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School of Social and Political Science: Graduate school


Funded AHRC PhD Studentship

"Caring for the future through ancestral time: Faith-based activism and climate change"

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship funded by the AHRC. The studentship is on the theme of "Caring for the future through ancestral time: faith-based activism and climate change", and will examine the role of Scotland's eco-congregation movement in fostering environment care and action. The PhD will be based in the School of Social and Political Science and supervised by Dr Elizabeth Bomberg (Politics and International Relations) and Dr Franklin Ginn (Geography) at the University of Edinburgh. The studentship will be part of a broader project investigating the potential for 'ancestral time' to offer an alternative to both economistic and climate apocalyptic temporalities.

 The Studentship

The precise topic of the PhD will be confirmed through discussions between the student and supervisors. In broad terms, the PhD will need to assess the role of narratives of the future and past in mobilizing care about climate change among faith-based groups. The student will engage in extensive fieldwork, focusing on the project partner, Eco-Congregation Scotland, which consists of over 280 church communities across Scotland. The student will be responsible for developing the research methodology, and there is scope for comparative assessment of other faith-based or secular climate activism in the UK and beyond. 

The studentship is supported for 3 years and includes tuition fee waiver for EU students, and tuition fees plus an annual stipend of around £13,726 for UK residents. (EU students meeting certain residency requirements may also be eligible for a stipend). Guidance on residence requirements is available here (see Annex 1):

 How to apply

Applicants should have qualifications or experience equal to the standard of a good honours degree at a first or upper second class level, and a Masters/MSc degree in a relevant field of social sciences or the humanities. Applicants should also have experience of relevant qualitative research methods. We particularly welcome applications from those with experience in third sector organisations. Applicants should ensure they meet the AHRC eligibility requirements (see Section 7.5 of the AHRC guidance document).

Applicants should submit: a two-page curriculum vitae; a cover letter (two-three sides) outlining your reasons for applying and your qualifications for the studentship; a sample of writing such as a dissertation, coursework essay, thesis chapter or report; and the names and contact details of two academic referees. These should be sent by email to both: and no later than 24 June 2013. Please put 'AHRC studentship' in the subject line. Interviews, which will be held in Edinburgh, are scheduled to take place on 5 July 2013. 

For further information regarding the studentship, including a full description of the project, please contact either Dr Elizabeth Bomberg in Politics ( or Dr Franklin Ginn in Geography (

Edinburgh Students