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7 Fully-Funded PhD’s in Social Justice

We have compiled 7 fully-funded opportunities to obtain a PhD’s in Social Justice. The programs we compiled span from Australia, over UK to the US and Canada.

Arizona State University (USA) PhD in Justice Studies

This innovative interdisciplinary program is housed in the first-ever School of Social Transformation. The intersectional curriculum emphasizes social science research approaches, critical theory, community-engaged practices, and legal and economic foundations. In addition, students in this program can also apply to be concurrently enrolled in the law school, graduating with both a PhD and a JD. The diverse affiliated faculty have experience in law, public policy, economics, youth issues, criminal justice, environment, education, citizenship, gender, race, and human rights.

Funding details: All admitted graduate students will be fully-funded through fellowships and teaching and research assistantships. Funding includes tuition, health insurance, and a stipend.

University of Liverpool (UK) PhD in Sociology and Social Policy

If you’re looking for a social scientific focus to your PhD research, the University of Liverpool offers an approach that is grounded in empirical research and public policy. Housed within their School of Law and Social Justice, this program foregrounds issues of social justice in its qualitative and legal methodologies. It focuses on three broad areas of research: urban space and culture, crime and regulation, and critical social policy (including welfare, inequality, and social justice). In addition, the University of Liverpool maintains an active, cross-disciplinary research community that emphasizes collaboration.

Funding details: Some PhD students are offered full-funding through Graduate Teaching Assistantships, which includes all school fees and a living stipend. Outside funding is available through institutional research clusters at the University of Liverpool, internal scholarships, and the North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership.

University of Massachusetts, Boston (USA) PhD in Global Inclusion and Social Development

If you want to focus on global issues, this program centers on human rights and social justice as they intersect with global development, health and wellness, and economic policy. Students are trained in research and policy methods that will improve educational opportunity, community wellness, economic parity, and social opportunities for people across the globe regardless of race, gender, class, or sexual orientation. In addition to core classes, each student selects an additional concentration to further focus their research. Some options include human rights, transnational studies, and nonprofit management. The department also has a close relationship with the medical and public health fields and offers training in disability studies, gerontology, rehabilitation counseling, and vision studies.

Funding details: Research assistantships are offered on a competitive basis. UMass Boston also administers the Coverdell Fellows Program that offers partial scholarships to returning Peace Corps volunteers.

University of British Columbia (Canada) PhD in Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice

Part of UBC’s Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality and Social Justice, this interdisciplinary program provides a solid basis in feminist, intersectional, and de-colonial theory as well as qualitative research methodologies. The department also supports four focused research networks pulling students from across the university: Critical Racial and Anti-Colonial Studies, Ecologies of Social Difference/Social Justice, Indigenous Pedagogies, and Rethinking Responses and Responsibilities in River Regions. While many of their PhD students are engaged activists, the rigorous theoretical focus of this program makes it a good fit for those who are looking for careers as academic researchers, writers, and teachers.

Funding details: All students will be considered for UBC’s four-year doctoral fellowship, which includes tuition and living stipend. Scholarships, Teaching Assistantships, and Graduate Academic Assistantships are also available.

University of Toronto (Canada) PhD in Social Justice Education

This program provides rigorous scholarly training in both social justice and the field of education, producing scholars who understand how to bring social justice issues into the classroom. Using approaches from history, philosophy, sociology, and political science, student research explores the relationship of education to society and breaks down systemic barriers in education. The department supports two major research centers – Centre for Integrative Anti-Racism Studies and Centre for Media and Culture in Education – and is affiliated with other centers focusing on francophone education, urban schooling, women’s studies, comparative education, and transformative learning.

Funding details: The standard funding package includes tuition and a living stipend. Additional external funding, scholarships, and assistantships are also available.

Vanderbilt University (Tennessee, USA) PhD in Community Research and Action

If you’re looking for a PhD program that gives you the opportunity to work in either academia or public policy, this program may be a good fit. Students engage in active, community-based research that is oriented towards social justice philosophies. The Community Research and Action department grew out of a community psychology program and represents an interdisciplinary model that combines psychology, community development, organizational change, health policy, and social policy. Using both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies, students focus on multi-level problem solving, interdisciplinary perspectives, collaborative and transformative action, and a dynamic theory of social change.

Funding details: All entering students receive up to five years of funding, including tuition, stipend, and health insurance.

Australian Catholic University PhD in Social and Political Thought

Part of the university’s Institute for Social Justice, this program asks its students to read and think critically about justice, equality, freedom, democracy, and the public good. The program is interdisciplinary in nature and the faculty and students have backgrounds in a variety of disciplines, including philosophy, political science, sociology, anthropology, and gender studies. While theoretically rigorous, the department encourages students to combine their theoretical research with social justice action. They also the Sydney School for Critical Social Thought, a yearly 2-week-long symposium featuring public lectures, masterclasses, and discussions with leading academics and public intellectuals in the social justice community.

Funding details: While funding is not guaranteed, there are full scholarships (including living allowances and health coverage) available for domestic, international, and indigenous students.

About the author

Human Rights Careers

Human Rights Careers (HRC) aims to help human rights students, recent graduates and young professionals to pursue a career in the highly competitive field of human rights.

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