Centre for Doctoral Training in New Horizons in Borders and Bordering


Students will benefit from supervision from world leading researchers in interdisciplinary teams and will equip students with the skills to combine theoretical concepts and innovative research methods across disciplines. Students will study as part of a cohort and will have access to tailored training, in addition to expert training in knowledge exchange and opportunities to engage with our key strategic partnerships to maximise the beneficial societal impacts of their projects.

Led by Professor Majella Kilkey, the CDT in New Horizons in Borders and Bordering will build an interdisciplinary community of expertise in borders, bordering and debordering (resistance). The CDT takes bordering as a key global challenge for communities around the world, recognising that new bordering practices will have a range of social impacts for the foreseeable future which need to be understood. In doing so, we will build interdisciplinary understanding of emerging phenomena, which will also contribute to building expertise for future developments. The CDT will offer advanced training in this sometimes hard to research area, a cross disciplinary supervisory framework, expertise and guidance from academic experts beyond the University of Sheffield, including internationally, and opportunities for knowledge exchange beyond academia.

Three fully funded studentships are available in each theme, offering funding for three and a half years of fees and a stipend (£15,609 per annum for 2022 entry). We are pleased to be able to offer funding for two home fee paying studentships and one international fee paying studentship in each theme. In addition, a Research Training Support Grant of £2,250 is available for each studentship across the funded period to support the costs of field trips.

The following projects are available in the New Horizons in Borders and Bordering CDT:

Project 1: Border struggles in ‘doing family’ 

Supervisors: Professor Majella Kilkey (Department of Sociological Studies) and Dr. Aneta Piekut (Sheffield Methods Institute).

This project will investigate how family life is conditioned by the management of state borders, exploring questions such as: How is daily life re-imagined and re-constructed by the UK bordering regime? How does this impact upon families' possibilities for 'doing family'? What forms of family resilience and adaptation strategies do people employ to navigate the transgressive power of borders into their lives?

Project 2: Externalising borders and refugee migration

Supervisors: Dr. Lucy Mayblin (Department of Sociological Studies) and Dr. Dan Hammett (Department of Geography).

This project will explore the implications of externalised bordering practices such as offshore asylum processing for people seeking asylum and the states who seek to control their movement. By combining aspects of sociology, human geography, law, politics and international relations, students will critically examine the exclusionary politics of asylum.

Project 3: Challenging racialised borders and boundaries in British Secondary Schools

Supervisors: Professor Kate Reed (Sheffield Methods Institute and Department of Sociological Studies) and Dr. Nadena Doharty (School of Education).

This project will explore the impact of racism and its effects on Black British and African migrant pupils in British secondary schools. By combining the fields of education, health, ethnic and racial studies and migration, the project will explore the existence and effects of these subtle forms of racism on Black students’ mental health and wellbeing.

Entry Criteria:

Applicants are expected to have a strong first degree (2.1 or a first class honours) ideally in a relevant social science subject. Candidates applying with a Masters Degree must have obtained at least a Merit (or equivalent). For those candidates for whom English is not their first language or who do not possess a degree from an educational institution using the English language for instruction, there are minimum English language requirements of an IELTS average of 6.5 or above (with not less than 6.0 in any component).

Application process:

Applications should be made through the University of Sheffield Postgraduate Online Application Form and should be made to the named department for the relevant CDT, as outlined above.

As part of the application, applicants should upload the following additional information:

  • A one-page personal statement explaining how their skills, experiences, interests and career plans make them a suitable candidate for the studentship
  • A 500 word statement explaining why you think this research is important. Please cite the title of this studentship in your application.

Please email enquiries to: scs-pgr@sheffield.ac.uk

The deadline for this opportunity is the 4th June.

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