Ph.D opportunity in Wales (UK)

PhD Research Project – Competition – Funded Students Worldwide


Where: Cardiff School of Social Sciences,



Supervisors: Dr S MacBride-Stewart,  Prof Radhika Mohanram (ENCAP), Dr Poppy Nicol (Sustainable Places Research Institute)

External Collaborator: Department of Natural Sciences, Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales


Application Deadline: 03 February 2021


Details: Cardiff University School of Social Sciences, supported by the ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership for Wales (Wales DTP), invites applications for PhD study. These particular studentships, known as ‘collaborative studentships’, involve liaison with a non-academic organisation, often at many key stages of the research programme. They will commence in October 2020.


WALES ESRC DTP FULLY FUNDED PHD ‘GENERAL’ STUDENTSHIPS – School of Social SciencesCardiff School of Social Sciences


Social Sciences Research Programme – Funding Available – Students Worldwide



Description of project: Biocultural collections, comprising of plant and animal specimens, artefacts and documentation, are identified as important resources for building understanding of the interconnections between peoples and environments. At present, there is a recognised knowledge gap regarding how museums can undertake work to decolonise their collections and practice, including biocultural collections (Das & Lowe, 2018; Antonelli, 2020). This project aims to build understandings around approaches to decolonising biocultural collections and curatorial practices (including through digitisation, curation, engagement).


The Amgueddfa Cymru’s Economic Botany Collection comprises over 5,500 specimens of plant parts and products with societal value including food products, medicinal plants and dye plants. This project will investigate medicinal specimens of South Asian origin from the collection, taking a decolonising lens to enhance understanding of the collections. As well as working independently, the successful candidate will have the opportunity to work with the Amgueddfa Cymru Decolonisation Working Group. They will review the latest literature, explore best practice at comparable institutions and build links with communities. The project is flexible and will be shaped by the successful candidate.


Applications are invited from exceptional candidates with a first class or strong upper second class honours degree, or appropriate Master’s degree. Both the University and the ESRC Wales DTP value diversity and equality at all levels and we encourage 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. We welcome applications for both full and part-time study, and studentships are available as either ‘1+3’ (i.e. one full time year of research training Masters followed by three years of full-time Doctoral study, or the part-time equivalent), or ‘+3’ (i.e. three years of full-time doctoral study or its part-time equivalent), depending on the needs of the applicant.

Applications welcomed by 3 February 2021 (1200 hours).


Applicants should take careful consideration of the working title and description of the project and may wish to contact the named member of staff for a discussion prior to applying.





ESRC studentships are highly competitive, candidates should have an excellent academic background in the social sciences, holding 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. Wales DTP studentships are available to both home and international (including EU and EEA) students. All applicants will be eligible for a full award consisting of a maintenance stipend and payment of tuition fees at the UK research organisation rate. Applicants must satisfy studentship eligibility requirements. For further details see the UKRI web site. Successful international student applicants will receive a fully-funded Wales DTP studentship and will not be charged the fees difference between the UK and international rate.


1+3 OR +3?

Awards are available on a 1+3 or +3 basis. 1+3 studentships provides funding for four years (or part-time equivalent), completing a research training Masters in the 1st year, followed by 3 years research funding for a PhD. +3 studentships provides funding for the 3 years PhD research study only (or part-time equivalent).



Short-listed applicants will be invited to interview, which are expected to take place between 22 February – 26 February 2021. After interview, a final short-list of applicants will be put forward to a Panel convened by the ESRC Wales DTP Management Group at which final decisions with regard to studentship awards will be made. Applicants can expect to hear by early April 2021.


Funding Notes

Studentship Awards commence in October 2021 and will cover your tuition fees as well as a maintenance grant (currently £15,285 p.a. for 2020/21 for full-time students, updated each year); and includes 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. There are other opportunities and benefits available to studentship holders, including an overseas fieldwork allowance (if applicable), internship opportunities, overseas institutional visits and other small grants.



A completed application form submitted to should be submitted by 12 noon on 3 February 2021. In the funding section, please select “I will be applying for a scholarship/grant” and “ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Partnership”. Incomplete applications or applications received after the deadline will not be accepted.