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ESRC WRDTP Collaborative Studentship - Inclusivity and Engagement: children and the democratic process


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Friday 13 March 2020
Project start date
Thursday 1 October 2020
Country eligibility
UK and EU
Source of funding
Research council
Dr Paula Clarke and Professor Cristina Leston Bandeira
School of Politics and International Studies
Research groups/institutes
Centre for Democratic Engagement
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

This PhD project will explore whether institutional political engagement programmes aimed at young people promote inclusivity in the way children are introduced to democratic rights and processes, with a particular focus on the programmes led by the UK Parliament and schools in Yorkshire and the Humber. The PhD will be supervised by Professor Cristina Leston-Bandeira from the School of Politics and International Studies, and Dr Paula Clarke, from the School of Education. This is a Collaborative PhD, which means we will work with an external partner, the Education and Engagement Service at the UK Parliament, with whom we will work very closely on the definition and implementation of the project. These highly prestigious, collaborative ESRC studentships are awarded by the White Rose Social Sciences Doctoral Training Partnership, a leading PhD training consortium of seven universities. A key aim of the studentship is to provide the successful applicant with high quality research training and professional development opportunities. The applicant will join a leading school of Politics and International Studies and become part of a vibrant and interdisciplinary community of postgraduate researchers with access to excellent training, peer group support and networking opportunities. They will be based in the Centre for Democratic Engagement at the University of Leeds, which has an international reputation for research excellence and outstanding postgraduate training.

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

<p><strong>The project:&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>This interdisciplinary project, between politics and education, explores whether institutional political engagement programmes aimed at young people promote inclusivity in the way children are introduced to democratic rights and processes. It addresses a critical challenge of our modern societies: whether structures of governance empower young people in an inclusive manner to become more politically engaged, helping to redress existing inequalities. This speaks to the pathway&rsquo;s wider preoccupations with citizenship and how different groups in society understand, participate in and shape our models of governance. &nbsp;</p> <p><br /> Recent movements such as the climate change strikes have mobilised thousands of children, highlighting the importance of democratic processes in shaping decisions about their future. Likewise, education programmes promoting political engagement amongst young people have risen. However, are these activities simply reaching those who would already become interested in politics, and therefore reinforcing existing divides in society? This is of acute interest to the UK Parliament&rsquo;s Education and Engagement service, which will act as our partner in this PhD project. The UK Parliament has developed a wide range of political engagement programmes targeting young people. However, by taking young people as a holistic category, specific groups, such as those with disabilities or from deprived social backgrounds, may be kept at the margins of those programmes, solidifying and increasing social divides and political cleavages. In collaboration with Parliament&rsquo;s Education and Engagement team, this project will investigate the extent to which the institution&rsquo;s democratic engagement programmes aimed at young people promote an inclusive public engagement experience amongst participants.</p> <p><br /> The PhD will utilise mainly participatory qualitative research methods and work with schools in the Yorkshire and Humber region, to investigate the experiences of children as they undergo parliamentary programmes of democratic engagement. It will focus on children with special educational needs (SEN - including learning difficulties and physical disabilities), to investigate perceptions and experiences of democratic engagement amongst a group of children often kept at the margins of society.</p> <p>Our core research question is therefore: how do SEN children experience programmes of democratic engagement?&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</p> <p>The successful student will join a vibrant research environment and group of scholars within the <a href="">Centre for Democratic Engagement</a>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

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

<p><strong>Stage 1</strong> - Applicants applying on both a +3 (3 year PhD) and a 1+3 (MA Social Research Interdisciplinary + 3 year PhD) basis should first of all apply for the relevant research postgraduate programme to commence 1 October 2020 on the University of Leeds<a href=""> online application</a>, clearly stating that the funding you wish to apply for is &#39;ESRC WRDTP Collaborative Studentship&#39; and the project title you are applying for.</p> <p><br /> <strong>Stage 2</strong> - Once you are in receipt of your 9-digit Student ID Number, you should complete <a href="">the online studentship application form</a> by the Scholarship deadline (17:00 pm. UK time on 13<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;March 2020)</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Awards are available on +3 (PhD) basis or on a 1+3 basis (MA Social Research (Interdisciplinary) plus PhD. Applicants applying for a +3 award must demonstrate that they have already completed the full social sciences research methods training requirements at masters level. i.e. to be eligible for a +3 award, the student must demonstrate that they have already completed substantial social sciences training in research methods which would enable them to undertake an independent research project in a particular discipline or interdisciplinary field. A candidate must have at least 60 credits at M level of core social sciences research methods training acquired in the last five years. This must include a broad range of methods, including quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods and the use of appropriate software/tools for their application, and comprehension of principles of research design and strategy, and an appreciation of alternative approaches to research.&nbsp;</p> <p>Further details about the different schemes, pathways, eligibility criteria can be found at on the <a href="">WRDTP website</a>.</p> <p>After receipt of your studentship application, the relevant <a href="">Graduate School</a>&nbsp;can&nbsp;provide further advice on your suitability for either a +3 or 1+3 studentship and advise whether&nbsp;the MA Social Research (Interdisciplinary) is required. &nbsp;</p> <p>You will be required to provide 2 academic <a href="">references</a> in support of your studentship application.</p> <p><em>We welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. &nbsp;All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.</em></p>

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

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. If applying on a +3 basis applicants should also have a Masters with a Merit (or expected Merit) grade in an appropriate subject area. Undergraduate or Masters degrees in the area of Politics or Education are desirable. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the Graduate School prior to making an application.

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

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study in the School of Politics and International Studies is an IELTS of 6.5 overall with at least 6.0 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>Full awards provide UK/EU academic fees and a maintenance grant at standard Research Council rates (&pound;15,009 in Session 2019/20) for full-time study, together with other allowances if appropriate. EU applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course.</p>

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

<p>For further information about how to apply please contact the Graduate School Office<br /> e:&nbsp;<a href=""></a>, t: <a href="tel:+4411334338056">+44 (0)113 343 38056</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For further information about the project please contact <a href="">Professor Cristina Leston-Bande</a><a href="">ira</a></p> <p>email: <a href=""></a>&nbsp;</p>

<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked funding opportunities</h3>
<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked research areas</h3>