ESRC SWDTP +3 and 1+3 Studentships in Security, Conflict and Human Rights Ref: 2863

About the award

The College of Social Sciences and International Studies is pleased to be offering ESRC funded 1+3 or +3 studentships as part of the interdisciplinary pathways of the South West Doctoral Training Partnership for entry in 2018-19. Your proposed research must be interdisciplinary with supervisors from two different disciplines at two different SWDTP partner Universities.

For eligible UK/EU students the full time studentship will cover fees and an annual Research Council stipend of approximately £14,553 (2017-18 rate) for up to three years (+3 award) or four years (1+3 award).

There are a range of relevant disciplines at Exeter linked to the pathway including:
Strategy and Security
Arab and Islamic Studies

For the 1+3 studentships you would be required to register initially for the Masters programme in MRes Security, Conflict and Human Rights. For the +3 studentships you would be required to register on the PhD Security, Conflict and Human Rights with the aim of conducting research in an area that aligns with the work of the ESRC.

The Consortium
The Universities of Bristol, Exeter and Bath have created the SWDTP, which draws together the established research excellence of more than 770 academic and research staff at the three institutions. The SWDTP has been accredited by the ESRC and the collaboration at the heart of it was recognised as adding value to the content and delivery of training, as well as to the research student experience.

Security, Conflict and Human Rights
This pathway connects directly with the ESRC's Research Challenge Security, Conflict and Human Rights. It recognises that traditional approaches to security studies must now be complemented with new perspectives of issues such as human (in)security more widely, including domestic insecurity and violence, in order to develop better strategies for resolving conflicts and securing social justice. It will train researchers who are equipped with the interdisciplinary skills to impact the research, policy and practice needed to avoid and mitigate security risks.

Globalisation has altered the security environment. Violence has, for the most part, shifted from organised inter-state war to protracted warfare fought by irregular units and local militias. Weak states are prone to collapsing, either by the fragmentation of authority, or by external intervention. Climate change, forced migration, gender-based violence, radicalisation, humanitarian emergencies, terrorism, WMD proliferation, have all, to varying degrees, been securitised by states, inter-governmental institutions, and by non-governmental organisations.

The broadening of the global security agenda has to date not been accompanied by an increase in the capacity of local, regional, and global actors to respond to these new challenges. What is now required is the development of new theoretical and empirical research on security governance. A vital ingredient in addressing the complex agenda of security governance is an inter-disciplinary pooling of knowledge and expertise that draws together sociological and socio-legal research on human rights, gender, violence and ethnopolitics; area studies expertise on language, culture and practice; and political and legal research on sovereignty, institutions and intervention.

Residency entry requirements: These studentships will be funded by the ESRC and are available to UK nationals and other EU nationals who have resided in the UK for three years prior to commencing the studentship. If you meet the criteria, funding will be provided for tuition fees and stipend. If you are a citizen of an EU member state and don’t meet the residency requirement you will be eligible for a fees-only award. For further guidance about eligibility please refer to the ESRC Postgraduate Funding Guide.


Application deadline:30th January 2018
Value:£14,553 per annum plus UK/EU tutition fees for eligible students
Duration of award:per year
Contact: Doctoral

How to apply

Please upload the following documents to the studentship application form

  • CV
  • Covering letter outlining your academic interests, any prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake this project, as well as a research training statement
  • Research proposal of 1,000 words including the name(s) of the potential supervisors. We are particularly encouraging proposals that include a collaborative element with an external (non-academic) private, public or civil society sector organization. For 1+3 students it is recognized that this will be an outline proposal to be further developed during the first year of the studentship. To download the research proposal form please click here.
  • 2 references from referees familiar with your academic work (if your referees prefer, they can email the reference direct to
  • Verified transcript of your highest qualification to date or an interim transcript if you are still studying
  • If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your proficiency in English (for further details, please see the University’s English language requirements).

Interviews for short listed applicants will take place from 5-9 March 2018, venue will be either Bath, Bristol or Exeter (to be confirmed post shortlisting).

 The information you provide as part of your application will be shared with other institutions in the partnership for purposes of shortlisting and interviewing.Please note that, as interviews are being held across the partnership, you may not be interviewed at the institution you are applying to. The University of Exeter will hold an information day for applicants nearer the interviews, further information coming soon