ESRC Centre for Care: PhD Studentship: Bordering Care in Neo-liberal Migration Regimes


The deadline for this opportunity has now passed.

The ESRC Centre for Care is a new research centre established following a highly competitive process run by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). The Centre is led by investigators in five universities, three major charities and the Office for National Statistics, and will work in close partnership with a large network of partners and leading international research teams, co-producing its research with people who need care, carers, care workers and others.

The PhD will focus on ways in which migration policies shape families’ capacities to care across international borders. It addresses questions around how care is re-imagined and re-constructed by transnational families in the context of bordering regimes, the strategies families develop to navigate policy constraints and the outcomes of such constraints, including any particular racialised, classed, gendered and aged inflections. Situated within the Centre for Care’s Care Trajectories and Constraints Research Group, which has a particular focus on Borders and Care, the PhD will be multi-sited and mixed-methods, including for example, critical policy analysis and participatory / arts-based methods. Focusing on experiences of UK and non-UK citizens with family members overseas, the precise countries / migrant groups will be negotiated between the successful candidate and the supervisory team.

The successful student will be supervised by Professor Majella Kilkey and Dr Julie Walsh. Interested candidates should in the first instance contact Professor Majella Kilkey (

You can find more information here

The studentship covers:

  • Full tuition fees at the Home rate (minimum £4,500 per year)
  • Annual maintenance grant for 3.5 years, at the standard RCUK rate (minimum £15,609 per year for your living costs, paid in regular instalments), pro rata for a part-time student
  • Research and Training Support Grant worth £750 per year.

The studentship is offered as a 3.5 year award (commencing September 2022), on a full-time or part-time basis.


Applications can be made through the University of Sheffield Postgraduate Application System, and select CFC003 as the programme for which you are applying. Your scholarship application will not be considered if you do not apply for admission. To apply for admission please click here. The scholarship application is a section on the admissions system which can be completed at any point. We recommend, applicants submit their application to study with us as soon as possible to allow time to process it and resolve any queries in advance of the funding deadline. 

Your application should include:

  • 1,000 - 2,000-word research proposal
  • Supporting statement / cover letter
  • Transcripts (previous qualifications)
  • Two academic references
  • CV
  • Example of your written work 

 Applicants are expected to have a strong first degree (2:1) in a relevant social science or public health discipline, and a Masters degree in a social sciences discipline with full social sciences research methods training and demonstrable experience using qualitative methods (or equivalent professional training). The Centre for Care is pleased to invite international applicants, however applicants are advised that funding for international applicants is available for only one of the four Centre for Care studentships. Applicants for whom English is not their first language or applicants 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), or equivalent.

The deadline for applications is 3 May 2022.

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