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PhD in Geography and Planning: Agents of change in old-industrial regions

This funding opportunity has expired.

Key facts

Application deadline 19 December 2018
Start date January 2019
Duration 3 years
Level of study Postgraduate research
Award type PhD studentship
Number of studentships One

The successful candidate will join an international research project titled Agents of Change in Old-industrial Regions in Europe funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.

The main ambition of Agents of Change is to investigate how old-industrial regions located outside major agglomerations in Europe can deal with the unfavourable structural conditions and trends and can create a new development path leading to prosperity and well-being, contributing to social cohesion and stability of Europe as a whole. The aim of this project is three-fold:

  • to develop a better understanding of the emergence of new development paths in old industrial regions and the implications for social and spatial development
  • to strengthen academic collaboration among scholars in EU countries and to facilitate knowledge exchange between academia and policy circles
  • utilising the results of international comparison and knowledge exchange, to develop policy recommendations for discovering new development paths for Europe’s old industrial regions in various socio-spatial, historical, and cultural contexts.

Aims and methods

  • To work on two selected national cases, including data collection through different techniques (e.g. interviews with key actors), data analysis, and presentation of the results. Individual projects will contribute to the overall aims and the scientific output of the joint research project
  • To take a share of responsibility in the preparation of project workshops, conferences, and outreach activities and to participate in project events according to the schedule
  • To contribute to project dissemination activities through academic and policy publications and conference presentations.

The specific aspects of Cardiff-based PhD are as follows:

  • Research on 2 UK-based cases (to be selected)
  • Analysis of the local conditions, and reflection on how those facilitate or inhibit the work of agents of change
  • Selection of research techniques within the overall qualitative methodology
  • Comparisons between the two UK cases and reflecting on what is general and specific about them from the European perspective
  • Specific work package allocated to the UK team.


Funding details

Tuition fee support Full UK/EU tuition fees
Maintenance stipend 3 years stipend at £15,135 plus £4363 fees (international applicants need to cover the difference between home and overseas fees).

Eligibility criteria

Residency Open to all students of any nationality without restrictions (UK/EU and International)
Academic criteria

Essential requirements:

  • Min 2:1 for undergraduate degree and Masters. Relevant subject areas: economic geography, urban and regional studies, political sciences, social sciences or related disciplines
  • Familiarity with the current debates in European cohesion, spatial policy, urban and regional development
  • Experience in qualitative research methods
  • Good communication skills.

Desirable requirements:

  • Familiarity with debates about old industrial regions
  • Familiarity with debates about devolution in the UK
  • Experience in designing and conducting semi-structures interviews.

Consideration is automatic on applying for admission to the Doctor of Philosophy in Geography and Planning with a start date of January 2019.

Please select 'I will be applying for a scholarship/grant'' when asked whether you are self-funding your research. Please quote 'PhD in Geography and Planning: Agents of change in old-industrial regions' when asked 'Please provide the name of the funding you are applying for'.

Please include your CV and 1 page personal statement with your application.

We reserve the right to close applications early should sufficient applications be received.

Eligible research programmes