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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 by following the links here. 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 to 3,000 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 (see below for email).

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

QMUL Principal's Postgraduate Research Studentships

Queen Mary Principal’s studentships are open to UK, EU and international students. The school will be able to make a number of nominations for those wishing to enter in October 2020. They cover tuition fees and a maintenance allowance (fees to be confirmed for 2020/21 entry) for up to three years. Candidates will normally be expected to have a good first degree and a Masters degree in Politics, International Relations, or a related subject. Deadline: 19th January 2020 (17:00) Click here for more information.

SPIR Graduate Teaching Studentships

SPIR are likely to be able to offer for the academic year 2019/20, two* (subject to change) Graduate Teaching Studentships which would be open to UK, EU and International students. They cover tuition fees, and a maintenance grant of around £16,777* (*2018/19 figure - subject to change) per year for up to three years. In exchange, the studentship holder would be required to undertake up to 4 hours of teaching assistance per week during teaching periods of the academic year.

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 of £16,777* per year (*likely to increase for 2020/21 entry). 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 31 January 2020 (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 2020-21 AHRC STUDENTSHIP COMPETITION NOW OPEN. Deadline 31 January 2020 (23:59). Further details on the LAHP WEBPAGES.

The Queen Mary University of London Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarships (QMUL-LTDS) Programme

Do you have a PhD project proposal related to issues of people’s mobility and the effects of that mobility on our economic, political and social worlds?

We are now inviting applicants for 2020/21 entry for fully funded QMUL-LTDS Interdisciplinary Doctoral Scholarships on the theme of ‘Mobile People: mobility as a way of life’. This includes research in the fields of migration studies, refugee studies and citizenship studies in the disciplines of Economics, Geography, History, International Relations, Law, Linguistics, Politics and Psychology.

QMUL-LTDS will support interdisciplinary PhD projects addressing the theme of mobile people across at least two of these disciplines. We will award up to 7 full-time doctoral scholarships each academic year for three years from 2020/21. The Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarships award builds on QMUL’s unique, agent-centred research in the humanities, social and cognitive sciences on human mobility as a global norm rather than an exception, and on the impact of mobile people on social and political institutions such as citizenship, democracy, nationality, and security.

Please note that if you are applying for the QMUL-LTDS Scholarships, you will need to specifically address the following questions in your research proposal:

  • Outline the research questions in reference to QMUL-LTDS research framework, theories, methods, and data relevant to the research question. Applicants are required to identify a thematic area that their proposed research roughly corresponds to and an institutional dimension to which it speaks;
  • Indicate two potential supervisors from two different schools (disciplines) including the Schools of Politics and International Relations (IR), Business and ManagementEconomics and FinanceLanguages, Linguistics and FilmGeographyPsychology (SBCS)History, and Law. Applicants are encouraged to contact their potential supervisors in advance of making a formal application.
  • Mention in your proposal, personal statement and online application form in the 'Funding' section that you are applying for funding under QMUL-LTDS.
  • Deadline 19 January 2020 (17:00)

Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (for high income countries)

Commonwealth PhD Scholarships are for candidates from high income 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 2019 or January 2020 (to be agreed by the CSC). The deadline for applications will be advertised as soon as available.

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 from here. 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 hereand complete the additional ESRC application form, which is available to download from here. This additional form should be uploaded to your QMUL online application for admission.
  4. For AHRC Studentships, apply via the standard PhD application process here and complete follow specific AHRC guidelines to be advertised here by the end of November.
  5. For QMUL-LTDS Studentships, apply via the standard PhD application process hereand indicate in your proposal, personal statement and the 'Funding' section of the online application form, that you would like to be considered for funding under QMUL-LTDS.
  6. For Commonwealth PhD Scholarships, apply via the standard PhD application process hereand complete the online CSC application form, which is available here. You must make your application directly to the CSC using the CSC’s application system.
  7. Applications to all studentships mustconsist of the following:
  8. 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 between 2000-3000 words.
  9. 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.
  10. Transcripts from previous degrees
  11. 2 academic references (ensure that you complete and send the reference request for to your referees)
  12. A full curriculum vitae (CV)
  13. 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.