The School of Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work at Queen's University Belfast is offering two International PhD studentships (covering full international fees and living costs), available to non-EU applicants only, for October 2010 entry. The studentships are linked to two major ESRC-funded research projects.
1. Conflict in Cities and the Contested State (www.conflictincities.org)
Research Topic: A Sociological Analysis of Borders and Walls
2. Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK.
Research Topic: Poverty Measurement in 'Medium' and 'Low' Human Development Countries.
Two International PhD Studentships
Applicants are required to demonstrate that they have the necessary qualifications and experience to complete a doctoral thesis in three years. Shortlisted candidates will be expected to send a sample of their work and be available for interview (by telephone or internet link if necessary). The successful applicants will have relevant disciplinary backgrounds and will have a Masters degree which includes an element social science research training. They will have
engaged in work on themes related to the topics outlined below.
1. A Sociological Analysis of Borders and Walls
This PhD topic is focused on a sociological analysis of borders and walls in contested states and cities. It seeks to explore the operation of walls and contested borders in states and cities marked by ethnic, national and religious conflict. In particular, it will explore reasons why such
barriers are proliferating under contemporary conditions of globalisation, the meanings they represent and the impact that they have on people most directly affected by them. The international studentship will be linked to two major ongoing research projects within the research Cluster: Social Divisions and Conflict: (1) The Cambridge/Exeter/QUB five year project
entitled Conflict in Cities and the Contested State: Everyday Life and Possibilities of transformation in Belfast, Jerusalem and Other Divided Cities (in Europe and the Middle East) (www.conflictincities.org).
Four PhD students supervised by Professor O'Dowd are currently doing fieldwork in Berlin, Mostar, Tripoli (Lebanon) and Jerusalem; (2) Ongoing interdisciplinary research under the aegis
of the Centre of International Borders Research(which has attracted international students as interns over a number of years- www.qub.ac.uk/cibr)
The PhD topic will be linked into burgeoning international fields of research to which the School is already making a major contribution. In addition, it has the potential to link the study of both developed and developing societies - exploring the relationship between them, while further developing the comparative study of social divisions and conflict.
2. Poverty Measurement in 'Medium' and 'Low' Human Development Countries.
The ESRC large grant project on Poverty and Social Exclusion in the UK (PSE), involving six universities across the UK, will collect and analyse quantitative and qualitative data in order to deepen understanding of social exclusion. The international studentship will be linked to the PSE project, in order to build capacity in techniques of poverty measurement, and to examine
the applicability of quantitative and qualitative research instruments in a country categorised by the UN Human Development Index (HDI) as either 'medium' or 'low'.
The method of poverty measurement pioneered by the PSE surveys, often referred to as the 'consensual' approach, has influenced official UK and EU poverty measures, but has rarely been used beyond Europe. The consensual method combines measures of income, material possessions and participation in social activities, with what the majority of people decide are
'the basic necessities of life'. Defining the latter, in a robust and meaningful way, is a key
element of the method. With some modification, it has been piloted in medium/low HDI
countries, demonstrating that the technique is not necessarily dependant on sophisticated government statistical data or expensive surveys, and that 'basic necessities' are both culturally and economically specific. The doctoral research, therefore, involves adapting, applying and evaluating the consensual technique alongside the HDI itself and any other measures specific to
the chosen country. The studentship provides a strategic opportunity to link with one of Queen's University's priority countries for internationalisation, which include India and China (both 'medium' HDI countries).
The deadline for applications is 4.00pm on Tuesday 23rd March 2010.