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Fully funded PhD opportunity for forced migrants to the UK (University of Leeds, ERC AdG Project MIGMOBS 2024-2028)


Key facts

Type of research degree
4 year PhD
Application deadline
Monday 29 April 2024
Project start date
Tuesday 1 October 2024
Country eligibility
UK only
Source of funding
University of Leeds
Professor Adrian Favell and Dr Glenda Garelli
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

We are inviting applications for a fully funded PhD studentship on &ldquo;MIGMOBS refuge: Global inequalities, mobility struggles and contested presence for forced migrants from the Middle East in the UK&rdquo;. The studentship is available to forced migrants to the UK for up to four years at the University of Leeds and includes student fees, stipend, and financial support for research and dissemination activities. <br /> <br /> The successful candidate will work with Glenda Garelli (University of Leeds, School of Geography) and ERC PI Adrian Favell (University College Cork, Radical Humanities Laboratory), as a sub-project of the Advanced Grant project &quot;MIGMOBS -The Orders and Borders of Global Inequality: Migration and Mobilities in Late Capitalism&quot;, and as part of a large international team.<br /> <br /> The PhD will also follow all relevant training and preparation for a PhD in Geography, be an active member of the &ldquo;Social Justice, Cities and Citizenship&rdquo; (SJCC) research cluster, and be expected to play an active organisational role in the Leeds Migration Research Network.<br /> <br /> We welcome atypical academic profiles and personal trajectories.<br /> <br /> Essential criteria include: <br /> <br /> - Arabic native speaker, and full proficiency in English;<br /> - Be a forced migrant to the United Kingdom. This means you are a person displaced from your homeland or place of residence for political, economic, ethnic, environmental, or human rights pressures. You must have one of the residency statuses listed on the MIGMOBS Sanctuary webpage (see Stage 2 of the Application process );<br /> - Familiarity with at least one Middle Eastern country;<br /> - Strong qualitative methods training (or comparable research experience);<br /> - Excellent ability in written work. <br /> <br /> Desirable criteria include:<br /> <br /> - Prior engagement with refugee issues in a professional capacity (e.g., in the humanitarian, legal, administrative, or arts sectors), or through activist, artistic or community work;<br /> - Familiarity with the experience of Syrian refugees and/or Palestinian refugees;<br /> - An interest in the experience of refugees from the Middle East in Italy and/or Germany.<br /> - Creative and/or technical abilities that could be applied in the context of the PhD research. <br /> <br /> Please include Cover letter explaining motivation and relevant personal experiences; resume; 2-3 Page Potential Project Outline (in English); 1 sample of written work (Academic or Other).<br /> <br /> You may have to complete a fee assessment as part of this application, as the award is dependent on the applicant being assessed as eligible for UK fee status.

