PhD Studentship Vacancies

PhD Studentship in Politics and International Relations on Young People’s Political Participation.

Closing date for applications: 10th November 2016

EURYKA - Reinventing Democracy in Europe: Youth Doing Politics in Times of Increasing Inequalities

Elmfield.gifThe Department of Politics at the University of Sheffield is pleased to offer a PhD studentship for an exceptional candidate. Applications are welcomed from Masters graduates working in any of the sub-fields of Politics and International Relations, Sociology, Psychology, Human Geography and cognate disciplines. The studentship will offer the successful candidate the opportunity to pursue innovative doctoral research with outstanding supervision in one of the UK’s leading departments of Politics. The successful candidate will be expected to build on existing links to other Departments and Centres at the University, notably the Sheffield Political Economy Institute (SPERI) and the Sheffield Methods Institute (SMI).

The studentship is linked to the EU Horizon 2020 grant EURYKA - Reinventing Democracy in Europe: Youth Doing Politics in Times of Increasing Inequalities. The project consists in a consortium of universities across Europe collaborating on the research and coordinated by Professor Marco Giugni at the University of Geneva. Dr Maria Grasso at the Department of Politics, University of Sheffield is the Principal Investigator for the UK. First supervision of the PhD project will be provided by Dr Maria Grasso.

The PhD project will involve mixed-methods empirical research to analyse Youth Politics in Western Europe. The proposed project aims to study the relations between inequalities and young people's ways of doing politics as well as to advance scenarios for future democratic models and political systems in Europe that are more inclusive for young people. It has three main objectives: (1) To provide systematic evidence on the ways in which inequalities are lived by young people and (re)acted upon, exploring the coping mechanisms which are embedded in young people's ways of doing politics; these coping mechanisms are manifested in multiple forms, i.e. as either political (dis)engagement and contestation online and offline or as (trans-)national democratic innovation and experimentation; (2) To advance knowledge on the conditions and causes underpinning young people's ways of doing politics; this involves an examination of their norms, values, attitudes, and behaviors regarding democracy, power, politics, policymaking, social and political participation (online and offline) and the organization of economic, social and private life in order to identify ways to strengthen youth political participation and engagement with democratic life in Europe; (3) To suggest a number of different future scenarios for the development of democracy and political participation in Europe, putting particular emphasis on implementing new democratic models that are more inclusive for young people especially those with fewer opportunities. The research design consists of a multidimensional theoretical framework that combines macro-level (institutional), meso-level (organizational), and micro-level (individual) explanatory factors, a cross-national comparative design that includes nine European countries with different institutional arrangements and policies towards youth, and an integrated methodological approach based on multiple sources and methods (policy analysis, claims-making analysis, organizational survey, panel survey, survey experiments, biographical interviews, and social media analysis).

Financial Information

The studentship is tenable for three years from 1 February 2017 and will be based in the Department of Politics. The studentship covers the cost of home/EU or International rate tuition fees (£4,120 pa/£15,250 respectively in 2016/17) together with a tax free maintenance grant (£14,292 pa in 2016/17) and full funding for fieldwork/training and attendance at research project meetings and major international conferences to disseminate results from the research.

Applicants should apply for admission to the Department’s PhD programme via:

Applicants should indicate on the application that they wish to be considered for the EURYKA studentship.

Applicants are asked to include a short statement (1000 words maximum) as to why they are interested in conducting this PhD, and why they are particularly suitable for this post.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited for a Skype interview.

For More Information

All enquiries about the studentship to Dr Maria Grasso,, or our Graduate School Administrator, Sarah Cooke, at

For more information on the Department of Politics, please see:

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