Fully-funded PhD Scholarship, Nottingham Trent University, UK

Publish Date: May 12, 2015

Deadline: Jun 12, 2015

Young people and political (dis)engagement

In recent years, policy makers have become increasingly concerned that young citizens are turning their backs on the formal political process in different countries. This unease has centred primarily on young people’s voting records which are in decline. For instance, only 44% of 18-24 year olds voted at the 2010 UK General Election, significantly below the national election turnout average of 65%. This pattern of youth voter disengagement is common across many advanced democracies, and increasingly across many emergent democracies. But it is not just in terms of election turnout that young people are differentiated from their older contemporaries, as evidence suggests that this generation is particularly dissatisfied with the formal political process.

At the same time, studies indicate that young people are more likely to engage in ‘cause-oriented’styles of politics than they are in ‘formal’ politics - participation that uses less institutionalised methods such as demonstrations, boycotts, and direct action. This shift in the way young people are engaging in political activity is increasingly facilitated by access to new media and technologies.

Project aims

In combination, these developments seem to suggest that mainstream politics has lost its relevance to the individual, begging the question, what are young people replacing mainstream politics with in formulating their identities? With this in mind, this project has two primary aims:

1.to explore this generation’s practice of politics, including reasons for their apparent reluctance to play an active role in ‘formal’ mainstream political life, and their preference for engagement with alternative forms of political participation;

2.to identify differing patterns of participatory engagement between distinct groups of young people, and to consider the implications of this participatory disparity.

Research design

The nature of the research is such that either quantitative or qualitative methods, or a combination of approaches, will be possible. It is expected that the applicant will develop a research design that iswell-matched to the project aims.

The project is not restricted to an examination of UK politics, as studies to be conducted of young people and political (dis)engagement in other countries will be equally welcome.


Entry requirement

In order to be eligible to apply, you must hold, or expect to obtain by 1st October 2015, a Master’s degree, or a 1stClass/2.1 Bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject (including, where appropriate, training in the relevant research methods and, where relevant, laboratory experience).

Applications can be accepted from UK/EU and International students. The minimum English language proficiency requirement for candidates who have not undertaken a higher degree at a UK HE institution is IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.0 in all skills)

Candidates must have a suitable background in relevant social science disciplines, such as politics, philosophy, sociology, psychology, etc. If the project is empirical, they must have experience with the relevant research methodologies proposed.


The scholarship competition is open to applicants who wish to study for a PhD on a full-time basis only. The scholarships will pay UK/EU fees (currently set at £4,052 for 2015/16 and are revised annually) and provide a maintenance stipend linked to the RCUK rate (this is revised annually and is currently £14,057 for academic year 2015/16) for up to three years*. The scholarships are due to commence in October 2015.

For further details of the scholarships, please see the web site here:http://www.ntu.ac.uk/research/graduate_school/studentships/index.html

Applicants will be required to produce a research proposal and should refer to the research proposal guidance in the application pack.

Please note that these scholarships are only available for new applicants. Existing PhD students are not eligible to apply

Successful applicants will only be awarded one award. If a student has not submitted their thesis by the end of year three, he / she is required to enrol for a fourth year and pay the Writing Up Fee to enable him/her to complete and submit the thesis. The Writing Up Fee is currently £570 for 2014/15 (this is revised annually). No Bench fee is payable in Year Four.

*Applications from non-EU students are welcome, but a successful non-EU candidate would be responsible for paying the difference between non-EU and UK/EU fees. (Fees for 2015/16 are £12,300 for non-EU students and £4,052 for UK/EU students)


For informal enquiries about the studentship, please contact Prof Matt Henn – matt.henn@ntu.ac.uk

To download an application pack, please visit the Graduate School website

Please return completed application forms, with copies of academic certificates to: gradschool@ntu.ac.uk

The closing date for applications is 12:00 noon on Friday 12 June 2015. This deadline will be strictly adhered to. Application by CV only or incomplete applications will not be accepted.

We expect to be able to interview shortlisted candidates on or around Thursday 2nd July.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Graduate School at gradschool@ntu.ac.uk if you have any further queries.

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:


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Host Countries

United Kingdom