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p style="margin-bottom:11px"><strong>MIGMOBS REFUGE</strong>, a sub-project of MIGMOBS*, is concerned with documenting the contested landscape of refuge in the UK, Italy and Germany for refugees from Middle Eastern countries in the past 50 years, focusing on administrative and political frameworks, different atmospheres of solidarity and racialisation, and key struggles and organizing efforts of refugee communities.</p> <p>The PhD project linked to MIGMOBS REFUGE will focus on a selected refugee community from the Middle East in the UK, as part of a team looking comparatively at the European reception context for refugees in the three countries and Ireland. We take our cue from the dramatically varying responses to the Syrian conflict and Syrian refugees across Europe, in contrast with the subsequent responses to the Ukrainian crisis.&nbsp; Focusing on the Syrian or other refugee community from the Middle East, the PhD project to be developed will interrogate the evolution of experiences and categorisations of migration, mobility and refuge, with an emphasis on the present moment and changes in international reception over the past 50 years. Qualitative methods and a research approach in dialogue with non-academic knowledges (e.g., humanitarian practitioners&rsquo; or legal workers&rsquo; expertise, artistic production, journalism and activist organisation) are particularly welcome.</p> <p><strong>*MIGMOBS</strong>, the ERC funded project to which MIGMOBS REFUGE contributes, investigates how borders and hierarchies are maintained between &ldquo;the West and the Rest&rdquo;, even as those who are internationally mobile sometimes succeed in challenging the &ldquo;birthright lottery&rdquo; - i.e. that citizenship at birth most determines someone&rsquo;s chances in life. It asks: How does changing categorisation of subordinate populations worldwide in terms of &ldquo;migration&rdquo;, &ldquo;free movement&rdquo;, and &ldquo;minorities&rdquo; relate to these in- and between- country inequalities? It echoes critical migration, mobilities and borders scholars who argue that late capitalism in liberal democracies continues to advance through an ever more sophisticated differentiation and management of population &ndash; at the border as well as internal to states. Such work, though, has not adequately examined variation regionally, or across historical shifts in political economy: from postwar liberalism, through neoliberalism, to the era of COVID and beyond. MIGMOBS thus explores in unprecedented empirical breadth and detail how states reproduce sovereign power in an otherwise porous world: selecting and extracting wanted or recognised movers as&nbsp;&ldquo;immigrants&rdquo;, brutally excluding many other &ldquo;migrants&rdquo;, while simultaneously rendering fluid and untroubling a vast range of banal &ldquo;mobilities&rdquo; such as tourism and business travel. Mapping physical, virtual and non-human mobilities, the project details demographic and social connections over time between 21 states. This quantitative comparative historical work underpins co-productive ethnographic case studies rethinking a range of archetypal &ldquo;migration systems&rdquo; (including asylum and refugee migration) in and from Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. These investigate how subordinate populations resist the categories, statuses and borders imposed upon them.</p> <p>For more information about the supervisory team, see <a href="">here</a> for Glenda Garelli and <a href="">here</a> for Adrian Favell.</p> <p>For more information about the School of Geography, the Social Justice Cities and Citizenship research cluster, and the Leeds Migration Research Network see <a href="">here</a>, <a href="">here</a> and <a href="">here</a>.</p> <p style="margin-bottom:11px">Information about Sanctuary residency statuses are available <a href="">here</a>.</p>

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is the Fully funded PhD opportunity for forced migrants to the UK (University of Leeds, ERC AdG Project MIGMOBS 2024-2028)&nbsp;as well as <a href="">Dr Glenda Garelli</a> as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>In addition to applying for the PhD, you will need to complete an eligibility check with the Sanctuary team by Monday 29th&nbsp;of April 2024. This will involve filling in a short form and providing them with evidence of your residency status (such as a Biometric Residency Permit or an Application Registration Card).</p> <p>Fill in the form here: <a href=";;sdata=Lln5w5oRf9mHmtzjxM6Xg3EI0pHuWZzQAfaaRCdhrc4%3D&amp;reserved=0" rel="noreferrer noopener" target="_blank"></a></p> <p>Afterwards, email your evidence to;</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to this scholarship in the School of Geography should normally have a First-class Undergraduate degree (or international equivalent) AND/ OR a Distinction (or predicted Distinction) in their Master's degree (both in an appropriate discipline). If you have a lower mark, in your undergraduate degree, you may be considered if you demonstrate excellence in the essential criteria area. Please feel free to email the supervisors if you have questions about this: and

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for the School of Geography postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p style="margin-bottom:11px">We are offering 1 full-time PHD scholarship in the School of Geography for one candidate from a forced migration background in the UK.&nbsp;The award will cover full UK fees at the University of Leeds standard rate of fees and a maintenance grant at the standard UKRI rate (&pound;18,622 in session 2023/24). In year 4 of the PhD, the award will cover maintenance allowance up to 12 months or until the submission of the thesis if this is earlier. The award does not cover the <a classname="sharedcomments-hyperlink" contenteditable="false" data-hyperlink="{&quot;url&quot;:&quot;;}" href="" rel="noreferrer" tabindex="0" target="_blank" title="">over time fee</a> (currently &pound;290 in 2023/24).</p> <p style="margin-bottom:11px">The award will be made for one year in the first instance and renewable for a further period, subject to satisfactory academic progress.</p> <p style="margin-bottom:11px">&nbsp;</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information please contact the Faculty of Environment PGR Admissions directly, by emailing:</p> <p></p>