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School of Politics and International Relations

Research Studentships



The School of Politics and International Relations (SPIR) at QMUL offers a number of generous studentships for students undertaking their doctoral studies with us. Candidates whose applications are received after this date may be considered for admission, but not for funding.

Applications are welcome in all the fields and disciplines for which we provide expert supervision. A full list of research interests in SPIR is available on our website. Applicants with interdisciplinary projects (for example, with history and geography) are also encouraged to apply.

Before applying, you should make informal contact with a potential supervisor to establish whether we can provide you with expert supervision. Make sure you include:

  • A short-version research proposal. The short-version research proposal sets out what you intend to do during your degree and establishes your research in relation to other work in the field. The proposal should be maximum 1,000 words long and include an indicative bibliography (not included in the word count)
  • Your CV.

More information about the structure of your research proposal can be found in the ‘How to draft a research proposal’ section.

More information about requirements for your formal application including your full-length research proposal of 2,000 words can be found ‘How to apply’ section.

Academic members of staff are unable to respond to general, undefined queries about research degrees. If you would like general information on the research degree programmes, please contact the Research Manager.

The following is for information only and is subject to change.

QMUL Principal's Postgraduate Research Studentships

The School of Politics and International Relations invites applications for Doctoral Research Studentships open to UK and international students. Studentships will be awarded in March 2023 to the most outstanding candidates in the Humanities and Social Sciences applying for a full-time or part-time PhD programme starting in autumn 2023. 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.

Candidates will normally be expected to have a good first degree and a Masters degree in Politics, International Relations, or a related subject.

Awards are tenable for up to three years, and cover tuition fees and a maintenance stipend at the UKRI London rate. 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.

Candidates can find specific guidance on preparing their application here.

Deadline: 25th January 2023 (17:00) Click here for more information

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 2023 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.

Stuart Hall Foundation (SHF) / QMUL HSS Principal’s Studentship

For 2023 entry, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science is delighted to announce the introduction of an SHF-endorsed PhD Studentship. The studentship will support PhD applicants (or current PhD students in their first year of study - or the first two years of a part-time programme) who are eligible to pay Home fees and who meet specific eligibility criteria. It requires applicants to fine-tune their statement of purpose to include a description of why they think their project might be suitable for this Studentship, and of what Stuart Hall's 'legacy' might mean to them. They will automatically also be considered for the general awards and, where appropriate, for the BAME awards. The deadline for application is the same as for the HSS Principal’s Studentship.

More information on how to apply for this studentship is available here: SHF-QMUL HSS Principal's Studentship [PDF 545KB]

London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (LISS-DTP) Studentships

The School of Politics & IR is part of a prestigious ESRC-funded London Interdisciplinary Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership, with QMUL, King's College London and Imperial College London. 

Studentships can cover up to four years of tuition fees and provide a standard maintenance grant. Successful applicants will be offered a variety of flexible models of combined PhD study and research training: either a 1 + 3 model (i.e. 1 year doing an MRes in advanced research training, plus 3 years of PhD) or the standard +3 model for applicants who already hold a Masters degree with sufficient core research training.

Please note that you need to complete an additional ESRC application form to be considered for funding through the DTP. Deadline 27th January 2023 (17:00). Further details and guidance on how to apply are below and available here

Candidates must also adhere to the ESRC current residential eligibility rules. 

London Arts & Humanities Partnership (LAHP-DTP) Studentships

LAHP was created in 2014 as an Arts & Humanities Research Council-funded Doctoral Training Partnership between King’s College London, School of Advanced Study (University of London), and University College London. Queen Mary University of London and the London School of Economics & Political Science joined the partnership as associate members in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2021-22 AHRC STUDENTSHIP COMPETITION NOW OPEN. Deadline expected at the end of January 2023. Further details on the LAHP website.

Commonwealth PhD Scholarships

Commonwealth PhD Scholarships are for candidates from high/low Commonwealth countries, for full-time doctoral study at a UK university. Eligible applicants must hold an unconditional offer from a UK university by the time they submit their scholarship application and be available to start their studies at the beginning of the UK academic year in October or January. 

How to Apply

Please read these details carefully.

  1. For QMUL Principal’s Studentships, apply via the standard PhD application process, indicating in your application that you wish to be considered for funding in the ‘Funding’ section of the online application form. Standard applications can be made online here. Further details on how to apply are here. Hard copies of the application form are also available.
  2. For ESRC 1+3 Studentships, apply for a relevant MRes here (MRes Public Policy, MRes International Relations) and complete the additional ESRC application form, which is available to download. This additional form should be uploaded to your online QMUL application for admission.
  3. For ESRC +3 Studentships, apply via the standard PhD application process and complete the additional ESRC application form, which is available to download. This additional form should be uploaded to your QMUL online application for admission.
  4. For AHRC Studentships, apply via the standard PhD application process and complete follow specific AHRC guidelines to be advertised here by the end of November.
  5. For Commonwealth PhD Scholarships, apply via the standard PhD application process and complete the online CSC application form. You must make your application directly to the CSC using the CSC’s application system.
  6. Applications to all studentships must consist of the following:
    1. A full research proposal which should include a hypothesis, key questions to be addressed by your research, methodology and an indicative bibliography. Further advice on writing a research proposal available here. Please note that the research proposal word length for a studentship application should be no more than 2000 words.
    2. You should have a 2:1 or equivalent in your first degree and if your first language is not English you must be able to provide recent evidence that your spoken and written command of the English language is adequate for the programmes for which you have applied (For SPIR PhD programmes this is usually IELTS 7.0 (Writing) or equivalent). You need to provide evidence of an English language test score or intend to take a test before your studies. Information about English language entry requirements can be found here.
    3. Transcripts from previous degrees
    4. 2 academic references (ensure that you complete and send the reference request for to your referees)
    5. A full curriculum vitae (CV)
    6. A personal statement (1 page A4), which explains why you want to take the programme. This should address the following: previous academic and other experience relevant to your proposed research; why you wish to undertake this research at Queen Mary; what research training and professional preparation you have already received, and what further training you think you will need; any ethical issues you will need to consider in undertaking your research.

General enquiries about making a formal application can be addressed to the Research and Postgraduate Research Student Manager by email, or call +44 0207 882 5829.

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