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School of History

Principal's Studentship Competition 2021

The School of History invites applications for Doctoral Research Studentships open to UK and international students. Studentships will be awarded in March 2021 to the most outstanding candidates in the Humanities and Social Sciences applying for a full-time or part-time PhD programme starting in autumn 2021. Applications will also be considered from students who are currently in the first year of a full-time PhD programme, or the first two years of a part-time programme.

In order to be considered for an award, applicants should have (or expect to have by the end of the 2020/21 academic year) a master’s degree or equivalent qualification in an appropriate field. Awards are tenable for up to three years, and cover tuition fees and a maintenance stipend at the UKRI London rate (c.£17,285 p.a. full-time, £8,643 part-time; 2021/22 rates tbc). Subject to funding arrangements, holders of research studentships will have the opportunity to teach up to 4 hours per week in the second and third years of their study.

BAME Studentships for UK candidates

We encourage applicants from UK candidates in BAME (Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic) groups who have been previously under-represented in this process.

For 2021 entry, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences will be offering two fully funded doctoral studentships (tuition fees and stipend at the UKRI London rate) to UK applicants from a BAME background. Awards are tenable for up to three years. Applications will also be considered from students who are currently in the first year of a full-time PhD programme, or the first two years of a part-time programme.

To be eligible to apply for these studentships you must be UK permanent residents from a BAME background, and eligible to pay home student fees. You will automatically also be considered for our other studentships. Our goal is to recruit outstanding and diverse candidates across the full range of studentships.

How to apply

You should apply for your place at QMUL via the online portal by 1700 on 20 January 2021. On the online application form, you should indicate that you would like your application to be considered for the Principal's Studentship Competition. Early application is strongly advised. You must be accepted onto your chosen PhD programme by 24 February 2021.

Before applying, please read our Guidance to Applicants [PDF 147KB], which will help you to complete your applications. The guidance is relevant to all applicants, regardless of subject area.

If you wish to apply for the BAME studentships, you should specify this in the statement of purpose that will form part of your application.

If you have already applied to QMUL to begin a PhD programme in autumn 2021, you may revise the research proposal and statement of purpose that you previously submitted to take account of our Guidance to Applicants. However, you are not required to do so. If you wish to submit revised documents, you should email them to the Director of Graduate Studies, giving the ID number from your application.

If you have already begun a PhD programme at QMUL, you should email the Director of Graduate Studies, giving your student ID number and supplying a research proposal and statement of purpose (length and contents as indicated in our Guidance to Applicants).

How your application will be assessed

Your application will be considered and ranked by a School selection panel. Selected applications will then be considered and ranked by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The School panel will evaluate applications on the basis of the following criteria and weightings:

  • Quality of proposal (50%) – i.e. the significance and originality of the proposed research; its underpinning ideas, aims, and research questions; the research design, methodology, and/or sources; the suitability of the proposal for doctoral research; opportunities for dissemination and potential impact; and any ethical considerations that the proposal may raise
  • Preparedness of applicant (25%) – i.e. previous academic achievements in relevant subject areas; any relevant professional/practitioner experience (particularly for applicants with non-standard academic trajectories); and relevant knowledge, skills, and/or training for the proposed research
  • Feasibility of project (25%) – i.e. the project’s likely completion within the timeframe; the identification of training needs; justification of fieldwork and study visits; and fit with the expertise and interests of the two named supervisors

The Faculty panel will then evaluate applications on the basis of the following criteria and weightings:

  • Quality of proposal (40%) – defined as above
  • Preparedness of applicant (20%) – defined as above
  • Feasibility of project (20%) – defined as above
  • School ranking (20%)

At both School and Faculty levels, if two or more candidates are equally ranked, preference will be given to the candidate scoring more highly on the following criteria: quality of proposal; if still equal, preparedness of applicant; if still equal, feasibility of project.

Offers will be made to successful candidates in March 2021, to be accepted or declined within one week.

The studentships cover all tuition fees, and provide a grant for living expenses at UK Research Council rates for London (c.£17,285 p.a. full-time, £8,643 part-time; 2021/22 rates tbc). Awards are made for the full duration of the period of fee liability for the agreed course. Please note that these awards cannot be deferred.