Application deadline 12 noon (UTC) on 15 May 2023

The Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society, and Rule of Law (CISRUL) studies the life in the world of political concepts.  The interdisciplinary Centre examines how political principles function within and beyond the contemporary West. Concepts such as citizenship, civil society, and the rule of law are used as often by journalists, social movements, artists and policymakers as by scholars.

CISRUL brings together an extraordinary range of researchers, including PhD students, to study these and other political principles, including democracy, human rights and pluralism. We consider how they have been fostered historically, debated philosophically and in politics, fought over by social movements, codified in law, transmitted through education and the media, and lived out in everyday life.

CISRUL supports a vigorous community of PhD students, who take a leading role in our many activities. Each year, CISRUL provides funding for its PhDs to design and host a major international conference on a topic proposed by them. Recent conferences were on Conceptualizing Political (2019), Conceptualizing Difference (2021) and Conceptualizing Community (2022).

You may apply for CISRUL funding for a PhD in Anthropology, Divinity, Economics, Education, English, Film & Visual Culture, French & Francophone Studies, Geography & Environment, History, Law, Philosophy, Politics & International Relations, Sociology, or Spanish & Latin American Studies. Or you may instead apply to the inter-disciplinary PhD programme in Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law.

CISRUL PhDs are supervised by interdisciplinary teams of 2 or 3 supervisors. Our supervisors are listed here though we may add other Aberdeen University staff to your supervisory team. You are encouraged to contact possible supervisors before you apply.

Because CISRUL is intended to be a lively community on campus, we expect our PhD students to be in residence in Aberdeen throughout their PhD, and we do not anticipate they will study remotely. Our PhD students are generally full-time, though it may be possible to study part-time.

The studentships are open to applicants of any nationality.

CISRUL studentships include:

  • tuition fees (home or overseas)
  • partial maintenance (£6600/year)
  • an allowance for research and conference travel (£1000/year)
  • generous funding to design and host workshops and/or conferences at CISRUL.

Applicants must hold or be close to completing a postgraduate Masters degree in a relevant field. In most cases, we will be looking for the equivalent of a First Class or Distinction in the Masters, especially in the dissertation.

Applicants must also satisfy the University’s English language requirements. If you do not already have the appropriate certification, any offer will be conditional on securing this prior to commencing study.

Our criteria for selection are:

  • Quality of application (this includes the 1000-word research proposal and the candidate’s academic record and/or cognate experience).
  • Closeness of fit to CISRUL interests. The best way of gauging your closeness of fit is by reviewing our previous and upcoming events and our publications.
  • Closeness of fit to one or more of our PhD supervisors’ research. You are encouraged to contact possible supervisors before you apply, although this is not required.

To apply, please submit the form at this link to by 12 noon on 15 May 2023, together with the following documents:

  • Transcripts and certificates of your UG and Masters degrees
  • 2 letters of reference: included with the application or emailed separately (preferably by 15 May; at the latest by 19 May)
  • CV or resumé
  • Proof of English proficiency if you are not a native speaker.

If you have any questions, please email in the first instance.

Applicants are invited to consider other sources of funding in addition.

Leave a Reply