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PhD Studentship in Social Sciences: Informing Design and Building Capacity for a Digital Social Science Research Methods Platform (PhD Studentship)

Reference Number: R1136
Closing Date: Closed for applications
Duration: 3 years PhD, or 1+3 Masters+PhD
Funding Amount: full UK/EU fees (see eligibility criteria below), plus stipend of £13,590 p.a. (updated each year), plus £750 p.a. research and training support
Level of Study: Postgraduate Research
Regions: EU (Non UK), UK
This funding opportunity is now closed for application

 In partnership with COSMOS, SAGE and the ESRC

Applications are being sought for a prestigious (1+3 or +3) full time PhD Studentship, to be based in the Cardiff School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University, to begin in October 2014.

About the project

Project Title: Informing Design and Building Capacity for a Digital Social Science Research Methods Platform

This Studentship will involve working with the Cardiff Online Social Media Observatory (COSMOS) team and Sage publications in order to carry out collaborative research that focuses on the design and development of a project with the provisional working title of ‘COSMOS Scholar’; a joint initiative between COSMOS and SAGE Publications Ltd. COSMOS Scholar will aim to provide a digital pedagogic social science research training environment for new computational social scientific tools and methods. The aspiration is that this environment will provide and support the analysis of bespoke social media data (e.g. Twitter feeds) alongside curated data sets enabling comparison, triangulation and augmentation of traditional and innovative social science methods. The project will also examine how new big and broad sources of data can be used to teach data analytics and methods that encompass ‘traditional’ statistics and qualitative analysis alongside more cutting-edge approaches to the interrogation of big data.

Supervisors: Prof. William Housley and Mr. Adam Edwards

Number of Awards Available: 1


This studentship is very generously funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). It covers full UK/EU tuition fees and includes a Doctoral Stipend matching the UK Researh Council National Minimum (£13,950 p.a. for 2012/13, updated each year). It also includes £750 p.a for Research and Training support.


Residency Criteria: Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open to UK Nationals and EU students who can satisfy UK residency requirements. To be eligible for the full award, EU Nationals must have been in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the course for which they are seeking funding, including for the purposes of full-time education. EU Nationals who do not meet the above residency requirement are eligible for a fees only award, provided that they have been ordinarily resident in the EU for at least 3 years prior to the start of their proposed programme of study.

Academic Criteria: Candidates should have an excellent academic background in the social sciences, holding a 1st or upper 2nd class degree; applications from those also holding a Masters degree (preferably an ESRC recognised Masters or an equivalent background in research training) will be considered for a +3 award.

How to Apply

Applicants must complete and submit the following documentation by the deadline of 12.00pm, 6th December 2013. Note that the deadline is absolute and applications received after the specified time and date will not be accepted

- Covering letter and CV: Please send in a covering letter outlining what makes you a suitable candidate (this should cover what skills/knowledge you bring to the project, what aspects you find particularly interesting and any ideas you may they have on how it could be developed). This should be no more than 2 pages. Please also specify whether you wish to apply on a +3 or 1+3 basis. You will also need to submit a CV with this.

- A completed application form for admission to doctoral study in the School of Social Sciences: submitted to the Academic Registry via the Online Application Service..

Please specify the School of Social Sciences – Research Degree – Doctor of Philosophy (Social Sciences) with a start date of October 2014 whether you are applying for a +3 or 1+3 award.

Applicants should complete the ‘Research Proposal’ section of the application form (approx 500 words) to summarise how they would approach the given specified research project.

They should use the ‘Personal Statement’ section (approx 500 words) of the application form to compliment the information given in the covering letter and talk more about their background and interest in postgraduate study.

- Academic References: all 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.

If you have any queries about the application process, these should be directed to Vicky Parkin via the contact details below.

Information about the School

Cardiff School of Social Sciences is a large School with over 160 staff and a thousand undergraduate and postgraduate students. The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise rated almost all of its research to be of an international standard, with 55% of it either “world leading” or “internationally excellent”. This rating, together with the size of the School, places it amongst the top five centres in the UK. Since its creation in 2000, the School has attracted over £18 million of research funds.

Cardiff University is the home of the ESRC Wales Doctoral Training Centre, part of a national network of 21 accredited Doctoral Training Centres across the UK judged by the ESRC to deliver truly excellent postgraduate training provision.


Name: Vicky Parkin  

Telephone: +44 (0) 2920 870 855 



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