Cardiff University / Prifysgol Caerdydd ESRC Wales DTP Studentships in Global Language-Based Area Studies

Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Wales DTP Studentships in Global Language-Based Area Studies

Cardiff University

Qualification Type:PhD
Funding for:UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount:£17,668 p.a.
Hours:Full Time, Part Time


Placed On:19th December 2022
Closes:3rd February 2023

Cardiff University’s School of Modern Languages (MLANG) and Department of Politics/International Relations (POLIR), supported by the ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership for Wales (DTP), invites applications for PhD study within our Global Languages-Based Area Studies pathway, which draws upon or develops foreign language skills to explore the society, politics or culture of a particular country or region.

You may decide to apply via the general competition, with the possibility of being awarded a fully funded ESRC DTP studentship, available to start in October 2023. You will choose your own topic but must check first with potential supervisors that we have the necessary supervisorial expertise and capacity. Information on staff research interests can be found on the MLANG and/ or Politics/ IR webpages.

Alternatively, you can apply for a fully funded collaborative award. These studentships are also open to both home and international students. They involve liaison with a non-academic organisation. Commencing in October 2023, the following three collaborative awards are available through the Global Languages-Based Area Studies pathway:

  • Peacebuilding through co-creation of cultural memory in borderlands
  • The tree planting phenomenon: A ‘Giant Leap’ for climate change mitigation or mere greenwashing?
  • Girls’ Everyday Politics in the Dominican Republic and El Salvador

The University values diversity and equality at all levels and encourages applications from all sections of the community, irrespective of age, disability, sex, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation. In line with our commitment to supporting and promoting equality, diversity and inclusion, and to increase recruitment of currently underrepresented groups, applications from Black British, Asian British, minority ethnicity British and mixed-race British candidates are particularly encouraged and welcomed.

Application deadline: 3 February 2023 (12.00 noon)

Further details

Applicants for the general competition should approach a potential supervisor before submitting their application to confirm that there is appropriate supervisory capacity.

Applicants for a collaborative award should take careful consideration of the working title and description of the project (see below), and may wish to contact the lead supervisor prior to applying.

  • Peacebuilding through co-creation of cultural memory in borderlands (lead supervisor: Professor David Clarke). This project analyses the potential of artistic co-production as a tool of peacebuilding in borderland regions, focusing on case studies in Poland and its region. It asks how cultural practitioners working in civil society contexts in and around Poland mobilize co-creation to manage difficult borderland memories; how the long-term effects of the work of such groups can be assessed; and what lessons the Polish case can teach us about the role of co-created artistic practices in the post-conflict management of memory.
  • The tree planting phenomenon: A ‘giant leap’ for climate change mitigation or mere greenwashing? (Lead supervisor: Professor Gordon Cumming). This project explores the different rationales for, and approaches to, tree-planting schemes run by governmental, non-governmental and corporate actors. It identifies the different drivers that lead state and non-state actors (the Welsh government, Youtubers, multinational corporations) to establish tree-planting schemes in the South and North. It explores the challenges these schemes have faced, how effectively they have been overcome, and what their socio-political and environmental implications might be.
  • Girls’ everyday politics in the Dominican Republic and El Salvador (lead supervisor: Dr Rosie Walters). The project asks how girls engage in politics in their everyday lives in the Dominican Republic and El Salvador; whether this participation changes throughout childhood/ adolescence; and what barriers girls face in seeking to make change in their families and communities? (Note that the successful applicant on this project may be required to enter into a separate agreement that ties them into confidentiality obligations and/or gives ownership of their intellectual property arising from the project to the University or Plan International, and/or which may stipulate a temporary embargo on the publication of their outcomes depending on the terms agreed under the collaboration agreement).


ESRC studentships cover tuition fees as well as a maintenance grant (currently £17,668 p.a. for full-time students); and include access to an additional Research Training Support Grant (RTSG), though an element of this latter fund may be ‘pooled’ and require separate applications from 2021 onwards.  Other opportunities available to studentship holders include an overseas fieldwork allowance (if applicable), internships, overseas institutional visits and small grants.


We welcome applications for both full and part-time study: studentships are available as either ‘1+3’, or ‘+3’ (i.e. three years of full-time doctoral study or its part-time equivalent).

ESRC studentships are highly competitive. Candidates should have a 1st or strong upper 2nd class degree; applications from those also holding a relevant research training Masters degree (or an equivalent background in research training) will be considered for a +3 award.

ESRC studentships are available to both home and international (including EU and EEA) students.  Applicants must satisfy studentship eligibility requirements. For further details see the UKRI web site.


Short-listed applicants will be invited to interview in early March 2022. These will be conducted online.


Completed applications must be submitted using the Apply here function by noon on 3 February 2023.

Please include ‘ESRC’ in the funding section of the PhD application form. Please also upload the following supporting documents;
1. Covering letter (two pages maximum)  addressed to Professor Gordon Cumming, setting out your reasons for applying to this pathway; your understanding of doctoral study; and your academic interest relating to your proposed research.
2. Degree certificates and transcripts. Where appropriate, this should also include proof of English Language Competency (7.0 IELTS minimum).
3. References: All applications require two academic references to be submitted in support. Candidates must approach referees themselves and include references with their application.
4. Curriculum Vitae (no longer than two pages).

  1. Research Proposal of a maximum of 1000 words, not including bibliographic references. Your proposal should cover:
  • Title, aims and purpose of the research;
  • An overview of some key research literature;
  • Your proposals for developing the design and methods of the study;
  • A description of the academic contribution/ potential outcomes of the project
  • Bibliographical references

Please address any admissions enquiries to: and

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