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Two ESRC Studentships in Education 2012

9 February 2012



School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University

Deadline 12 noon Friday 16th March 2012

In addition to the general announcement of ESRC Doctoral Studentships in Cardiff School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University commencing in 2012, applications are being sought for a further two prestigious three-year (‘+3’) full time PhD Studentships.  These are fully-funded studentships in the field of Education supported by the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre for Wales (Wales DTC).

The School of Social Sciences has an international reputation across a number of disciplines and fields and was ranked number one in the UK for social sciences ‘research power’ in the most recent Research Assessment Exercise.

Studentships will commence in September 2012 and will cover your tuition fees as well as a maintenance grant and an additional Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) for three years for full-time students. In 2011 the maintenance grant for full-time students was £13,590 and the RTSG was £750, but the award levels for 2012 have yet to be published by the ESRC.


ESRC studentships are available from the Wales DTC for UK and EU students who meet residency requirements set out by the ESRC. Please consult the ESRC Postgraduate Funding Guide for full details on residential eligibility requirements.

These awards are made on a +3 basis only. A +3 studentship provides funding for the three years only, and assumes that the applicant will already have had research training from an appropriate master’s degree.

The Projects

For these two studentships, the general topic area has been specified in advance.

  1. Adult Community Learning participation and involvement in schooling
  2. Learner and teacher experience of the Welsh Baccalaureate

Topic one - Adult Community Learning participation and involvement in schooling

In the light of research suggesting a causal relationship between parental involvement in schools and the attainment of young people, this project will examine whether participation in adult community learning has links with the nature and extent of parental or familial involvement in schooling. It will be focused on areas of social disadvantage and will look at the experiences of family members, young people and teachers. It is envisaged that the outcomes will include a tangible contribution to policy and practice. This studentship includes collaborative funding and in-kind support from the Worker’s Educational Association (WEA South Wales) and WISERD (The Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods).

Topic two - Learner and teacher experience of the Welsh Baccalaureate

The focus of this study will be learner and teacher experience of the Welsh Baccalaureate, and on indicators of potential parallel effects in adjacent courses, programmes and achievements. The study is likely to include data from interviews with students and teachers across a sample of settings that reflect the national picture, and also a quantitative element in which a sample of students are matched on background variables to allow a comparison of Welsh Baccalaureate and non- Welsh Baccalaureate students on various measures of outcome. The study will complement other research projects carried out within WISERD that are examining the progression and progress of Welsh Baccalaureate holders in Higher Education. This studentship includes collaborative funding and in-kind support from the WJEC.

How to Apply

Applicants must complete and submit the following documentation by the deadline of 12.00pm, 16th March 2012. Note that the deadline is absolute and applications received after this specified time and date will not be accepted. 

  • A completed application form for admission to doctoral study in the School of Social Sciences – submitted to the Academic Registry via the online admissions portal.

(Please specify a PhD in Social Sciences with a start date of October 2012)

  • Academic References – all admissions applications require two references to be submitted in support. Please ensure that your chosen referees are aware of the funding deadline, as we will be using these to help us evaluate your ESRC studentship application.
  • Academic Transcripts – where applicable, academic transcripts must be submitted with the online admissions application by the funding deadline. We will be using these to verify your academic qualifications.

Applicants should not complete the ‘Research Proposal’ section of the application form other than to copy and paste in details of the research summaries provided above. They should use the ‘Personal Statement’ section of the application form to explain why the nominated award they have chosen particularly appeals to them and how they would choose to develop it.

If you have any queries about the application process, these should be directed to Vicky Parkin at

Further Details

Applicants may contact Professor David James for a discussion of either of these projects:

Tel: 029 20 870930

For further information about the application process, contact Vicky Parkin:

Tel: 029 20 870855


Research Degrees at the Cardiff School of Social Sciences