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Rethinking the Labour Party and Ireland from Wilson to Blair

   Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

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  Dr Richard Carr, Prof Rohan McWilliam  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

This project will analyse the relationship between the British Labour Party and the Republic of Ireland from the era of Harold Wilson to that of Tony Blair. Proposals will be considered which both interrogate the long run relationship of Labour with Ireland (i.e. from the 1960s to the 1990s/2000s) or a particular moment, aspect, or personality(ies) within that timeframe.

The project may alight on, for example, on the simultaneous entry of the UK and Ireland into the EEC, Labour’s relationship with the Irish Labour Party or other Irish political parties, The Troubles, the Northern Irish Border/Common Travel Area, the Irish diaspora (or diasporic politicians), the consequences for Irish-American and Anglo-American relations, the Good Friday Agreement, and/or the Irish contribution to particular British institutions from the civil service to the NHS. And many other aspects. Within the boundaries outlined above, the candidate has the potential to pick the areas that interest them the most and where they can make the best historiographical case for a significant intervention, and thus this advert is not too prescriptive.

Cambridge is an excellent place to undertake this project. The Churchill Archives Centre includes the papers of Neil Kinnock and other leading Labour politicians in contact with Ireland. The Cambridge University Library is a copyright library and thus has resources for which there are not many parallels. Key archival collections in London are an hour or so away. And the Labour History Research Unit (LHRU) at ARU provides a vibrant environment in which to pursue such a project. Labour and the Left in the 1980s and March of the Moderates form recent LHRU publications in this broad space, and from which the candidate would benefit.

Given the nature of the project, the candidate would gain a qualification of significant use in both academic and public policy fields and could gear any subsequent publications (whether blog, journal article or book) towards such fields. Should the candidate wish, and where opportunities became available, there may be the opportunity to gain university teaching experience during the PhD.

The first supervisor, Dr Richard Carr, is happy to take any questions via email: [Email Address Removed]

If you would like to discuss this research project please contact [Email Address Removed]

Candidate requirements

Applications are invited from UK Home fee status only. Applicants should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum upper second class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a cognate discipline. A Master’s degree in a relevant subject is desirable.

Applicants must be prepared to study on a full-time basis, attending at our Cambridge campus.

Application Procedures

Applications for a Vice Chancellor’s PhD Scholarship are made through the application portal on our website:

We will review all applications after the submission deadline of 19th March. We will contact shortlisted applicants in the week commencing 3rd April. Interviews will be held between 17th April to 2nd May.

If you have any queries relating to the application process or the terms and conditions of the Scholarships, please email [Email Address Removed]. 

Documentation required

You will need the following documents available electronically to upload them to the application portal (we can accept files in pdf, jpeg or Word format):

  • Certificates and transcripts from your Bachelor and Masters degrees, (if applicable)
  • Your personal statement explaining your suitability for the project
  • Passport and visa, or evidence of EU Settlement Scheme (if applicable)
  • Curriculum Vitae

Please note the application form will ask you to upload a research proposal. You should upload your personal statement in this section, as proposals are not required for this scholarship.

Funding Notes

Applications are open to Home fee status students only. This successful applicant for this project will receive a Vice Chancellor’s Scholarship award which covers Home tuition fees and provides a UKRI equivalent minimum annual stipend for three years. The award is subject to the successful candidate meeting the studentship Terms and conditions which can be found on our website:
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