Postgraduate Research Opportunity

ESRC Studentship: Local Immigrant Integration

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Title: Local immigration integration

Funding: The studentship award covers your University of Essex fees and provides you with a stipend of £18,285 per year.

Application deadline: 18 January 2021

Start date: 1 October 2021

Based in: Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER)


The consequences of immigration for British society has become a central point of political controversy and scholarly interest. As evidenced by the recent reviews and consultations commissioned by the government, there is a high level of concern about the perceived lack of social mixing, residential isolation, and counterproductive cultural practices of immigrants and their descendants, as well as more general ethnic disparities and inequalities. Yet despite the fact that most quantitative research on this topic is conducted at the national level, much of the policy and practice of integration operates at the level of individual neighbourhoods, schools and communities.

We are advertising a PhD studentship for research which aims to understand community level variation in immigrant integration by exploiting immigrant oversamples or boosts, and the new availability of administrative data sources, which enable quantitative analysis of immigrant integration at the subnational level. This doctoral researcher will study immigrant integration among the foreign-born and/or the second and subsequent generations, examining community as well as individual- and family-level determinants of integration. Example pathways/questions might be the role of local and school characteristics on inter-ethnic friendship formation, developing a typology of localities based on the intergenerational transmission patterns within immigrant families, or examining how local variation in minority political representation influences the development of political interest and alignment among the foreign born and their children.


  • This studentship is offered as either a 1+3 (Masters plus three-year PhD) or a +3 award (PhD only) in economics, based in our Institute for Social and Economics Research (ISER), for both international and home/EU students.
  • It may be taken full-time or part-time.


  • The studentship award covers your University of Essex fees and provides you with a stipend of £18,285 per year.
  • You will also be able to apply for small amounts of additional funding via the Research Training Support Grant.

Eligibility criteria

Residential criteria

UKRI has recently announced that it is changing its residential eligibility rules. Now, regardless of whether you are a "home" applicant or an "international" applicant, you can apply for a studentship.

To be classed as a home student, you must meet the following criteria:

  • be a UK national (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have settled status, or
  • have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or
  • have indefinite leave to remain or enter

If you do not meet the criteria above, you are classed as an international student.

Academic eligibility

For Masters and PhD funding (1+3, or +4 award structures): qualifications or experience equal to a first (1) or upper second (2.1) class honours degree, or an equivalent combination of qualifications and/or experience are required.

For PhD (+3) funding: qualifications or experience equal to a Masters degree with distinction or merit, or an equivalent combination of qualifications and/or experience are required. Your Masters degree must be in a relevant discipline, and include significant research methods training.

How to apply 

Get in touch with the lead supervisor Dr Renee Reichl Luthra, who will advise you on the entry requirement and the application process for this studentship.

Application deadlines

  • Deadline to contact potential supervisor: 4 January 2021
  • Deadline to apply for PhD place: 18 January 2021
  • Deadline for interview (if any): 15 February 2021
  • Deadline to accept or decline offer: 1 March 2021

Start date 

You will be expected to start on or about 1 October 2021.