If you are interested in pursuing your academic career in human rights, there are Universities that offer a variety of funding and financial assistance opportunities for prospective PhD students. Fully funded opportunities are allocated through an university or external funds. Depending on the program, scholarships cover full tuition costs, living expenses and monthly stipends. The following is an overview of 5 fully-funded PhDs in human rights.
International Joint PhD Programme “Human Rights, Society, and Multi-level Governance”
“Human Rights Society and Multi-level governance” is a three-year doctoral joint academic program with interdisciplinary approach. It is coordinated by University of Padova in Italy in partnership with Universities in Australia, Croatia and Cyprus. The goal of this doctorate program is to form researchers with multi-interdisciplinary profile. Thus, during the programme students will have an opportunity to implement various legal, political, social, philosophical and economic approaches and methodologies in the area of human rights.
While students carry out their research and attend courses at the University of first enrolment, they need to spend at least one semester at one of the partner Universities. During that time, they will be supervised by their mentor from the home University and co-mentor from host University, if the student desires to choose co-mentorship. Additionally, students will be required to do internships at both universities.
When applying, students need to send a research proposal together with other needed documents. If approved by the Academic board, the student will be admitted and then undertake his/her research during the next three years. The program includes teaching, courses (mandatory and free of choice), research and training within the area of human rights studies.
The call for admission to this PhD programme for the academic year 2020/2021 is now open! The deadline for submission of application is June 16th 2020 by 1 pm Italian time. The first preselection meeting of the Evaluating Commission will be held on 6th July 2020 and by the 8th of July the Commission will publish the results of the of evaluation qualifications on the following website. In order to be admitted to the examination, the candidate must get a score of at least 7/10 in the preselection.
More information regarding the fees and scholarships can be found on the University of Padova website. Generally, students can apply for full-tuition funding through their home university, while other types of funding are available as well at the Western Sydney University in Australia, Zagreb University Faculty of Law in Croatia, Panteion University – Athens in Greece and University of Nicosia in Cyprus.
PhD in Security, Conflict and Human Rights – University of Bristol
This program is one of the five South West Doctoral Training Partnership interdisciplinary programs, provided in partnership with the Universities of Bath and Exeter. The PhD in Security, Conflict and Human Rights aims at delivering traditional approaches of the security and conflict discourse, together with interdisciplinary perspectives on protection of human rights. Therefore, students are required to articulate clearly their proposed research which must be interdisciplinary in nature.
This PhD program equips researchers and responds directly to challenges. As the focus is put on interdisciplinary, students are required within their proposal to clearly and substantively articulate how and in what ways the proposed research is interdisciplinary in nature. The offer of a place to the program depends on the availability of co-supervision from two staff members from different disciplines, in relation to the student’s proposal. Students are required to identify this in the ‘proposed supervisor’ section of their application.
When it comes to the funding and fees, the Faculty of Social Sciences and Law allocates 1+3 and +3 ESRC scholarships, while students can also apply for other types of funding from the University of Bristol scholarship fund or alumni PhD scholarship fund. Funding is quite competitive and it is available for exceptional research proposals. The tuition fee is $20,152 per year for international students and $5,441 for EU or EEA citizens. However, University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition feels for postgraduate study. The application deadline is not fixed for students who wish to apply as self-funded, while the closing date for ESRC scholarships is usually open until the end of January.
The PhD in Security, Conflict and Human rights equips students for a number of different careers. During the years, the students got employment in areas of academia, international security, development and conflict issues, and they have worked as policy researchers, consultants, policy civil servants or the military.
Human Rights PhD – University of Sussex
This PhD program in Human rights goes beyond a narrow legalistic approach. Admitted students are supposed to work under the supervision of faculty experts, while focusing on human rights area in the fields of poverty, violence, identity, globalization, the emergence of global forms of governance etc. Duration of this PhD program is 4 years if enrolled full time or 6 years if enrolled part time. Students may also choose when they want to start – in September, January or May.
In order to apply, prospective students need to write an outline research proposal four to five pages long, stating the nature, ambition, research questions and the methodology of a research proposal. On the website of the University instructions on how to write a research proposal can be found.
Students can choose to study for a PhD or an MPhil. These degrees are different in duration and in the extent of research work. The PhD requires research work that will make a substantial original contribution to knowledge or understanding in a chosen field, whereas for an MPhil, student’s work is considered to be an independent piece of research but in less depth compared to PhD. Students graduate with the degree title Master of Philosophy and are able to change to a PhD while studying for an MPhil.
University of Sussex offers various types of scholarships and interested students should check application deadlines for funding opportunities.
PhD in Human Rights and Global Politics – Scuola Superiore Sant’ Anna
PhD in Human Rights and Global Politics is considered to be strongly interdisciplinary, aiming at providing the knowledge which will enable students to carry out systematic academic research and make them professionals in the field of human rights. After three-year’s program, doctoral students can undertake career within international, national and regional entities, both in private and public sectors. When writing an application, prospective students need to indicate main and complementary research area, choosing between Political Philosophy, Public International Law, Agri-food and Agri-environmental Law and Political Economy. They are strongly advised to explore the website pages of these faculties and research profiles of faculty members and prospective supervisors.
Deadline for application to this PhD program is 4th June 2020 by 12:00 Rome time. The number of positions eligible for scholarships is four and amongst four scholarships available, two are reserved for students with an academic title earned from a non-Italian University. Application requires research proposal written by following specified guidelines. If admitted, doctoral students will carry out the research during the next three years.
There are no positions opened for self-funded students. Admitted students will receive monthly stipend and all fees covered. The Program accepts application from all over the world, while one or more places are usually reserved for students residing outside European Union. For further information about application process, fees and funding visit the official website.
PhD in Human Rights – Centre for Applied Human Rights – University of York
The University of York offers full funded PhD program in Human rights within its Centre for Applied Human Rights. The Centre undertakes researches on various topics – human rights defenders, human rights practice, human rights and development, legal empowerment, refugee law and policy, responsibility to protect, transitional justice etc. PhD program is supported by the Department of Politics and York Law School and inter-departmental Development and Conflict Working Group and York Law School’s Socio-Legal Research group as well. Besides regular courses, Centre often organizes lectures, workshops and conferences on the topic of human rights issues.
Interested students are invited to make online application, choosing the option of “PhD in Politics” or the “PhD in Law”, depending on their preferences. Potential supervisor should also be stated during the application. Finally, draft dissertation proposal should be submitted following the template provided on the website.
There are different funding opportunities for students who have been accepted into the program. Both University of York and external funders offer financial assistance. There are also part-time employment opportunities as tutors or lecturers. Potential scholarship opportunities and other forms of assistance are discusses with students who have been admitted. Nevertheless, students should keep in mind that many scholarships have early application deadlines.
During past few years, the Centre has successfully nominated and advocated on behalf of prospective students for an awarded and ESRC scholarship funding. In the case of UK students, this funding covers tuition and provides a basic stipend. For international students, this funding is limited and usually covers a certain percentage of tuition. Nevertheless, students seeking funding should apply early in the academic year since ESRC funding decisions are by April. Therefore, to be considered for funding, students should submit their applications by the end of January.