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Social Imaginaries and International Collaborative Doctoral Programmes in England and Denmark. What is in it for stakeholders?

   Centre for Global Learning: Education and Attainment

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  Dr Que Anh Dang, Dr Virginia King, Assoc Prof Søren Smedegaard Bengtsen  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Coventry University (CU) and Aarhus University (AU) are inviting applications from suitably-qualified British and international candidates for a fully funded PhD studentship which will start in September 2022.

The successful candidate will enrol at the Centre for Global Learning (GLEA), Coventry University as their home institution and will undertake a cotutelle doctoral research programme under the supervision of academic experts from both universities, spending a minimum of one year or up to 18 months at the Centre for Higher Education Futures (CHEF), Aarhus University in Denmark.

The cotutelle programme offers doctoral researchers the opportunity to advance their skills and expertise in the higher education field, whilst developing their intercultural and international skills, and creating international networks and collaborations.

The global knowledge economy, the changing nature of knowledge production, research funding mechanisms, and labour market for doctoral degree holders are driving forces that together have led to an increased interest in International Collaborative Doctoral Programmes (ICDP) in England and Denmark.

This PhD project focuses on international collaborative doctoral education as policy, practice and as an object of knowledge and examines stakeholders’ social imaginaries at inter/national, institutional and individual levels that make ICDP possible, giving such programmes sense and legitimacy.

Here imaginaries are social because they are socially constructed and have social (and material) impacts. Such social imaginaries also have elements of moral structure (what is right) and moral agency (what is worth striving for) (Taylor, 2004).

The complexity of multi-level social imaginaries in different contexts renders challenges in conceptualising and conducting ICDP. The absence of consensus in ICDP definitions and of accurate minimum data sets precludes comparison and debate across institutions and programmes in the global north and south.

Project objectives:

a)    Develop a conceptual classification scheme of ICDP through multi-level social imaginaries analysis and systematic literature review;

b)   Explore case studies of Denmark, England and their global academic and industrial partners to understand how/why certain types of ICDP are prioritised and sustained;

c)   Theorise ICDP transnational supervisory pedagogies and learning ecologies for candidates and supervisors within the case studies.

Development activities

The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills at the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development and the Centre for Global Learning at Coventry University. At Aarhus University, they will be able to take courses at the Graduate School, Faculty of Arts, and participate in the research activities of the Centre for Higher Education Futures.

The candidate will receive excellent peer support from current doctoral and postdoctoral researchers throughout the programme.

On completion the candidate will receive two recognized PhD qualifications, one from each university.

Candidate Specification

To enter this cotutelle PhD programme, you must fulfil the admission requirements and be selected by CU and AU.

Entry requirements include:

  • A bachelor’s (honours) degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum classification of 2:1 and a minimum mark of 60% in the project element (or equivalent), or an equivalent award from an overseas institution.
  • A master’s degree with duration of 2 years or 120 ECTS, the mark for the master’s dissertation (or equivalent) must be a minimum of 60%.
  • A research proposal (preferably qualitative methodology)


  • The potential and commitment to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within 3.5 years.
  • An adequate proficiency in English must be demonstrated by applicants whose first language is not English. The general requirement is a minimum overall IELTS Academic score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the four sections, or the TOEFL iBT test with a minimum overall score of 95 with a minimum of 21 in each of the four sections.

 For further details please visit:

Additional items for candidate specification

Successful completion of master’s programme in higher education field would be an advantage

Demonstrating relevant experience is an advantage – for example experience of joint or dual award master’s programme.

How to apply

To find out more about the project and for an informal conversation please contact Dr Que Anh Dang ([Email Address Removed]) or Associate Professor Søren Bengtsen ([Email Address Removed])

To apply on line please visit:  

The PGR+ Link for this project is

Details of all available research opportunities at Coventry University can be found via

All applications require a research proposal of max. 3,000 words (excluding references) setting out the issue for study, how the study draws on existing knowledge, and the proposed research methods and research sites for generating new knowledge. Please consult Coventry University’s Research Proposal Guidelines  and AU Faculty of Arts’ PhD Project Description Guidelines.

Other supporting documents include a CV, two reference letters, and a covering letter of approx. 800 words showing how the applicant’s experience, skills and interests are relevant to the project. 


UK/International (including EU) graduates with the required entry requirements.

Start date: September 2022

Duration of study: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: 1st March 2022

Interview dates: Will be confirmed with shortlisted candidates

Enquiries may be addressed to: Enquiries may be addressed to Dr Que Anh Dang [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

Stipends plus tuition fees (UK/International fees including EU at international rates from Sept 21)
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