fs9.formsite.com/hss-web/form7/index.html)

The closing date for the receipt of applications is 12.00 noon (GMT), Thursday 4 February 2016.

Informal enquiries

For project enquiries contact Dr Brett Edwards (http://www.bath.ac.uk/polis/staff/brett-edwards/).

For application procedure enquiries email: [Email Address Removed] or tel. 01225 38 5233.

Funding Notes

The award

Funding lasts for three years and includes:
- £14,057 (2015/16 rate) yearly stipend
- Home/EU tuition fees
- annual Training Support Grant

This award will be funded by a one of several studentships with their own terms and conditions (http://www.bath.ac.uk/hss/graduate-school/research-programmes/funding/).

How good is research at University of Bath in Area Studies?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 26.00

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

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