ESRC Wales DTP Collaborative studentships

International Politics and Relations students working in a webinar at Aberystwyth University.

The Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University, supported by the ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership for Wales (Wales DTP), invites applications for funded PhD study.  These particular studentships, known as ‘collaborative studentships’, involve liaison with a non-academic organisation, often at many key stages of the research programme. They will commence in October 2023.

The following two collaborative studentships are available:

The British Labour movement and campaign for democractic and human righs in Iraq, 1984-2010, Dr James Vaughan ( in collaboration with the National Library of Wales

The project addresses an important topic in contemporary Welsh, British and International Politics in the light of the recent acquisition by the Welsh Political Archive at the National Library of Wales of an extensive archive donated by Ann Clwyd, Labour MP for Cynon Valley from 1984-2019.  The successful applicant will analyse British Labour movement activism and campaigning for Kurdish and Iraqi democratic and human rights in the broader context of Labour Party policy towards Iraq. It will make important and original contributions to debates about Labour Party internationalism and foreign policy, as well as public controversies about the justifiability and effectiveness of the 2003 Iraq War.

Welsh Cultural Legacies of Colonialism and the Politics of Exhibition, Dr Catrin Wyn Edwards ( ) in collaboration with Amgueddfa Cymry/National Museum Wales

This research project responds to opportunities, obstacles and limitations of efforts of museums across the globe to decolonise their collections and reflect on their colonial and racist legacies. In the case of Wales, whilst its successful iron, wool and copper industries often represent a source of pride, there has been an absence of academic analysis and public discussion and reflexion on how these resources were tied up in the transatlantic slave trade and how Welsh industry, commerce, society and daily life was, and continues to be, embedded in colonialism. The project focusses on Wales’ colonial legacy and the narratives surrounding its role in the British empire and the transatlantic slave trade. In this vein, it will explore the tensions between Wales being both coloniser and colonised.

Applications are invited from exceptional candidates with a first class or strong upper second class honours degree, or appropriate Masters degree. Both the University and the ESRC Wales DTP value diversity and equality at all levels and we encourage applications from all sections of the community, irrespective of age, disability, sex, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation. In line with our commitment to supporting and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, and to increase recruitment of currently underrepresented groups, applications from Black British, Asian British, minority ethnicity British and mixed race British candidates are particularly encouraged and welcomed. Studentships are available as either ‘1+3’ (i.e. one full time year of research training Masters followed by three years of full-time Doctoral study), or ‘+3’ (i.e. three years of full-time doctoral study), depending on the needs of the applicant.

Applicants should take careful consideration of the working title and description of the project, and may wish to contact the named member of staff for a discussion prior to applying.

For details about applying for doctoral study at Aberystwyth, please contact Dr Jan Ruzicka (, the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of International Politics.

Applications welcomed by 1 March, 2023 (12:00pm GMT).

What will the studentship cover?

Studentship Awards commence in October 2023 and will cover your tuition fees as well as a maintenance grant (currently £17,668 p.a. for 2022/23 for full-time students, updated each year); and includes access to an additional Research Training Support Grant (RTSG), though an element of this latter fund may be ‘pooled’ and require separate applications from 2023 onwards. There are other opportunities and benefits available to studentship holders, including an overseas fieldwork allowance (if applicable), internship opportunities, overseas institutional visits and other small grants.


ESRC studentships are highly competitive, candidates should have an excellent academic background in the social sciences, holding a 1st or strong upper 2nd class degree; applications from those also holding a relevant research training Masters degree (or an equivalent background in research training) will be considered for a +3 award. Wales DTP studentships are available to both home and international (including EU and EEA) students. All applicants will be eligible for a full award consisting of a maintenance stipend and payment of tuition fees at the UK research organisation rate. Applicants must satisfy studentship eligibility requirements. For further details see the UKRI web site. Successful international student applicants will receive a fully-funded Wales DTP studentship and will not be charged the fees difference between the UK and international rate.

1+3 OR +3?

With exception of studentships in the Economics pathway, awards are available on either a 1+3 or +3 basis. A 1+3 studentship provides funding for four years (or part-time equivalent), completing a research training Masters in the 1st year, followed by 3 years research funding for a PhD. A +3 studentship provides funding for the three years PhD research study only (or part-time equivalent).


The closing deadline for applications is 12.00pm GMT on Wednesday 1st of March 2023. Short-listed applicants will be invited to interview, which are expected to take place in 6th of March 2023. After interview, a final short-list of applicants will be put forward to a Panel convened by the ESRC Wales DTP Management Group at which final decisions with regard to studentship awards will be made. In most cases successful applicants can expect to hear by early April 2023.

How to apply

A completed application form for admission to doctoral study in Aberystwyth University, submitted through the online submission system by the deadline of 12:00pm GMT on 1 March 2023. Incomplete applications or applications received after this specified time will not be accepted.

The application must contain the following documents:

Covering letter: Please address to Dr Jan Ruzicka. The covering letter must name the collaborative studentship being applied for. It must set out your reasons and motivation for applying to study at Aberystwyth University, and the Politics and International Relations Pathway; your understanding, and expectations of doctoral study; and your academic interests generally, and particularly how these relate to the description of the project supplied. The covering letter should be no more than two pages. Please also specify whether you wish to apply on a +3 or 1+3 basis.

  1. Academic / Professional Qualifications: Where appropriate, this should also include proof of English Language Competency (see institutional entry requirements).
  2. References: All applications require two academic references to be submitted in support. Candidates must approach referees themselves and include the references with their application.
  3. Curriculum Vitae: This should be no longer than two pages.
  4. Research Proposal: For collaborative studentships, the proposal should build directly on the outline description that has been supplied. The proposal should be up to a maximum of 1000 words, not including bibliographic references. We suggest that you use the following five headings in your research proposal:
  • Your reflections on the title, aims and purpose of the research
  • An overview of some key research literature relevant to the study
  • Your proposals for developing the design and methods of the study
  • A description of potential outcomes of the project for understanding, knowledge, policy and practice (as appropriate to the topic)
  • Bibliographic references.