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Teesside Studentships

This opportunity is now closed

Funded PhD opportunity Teesside University

This fully funded PhD studentship is part of the University’s commitment to, and involvement with, Research England and Office for Students (OfS) funding award to improve access and participation for black, Asian and minority ethnic students in postgraduate research. This project originates from the recognition that students of colour from the UK have limited opportunities to pursue postgraduate research and gain employment in higher education. This studentship will be therefore awarded to eligible students of colour from the UK to commence in October 2022.

The school of Social Sciences, Humanities and Law invites applications for a full-time PhD studentship in the following research area:

Access and participation for students of colour in postgraduate research

About this PhD Project

School of Social Sciences, Humanities, and LawCentre for Social Innovation

Director of Studies: Professor Sarah Jane Aiston

Project Description(s)

The aim of the project is to investigate the attitudes and assumptions invested in higher education mentoring practice. Mentoring is identified as a key approach to inclusion in higher education, for example, a number of recently funded projects under the Inclusion Matters scheme incorporate an aspect of mentoring ( The need for mentoring opportunities for students of clear is clear (Leading Routes, 2019; Arday, 2020) and greater urgency is required to address the underrepresentation of BAME academics (Bhopal, K, 2015).

Importantly, this studentship will provide much needed evidence in relation to the mentoring experiences and outcomes for students of colour taking part in a mentoring initiative (Mukhtar, 2020). This will include understanding specifically what occurs during successful mentoring experiences by the identification of distinctive mentoring tasks, in order to disseminate effective practice to the wider sector (Crisp et. al., 2017). Attention will be paid to how mentoring is individually experienced by mentees (Turner and Gonzalez, 2015), for example, do BAME women experience mentoring differently to men? Or how does social class intersect with the mentoring experience for BAME students? Importantly, the project will consider to what extent ‘culturally sensitive’ mentoring is developed and delivered, which recognises ethnic diversity and intersectionality.

The successful candidate will be required to undertake qualitative research.

Funding Eligibility

This Fully Funded PhD Studentship covers tuition fees for the period of a full-time PhD Registration of up to four years and provide an annual tax-free stipend of £15,000 for three years, subject to satisfactory progress.

Applicants who are employed and their employer is interested in funding a PhD, can apply for a Collaborative Studentship.  More details here.

Applications are welcome from students of colour who are living in the UK.

Entry Requirements

This inaugural studentship will be awarded to a strong, qualified applicant from a BME background. In addition to ethnicity, the department will consider other demographic characteristics as outlined for access and participation by the OfS (e.g. low polar quintile, low IMD quintile, disability, mature status, care giving, coming from a low performing school, no parental background in Higher Education).  Undergraduate performance and A level grades at entry into university will also be considered. The studentship will be awarded on the basis of academic merit, potential and how the candidate meets the above criteria.

Applicants should hold or expect to obtain a good honours degree (2:1 or above) in a relevant discipline. A masters level qualification in a relevant discipline is desirable, but not essential, as well as a demonstrable understanding of the research area. Further details of the expected background may appear in the specific project details.

How to Apply

Applicants should apply online for this opportunity at:

Please use the Online Application (Funded PHD) application form. When asked to specify funding select “other” and enter ‘RDS’ and the title of the PhD project that you are applying for. You should ensure that you clearly indicate that you are applying for a Funded Studentship and the title of the topic or project on the proposal that you will need to upload when applying. If you would like to apply for more than one project, you will need to complete a further application form and specify the relevant title for each application to a topic or project.

Applications for studentships that do not clearly indicate that the application is for a Funded Studentship and state the title of the project applied for on the proposal may mean that your application may not be considered for the appropriate funding.
For academic enquiries, please contact [email protected].

For administrative enquiries before or when making your application, contact [email protected]

After an application has been made, please contact [email protected].

The online application portal and all document templates required for an application can be accessed at:

Selection process

All applications received by the closing date will be considered. Successful applicants at the application stage will be shortlisted and contacted to arrange an interview. All interviews will be held online. Unsuccessful applicants will be contacted to confirm that the application will not be progressed. After interview, all interviewed applicants will be contacted to inform them of the outcome. Successful applicants progressing to an offer of a place, to commence in October 2022.

Research at Teesside

As a Teesside University research student, you will join a growing and dynamic research community, allowing you to share your experiences, insight and inspiration with fellow researchers. You will benefit from our academic expertise, and be supported through a strong programme of research training. You will be offered opportunities and support at each stage of your research degree. Our research is designed to have impact, and to influence policy and practice within our region, the UK and beyond. We work with external organisations to anticipate and respond to research needs, and to put our research into practice in sectors as diverse as the arts, engineering, healthcare and computing. PhD students are encouraged to work with their supervisors to explore the potential impact of their work.

The successful candidate will be expected to participate fully in research group and centre activities, including training sessions and workshops, and will become a member of the University’s wider postgraduate research community. Mentoring and support will be provided for the development of a strong academic and professional CV during the PhD.

Key Dates

Closing date for applications is 5pm on Thursday 31 March 2022.

We envisage that interviews will take place in April 2022.

Successful applicants will be expected to start October 2022.