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The Psychosocial Life of Sexual Implants.

   Centre for Postdigital Cultures

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  Dr Phaedra Shanbaum  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Coventry University (CU) is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship titled The Psychosocial Life of Sexual Implants.

The project investigates contemporary relations between bodies and technologies, manifested through sexual implants and the bodies which internalise them. A sexual implant is a technological device placed in a human body to support, mediate or enhance bio-sexual structures. Examples of existing implants are: breast implants, penile implants and sterilisation implants. Whilst they differ in purpose, common to these examples is the multiplicity of actors involved in the course of an implant. Pharmaceutical companies, biomedical protocols and access to health care decide and regulate the life and meanings of the implant, and its human subject.

The project asks questions about human non-human relations and its impact on formations of sexuality and subjectivities. It does so by developing a critical analytical framework for thinking about the relations that inform the body/implant assemblage. It urges ways of understanding subjectivities and sexualities, which embraces mutation and interconnections as opposed to the static understanding of subjectivity imposed by Western humanist ideology. The sexual implant brings complex power relations to the fore: in restricting and enabling bodies it provides rich examples for a deeper understanding of contemporary sexualities and subject formations.

Training and Development

The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities.

Entry criteria for applicants to PhD 

  • 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.


  • the potential 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:

Student should have a MA in media and cultural studies, gender/queer studies, and/or medical humanities and be able to merge the three. They should have good working knowledge of posthumanism and new materialisms.

How to apply:

To find out more about the project please contact Phaedra Shanbaum@ [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 full supporting documentation, and a covering letter – plus For pre-determined (named) projects an up-to 2000-word supporting statement is required showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.


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

Reason for eligibility restriction:

  • Funder requirement
  • Timescale

Start date: September 2022, (January 2023 is also possible subject to discussion and agreement)

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

Application deadline date: April 14th, 2022

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Enquiries may be addressed to: Dr. Phaedra Shanbaum: [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

For self-funded opportunities only:
Applications are for full single studentships, which includes tuition fees and living expenses for a doctoral candidate over 3.5 years. Stipend rates will be equivalent to those set by UKRI and will rise annually with a projected average increase of 1.25% per year. CU fees are adjusted yearly in line with the rates set by UKRI.
Additional allowances are for £1050 conference fees, including travel. Further additional support can be applied for competitively through ringfenced PGR funds within the Centre for Postdigital Cultures.
Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/International (including EU at international rates from Sept 21)
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