School of Politics and IR Research Scholarships 2023

The School of Politics and International Relations offers a supportive, dynamic and diverse environment for creative research. We have a longstanding international reputation for research excellence across the fields of comparative politics, international relations, peace and conflict studies, and political thought. The breadth of expertise within the School enables us to provide research supervision on a wide range of topics as well as theoretical and methodological approaches. The research interests of our staff can be found on the School of Politics and IR website. We particularly welcome applications from female and BAME candidates.

We are inviting applications for research scholarships to commence in September 2023. You can apply for: 

Taught Master’s Programmes in Politics and International Relations 

PhD Programmes in Politics and International Relations 

Division of Human and Social Sciences Research Scholarships (Graduate Teaching Assistantship) 

Awardees of such hold a unique position in the University; they are both registered PhD students in receipt of a scholarship and employees of the University. The GTAs will cover tuition fees plus a combined maintenance grant and salary, equivalent to the Research Councils UK National Minimum Doctoral Stipend. The scholarship will be offered for one year in the first instance, renewable for a maximum of three years subject to satisfactory academic performance. 

Please note that International students must have the appropriate documentation to evidence eligibility to work in the UK. The method of determining tuition fee status is complex and follows guidelines issued by the UK Council for International Student Affairs.

GTA Application deadline: 3rd February. 

SeNSS ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership Funding 

SeNSS is one of only 14 UK ESRC-funded Doctoral Training Partnerships and will be offering a number of full-funded ESRC doctoral studentship to start in September 2023. To find out more about eligibility, see the SeNSS page. The awards offer a doctoral stipend (equivalent to the Research Councils UK National Minimum Doctoral Stipend for 2022/2023 was £17,668 2023/24 to be announced plus tuition fees at the Home rate and access to further research funding. If you are applying as an international candidate, Kent will waive the difference between Home and International fees. 

If a SeNSS +3 applicant has not completed/is not studying a SeNSS approved taught Master’s degree, additional checks will be needed to ensure that the required research methods training outcomes have been met. 


To be considered for the scholarships, candidates must hold: 

  1. an Honours degree (First or 2:1). Required for HSS Research Scholarship applicants, SeNSS +3 applicants and SeNSS 1+3 applicants 
  1. a taught Master’s degree (with Merit or Distinction) from recognised institutions, with Distinction-level marks in a research dissertation and research methods modules (if available). Required for HSS Research Scholarship applicants and SeNSS +3 applicants, optional for SeNSS 1+3 applicants. SeNSS encourages applications from talented students holding undergraduate degrees only, and has ring-fenced 12 studentships for such applicants. 

All candidates must have a background in Politics, International Relations or a cognate discipline. Applicants must also provide evidence that they satisfy the University’s minimum English language requirements. 

How to Apply 

All completed applications must be received by 20th January 2023. 

Completed applications must comprise all of the following: 

  • The name of the proposed supervisor (this should be agreed with the relevant staff member prior to submission) 
  • A transcript of degree undergraduate and postgraduate marks to date and certificate, if completed, in pdf format 
  • The name and email address of two academic referees. Please leave a suitable amount of time for your referees to respond to the reference request which is sent automatically upon submission of the PhD application in KentVision. References must also be received by 20th January 2023 for SeNSS and 3rd February for GTA.
  • A current CV in pdf format 
  • Required for HSS Research Scholarship: Submission of a completed Application form for PhD Scholarships* in pdf format. This document requires a supervisor statement so please leave sufficient time for this before the deadline. This form should be emailed directly to the HSS Admissions Team at with the subject line ‘School of Politics and IR Research Scholarships 2023’. 

*If you experience any issues with this link, please try copying and pasting this link into a different browser or contact and we can forward it to you.

Please note that the PhD application form in KentVision includes fields and word count guidelines that are not specific to this competition so please ensure that you follow the procedures listed above. In fields such as ‘Reasons for study’ and ‘Research proposal’ you are welcome to write ‘See Division of Human and Social Sciences Research Scholarships Competition 2023 Application Form’ etc. 

Shortlisting and Interviews 

The shortlisting process will start from 20th January 2023 and interviews will be held virtually. Shortlisted candidates will be required to present their proposal using visual aids (e.g. PowerPoint presentation slides) at interview. 

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