PhD studentship: SPIRE, Keele University

Deadline for applications is 30 June 2017

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CUSP and Keele University are pleased to invite applications from outstanding candidates for a PhD studentship as part of its commitment to the ESRC funded Centre for the Understanding of Sustainable Prosperity. CUSP aims to explore alternative visions of a sustainable future where individuals and communities have the capabilities needed to flourish while living within the ecological and resource constraints of a finite planet.

Applicants are invited to submit proposals on any of the following two themes:

1 – Political theory:

A political theory PhD project on any aspect of the political foundations of environmental sustainability. Applicants are invited to propose their own project ideas, based on any area of green political theory / environmental political theory, but particularly on any of the following broad themes:

  • The role of (new forms of) democracy in relation to environmental sustainability
  • How socio-political structures constrain or enable a sustainability transformation
  • Normative foundations for social change towards sustainability
  • The meaning and political character of ‘sustainable prosperity’
  • Environmental justice in relation to sustainable prosperity / capabilities for flourishing within ecological limits
  • Political foundations of de-growth

2 – Empirical:

An empirically-focused PhD project on any aspect of the politics of local environmental governance. Applicants are invited to propose their own project ideas. Proposals could involve examining different models of governmental-civil society interaction to promote sustainability across various policy sectors, such as food, waste, community development, and so on.

Applicants are welcome to identify other themes which are relevant to Keele’s projects within CUSP (http://www.cusp.ac.uk/themes/p/ – P1 and P4 projects). It is recommended that applicants liaise with a Keele CUSP member (Dr Philip Catney p.j.j.catney@keele.ac.uk, Professor Brian Doherty b.j.a.doherty@keele.ac.uk or Dr Marit Hammond m.hammond@keele.ac.uk).

Funding and Eligibility

The bursaries are offered on a full-time basis to EU/UK and overseas applicants and cover a maintenance award and fee payments (at the UK/EU rate, currently £14,553 and £4,195 respectively). The Scholarships are for three years, subject to satisfactory progress. The level of the maintenance element of the Scholarships is linked to the level of corresponding awards made by UK Research Councils and is subject to regular review. The studentship bursaries are free of both tax and national insurance contributions. International applicants will be required to cover the difference between the UK/EU and International Student fee.

These studentships will be awarded as Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs). In addition to work on the doctoral research project, successful applicants will be expected to contribute to associated activities within their respective School, including a limited amount of teaching, for which training will be provided. They will also contribute to some research administration, and candidates take part in some of CUSP events. The teaching and research administration combined will be limited to a maximum of six hours per week. A copy of this advertisement, and the GTA job description and further particulars, can be downloaded from the Keele PGR studentship webpage.

CUSP aims to explore the concept of sustainable prosperity and to understand people’s aspirations for living sustainably. A guiding vision for sustainable prosperity is one in which people everywhere have the capability to flourish as human beings – within the ecological and resource constraints of a finite planet. Research will explore not just the economic aspects of this challenge, but also its social, political and philosophical dimensions. The Centre is led by Professor Tim Jackson at University of Surrey, in collaboration with Middlesex, Goldsmiths, Oxford, Leeds, Anglia Ruskin, Keele, and Canterbury (NZ) Universities. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) has funded the centre for five years and Middlesex University researchers will explore the alternative business and investment models needed to underpin resilience, sustainability and competitiveness.

About Keele University

The School of Politics, Philosophy, International Relations and Environment (SPIRE) is one of the leading centres for the study of environmental politics in the UK. Within the School, the Centre for Research on Environmental Action and Thought (CREATe) is an active research unit which has secured numerous grants over the past few years, including research on environmental activist groups, energy conservation in local communities, environmental multi-level governance, and urban regeneration. For more information see: keele.ac.uk/spire.

Entry Requirements & How to Apply

Applicants must have a minimum of a first or an upper second class honours degree or equivalent, and preferably a good Masters degree, in a relevant area.

If your first language is not English, you should have a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 in each component).

Applicants must submit the following documents to apply:

  • Fully completed online Application form (please go to keele.ac.uk/humssr/prospectivestudents/politicsandinternationalrelations
    and select the Apply for a PhD button on the right hand side of the page)
  • A full research proposal for your PhD (maximum 4 sides of A4)
  • A sample of academic work (maximum 5,000 words)
  • Two academic references
  • Academic Documentation (including transcripts and certificates)
  • Coloured copy of Passport
  • Proof of English Language (if your first language is not English)
  • A completed ‘Case for Support’ form, available here: Case for Support 2017

Please liaise with Helen Farrell if you require advice on the application process: socialsciences.phd@keele.ac.uk; tel. +44 (0)1782 733641.