School of Politics and International Relations

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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. The deadline for consideration for funded places is the 31st January 2018 (all other funding competitions), for entry in September 2018. 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 research proposal. The 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.

–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 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 September 2018. They cover tuition fees and a maintenance allowance (£16,553* in 2017/18 academic year - *likely to increase for 2018/19 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.

SPIR Graduate Teaching Studentships

SPIR are likely to be able to offer for the academic year 2018/19, 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 £16,553* (*2017/18 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 Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP), London Social Science, 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 £16,553* per year (*likely to increase for 2018/19 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. Further details and guidance on how to apply are below and available here. 

Candidates must also adhere to the ESRC current residential eligibility rules

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 (by ticking the box on the 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 here and 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. Applications to all studentships must consist of the following:
  • A 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 1500-2000 words.
  • 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.
  • Transcripts from previous degrees
  • 2 academic references (ensure that you complete and send the reference request for to your referees)
  • A full curriculum vitae (CV)
  • A supporting 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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