PhD scholarship will help understand widening participation in higher education

  • Date

    Tue 15 Mar 22

Profile pictures of academics and SU representatives

The University of Essex has launched a new PhD scholarship as part of its work to breakdown barriers within higher education for black researchers.

The PhD Scholarship in Widening Participation in Postgraduate Study includes a full fee waiver for three years of standard PhD study, a living stipend, and funding to cover the cost of advanced skills training through the University’s Proficio programme. 

The deadline for applications is 16 May 2022 and all information is available on the scholarships section of our website.

The initiative is part of the “Transitions and Transformations: Black Researcher’s Journey” project at Essex, funded by Research England, the Office for Students and the University. The successful candidate will  serve on the project’s Strategy Board and they will also be eligible for an additional paid research placement with project partner Vitae, subject to successful interview. 

Dean of Postgraduate Research and Education. Professor Sanja Bahun, said: “We’re really proud to be announcing this PhD Scholarship which will support our work to boost postgraduate research access, participation, and good outcomes for Black students in the UK through a set of environment-changing interventions.

”The successful candidate will benefit from an opportunity to collaborate with other higher education institutes alongside Research England and the Office for Students as part of their programme to improve Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic access and participation in postgraduate research study.”

Applications can be made across a number of departments including the Institute for Social and Economic Research, Department of Government, Department of Mathematical Sciences, Department of Psychology, Department of Sociology, Essex Business School, School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering, School of Health and Social Care, School of Law, School of Life Sciences and School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences. 

More about Transitions and Transformations: Black Researcher’s Journey

Research England – part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) - and the Office for Students are investing nearly £8m in 13 projects across England to tackle persistent inequalities that create barriers for Black, Asian and minority ethnic students to access and take part in postgraduate research.

Delivered over the next four years, the projects will improve access into research, enhance the UK’s research culture and improve the educational experience for Black, Asian and minority ethnic postgraduate research students, while diversifying and enhancing routes into a range of careers. The Essex project, 'Transitions and Transformations: Black Researcher’s Journey', was one of those selected for this competitive funding and will specifically address the challenges and barriers faced by Black students.

Match funding has been provided by the University of Essex and contributions from external partners – bringing the total investment in this transformative initiative close to £1m.

The aim of 'Transitions and Transformations: Black Researcher’s Journey' is to create a bold ambitious model – including a digital platform, training for students and staff, funding, mentoring, career and professional development opportunities – which university leaders will be able to put in place at their institutions around the world. The project will also fully evaluate the impact of actions taken.

Key partners include leading researcher development expert Vitae, graduate-level talent data specialist Gradintelligence, Leading Routes – the pioneering initiative strengthening the academic pipeline for Black students, Diverse Minds – which promotes mental health and wellbeing in the workplace, and The Brilliant Club - .which works with less advantaged students to access and succeed at university. HM Government’s Open Innovation Team, which deepens collaboration between government officials and academics, has also been closely involved.