PhD Scholarship in Political Theory

UPDATE (9 February 2015)

The competition has now closed, and we will soon appoint the scholarship holder.


Applications are invited to carry out doctoral research in political theory, with an emphasis on political violence. The PhD will be part of a project funded through a Marie Curie Career Integration Grant (JUDGEPOL) led by Dr Mathias Thaler. The JUDGEPOL project aims to advance political theory’s contribution to the interdisciplinary study of political violence. The scholarship holder is expected to engage in independent research for his/her PhD and to assist the PI in his investigations. Further, he/she is expected to assist the PI in organizational and administrative tasks related to the project. The scholarship holder will also gain valuable teaching experience over the course of the project. This will involve responsibilities such as tutoring, marking, demonstrating, e-tutoring, group facilitation, and perhaps some lecturing and course development experience towards the end of the three years. It is anticipated that the scholarship holder will work with the PI on one course per academic term. On average, the scholarship holder will invest 25% of his/her time in project-related tasks, and 75% in his/her own research.

Queries about the scholarship and the research project should be directed to Dr Mathias Thaler:

Award amount

The scholarship will pay fees at the Home UK/EU rate, an annual £13,500 maintenance stipend and £500 research expenses. Subject to satisfactory progress, the scholarship will be awarded for three years. The start date is September 2015.


We are looking for someone with an outstanding academic record who has written a Masters or Honours thesis in political theory (or related field) and has an interest in interdisciplinary research. We expect candidates to have earned a 2.1 or higher (or international equivalent) in their previous degree programmes. Any nationality may apply.

Application procedure

Applications should contain the following material:

  1. A CV, including the names of three referees;
  2. A cover letter of no more than two pages, describing your research background and interest in the project;
  3. A sample of your written work, preferably your Masters or Honours thesis;
  4. A research proposal for the PhD project of no more than three pages;
  5. Transcripts/mark sheets and proof of existing qualifications;

The research proposal should address the following questions:

  1. What is your general topic?
  2. What questions do you want to answer?
  3. What is the key literature and its limitations?
  4. What are the main hypotheses of the work?
  5. What methodology do you intend to use?
  6. What are your case studies, if any, and what are your case selection criteria?

The material should be emailed to:, with the subject line “JUDGEPOL PhD scholarship application”. When submitting your application, please ensure that your name is clearly displayed on each attached document.

Application deadline

The deadline for submitting applications is 2 February 2015, 5pm GMT. Shortlisted candidates may be invited to attend an interview, which will take place either in person or by telephone/skype in early March 2015.

Important information

In addition to applying for the scholarship, candidates must also formally apply and be accepted to the appropriate PhD programme at the University of Edinburgh’s School of Social and Political Science. Further information on the application process can be found here: