Postgraduate research funding

The following funded projects are currently accepting applications. Please refer to each project's adverts for full details and application processes.

CoSS PhD Scholarship - Sexualities and Genders Beyond Heterosexuality in India and Bangladesh: Contestations Between Decoloniality and Digital Cultures

CoSS PhD Scholarship - Sexualities and Genders Beyond Heterosexuality in India and Bangladesh: Contestations Between Decoloniality and Digital Cultures

Project details

This project will analyse sexualities and genders beyond heterosexuality in India and Bangladesh and will be an original study on these themes globally through focusing on both decoloniality and digital cultures. 

The research question is: ‘How is collective action supporting sexualities and genders beyond heterosexuality in connected contexts of India and Bangladesh, in relation to both decoloniality and digital cultures?’  Whereas the British Empire regulated gender diversity and criminalised same-sex sexual acts in South Asia, with only India having subsequently decriminalised in 2018, queer Asia studies are dynamically exploring the implications of subaltern studies, postcolonial studies and decolonizing perspectives.  However, there is a need to deepen analysis of collective action by those outside heterosexual norms of sexuality and gender, in specific contexts. This study will fill gaps in global and regional research by innovatively using transnational methodology to examine collective action processes in and between India and Bangladesh, analysing cross-border movements of social actors, discourses and resources in relation to wider socio-cultural environments.  While globally sexualities and gender research has growing bodies of literature on both decolonizing analysis and digital cultures growing through the internet, this study will bring these two themes together for the first time.  Moreover, it will do so through particular attention to language and translation, through discourse analysis methodology, to consider how the English language works as a medium for colonialities and how South Asian languages provide varying contexts for concerns of queer politics.  This interdisciplinary project will thus draw on both social sciences (especially sociology) and the arts and humanities (especially cultural and communication studies). Data will be collected online through digital ethnography as well as through interviews, with a methodological focus on language, discourse and translation.  Knowledge exchange and impact plans will enable feed back to communities in relevant languages.  Centring South-South relations, the study innovatively explores Indian actors’ power and influence in relation to Bangladesh within the region.

Analysis of the discursive contexts for collective action, including digital spaces, is needed to understand rising sexual and gender minority movements in relation to wider contexts including governance, cultural histories and opposing religious nationalisms.  The relationally connected contexts of India and Bangladesh are especially salient given shared history through colonialism, partition and shared linguistic and cultural heritage; and the flow of migration has become a serious bilateral issue. This interdisciplinary project innovatively contributes to global gender and sexuality research, especially queer Asia scholarship, by engaging the political sociology of collective action with decolonizing analysis while simultaneously examining digital cultures.  It will answer diagnoses of ‘intra-regional effacements’ through Indian predominance in South Asian queer studies, by addressing power relations between (and within) India and Bangladesh. The project will draw on both international political sociology and social movement studies (as in the research of first supervisor Dr Matthew Waites) and research on digital cultures in South Asia (as in research of second supervisor Dr Rohit Dasgupta, including the book Digital Queer Cultures in India, 2017).

The researcher will focus on selected contexts in India and Bangladesh, and transnational contexts connecting them. The study will involve identifying sexual and gender minority groups in specific spaces (physical or virtual), such as in particular cities or regions, communicating while organizing collective action. The project will involve working with and analysis of selected organisations in the region, some of which use public or private online spaces. Digital ethnography practice takes as its starting point that digital media and technologies are part of the everyday that people inhabit.  Methods of data-collection will seek data showing interpretation practices that draw relationships between languages, from existing texts (eg social media data) and/or oral data (interviews), for discourse analysis. The project will require at least 50% of data-collection from digital environments, with a reserve plan to collect all data online if necessary due to COVID-19. Digital environments may include social media, websites, internet chatrooms or email lists. The research will require formal ethical approval at the University of Glasgow, and careful ethical negotiation of informed consent and participation from relevant organisations with careful attention to issues of confidentiality, anonymity and data protection at all stages, as a priority. Training on information security and data protection will be provided to the researcher prior to data-collection. Researcher safety will be the primary consideration in relation to both countries throughout the study. Language skills of applicants for the scholarship will be assessed when appointing, with knowledge of at least one relevant language in South Asia (preferably Bengali and Hindi) plus English as essential criteria, and further relevant languages desirable.

This project will have a substantial value for both researchers and relevant communities and movements, in India and Bangladesh, but also in global research on sexualities, genders and digital inequalities. The design involves research with relevant sexual and gender minority groups, organizations and individuals involved in collective action, so there can be processes of mutual engagement and knowledge exchange throughout, especially when–with ethical approval—data-collection commences.  The research will be incorporating many understandings from postcolonial and decolonizing perspectives, and this will inform the strategies of knowledge exchange and outputs for impact.  In addition to the PhD itself, the project will produce a short report that can be published and shared online, designed to be accessible for a range of users. The researcher will also produce a video of an oral presentation to work in conjunction with the written report, to be published by University of Glasgow (possibly via Youtube) and shared via online routes. The researcher will share these outputs (especially via digital forums) to relevant communities including and beyond those participating, thus reaching new groups especially in South Asia; above all supporting sexual and gender minorities (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, hijra, kothi, men who have sex with men (MSM) and others).  Meanwhile in academia the research will make a unique contribution relevant in a range of literatures, potentially including: gender and sexuality studies (especially queer studies), South Asia area studies, postcolonial and decolonial studies, sociology (especially political sociology), cultural studies, media and communication studies.   

About the School/Research Group

The PhD project will be based in Sociology (with first supervisor Dr. Matthew Waites) within the School of Social and Political Sciences, in the College of Social Sciences.  The School of Social and Political Sciences offers a dynamic research environment with a strong international profile and over 100 academic and research staff. The School combines five subject groups including Sociology.  In the REF 2014 assessment of research in the UK, over 80% of the School’s research performance was assessed in the top two categories of 4* ‘world-leading’ or 3* ‘internationally excellent’. Sociology is a broad subject group, including a number of anthropologists, producing excellent research on a wide range of themes (https://www.gla.ac.uk/subjects/sociology/).    

The project is conceived as interdisciplinary and the student will also access training and networks from the School of Cultural and Creative Arts (with second supervisor Dr Rohit Dasgupta), in the College of Arts.

Relevant university networks for the researcher to engage with may include: Glasgow Centre for International Development (GCID); Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMNet); Glasgow Human Rights Network (GHRN); Gender-based Violence Research Forum (GBVRF); Glasgow Social and Digital Change Group (GSDCG).  

The research will be able to access advanced training through the Scottish Graduate School of Social Science (SGSSS), and through the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH).  

Eligibility

Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria

  • A good Master's degree (or oveseas equivlalent), with a siginificant component in a social science or relevant humanities discipline.
  • A demonstratable knowledge of at least on of: sexuality and/or gender; decolonizing or postcolonial approaches; digital cultures; society and culture in Bangladesh and/or India
  • A foundational understanding of social science research methods
  • Evidence of language skills in English (to University of Glasgow entry requirements), plus ability in Bangali as one regionally relevant language for research in India and Bangladesh contexts, with a further regionally relevant language (eg. Sylheti, Urdu, Hindi) desirable to enable comparison.

Award details

The scholarship is available as a +3 (3 year PhD) only. The programme will commence in October 2021. The CoSS PhD Scholarship package includes:

  • An annual maintenance grant (stipend) indexed to the RCUK rate
  • Fee waiver at the standard Home or International rate
  • Recipients can also draw on a Research Training Support Grant (RTSG)

Other information

Applicants should use the Personal Statement section of the PhD Funding Application Form to outline, in as much detail as possible, how they would research contexts in Bangladesh and India—for example giving names of organizations or websites proposed for study and specifying relevant languages and research methods.

How to apply

All applicants should complete and collate the following documentation, and then attach to a single email and send to socsci-scholarships@glasgow.ac.uk with the subject line 'CoSS PhD Scholarship - Sexualities and Genders Beyond Heterosexuality in India and Bangladesh'

  • College of Social Sciences funding application cover sheet
  • CoSS PhD Funding Application Form (Your Personal Statement in this form should outline in as much detail as possible how you would research contexts in Bangladesh and India - for example give names of organizations or websites proposed for study and specify relevant langauges and research methods.)
  • Academic transcript(s): for all completed or soon to be completed higher/tertiary education (for currently enrolled degrees, this should show enrolment and any grades obtained to date) and an accredited translation if not in English - scanned copy in colour of the original document/s
  • Degree Certificate(s) for all completed higher/tertiary education and an accredited translation if not in English - scanned copy in colour of the original document/s
  • References: 2 references on letterheaded documents – one must be academic the other can be academic or professional. if required, these can be sent from your referees directly to socsci-scholarships@glasgow.ac.uk, with your full name and the scholarship you are applying for as the subject
  • Curiculum Vitae (CV)

Applicants lodge their application via email: socsci-scholarships@glasgow.ac.uk

Closing Date: 30 April 2021

Selection process

Applications will be assessed by a selection panel and shortlisted applicants may be asked to attend a remote interview.

All scholarship awards are subject to candidates successfully securing admission to a PhD programme within the School of Social and Political Sciences. Successful scholarship applicants will be invited to apply for admission to the relevant PhD programme after they are selected for funding.

Contact details

Dr Matthew Waites (Matthew.Waites@glasgow.ac.uk)


CoSS PhD Scholarship - Strengthening drought resilience through a Big Data-based drought prediction system for the Mekong Delta Region in Viet Nam

CoSS PhD Scholarship - Strengthening drought resilience through a Big Data-based drought prediction system for the Mekong Delta Region in Viet Nam

Project details

In the Mekong river basin, drought has been a prevalent concern for farmers over the last decades, especially for the Mekong Delta Region (MDR) that is the most productive region in terms of agriculture and aquaculture in Viet Nam. In this tidal delta, low river water levels during droughts allow seawater to intrude inland, ruining vast swathes of cropland and generating considerable damage to the entire ecosystem and the livelihoods of communities. Therefore, improving drought prediction in the MDR is vital to support increased preparedness and resilience to droughts and to inform decision-makers on optimal drought management and mitigation strategies.

Droughts can be monitored effectively using climatic drought indices. But there is limited capability to use these indices due to sparse observation networks in the MDR. With the advent of advanced remote sensing techniques, a range of Big Data sources have been recognized as useful tools for large-scale area monitoring. In the PhD project, a Big Data-based Drought Prediction System will be developed that relies on satellite data to force multiple land surface models. The proposed prediction system will be used by the Vietnamese government, local authorities, businesses and local communities, which would contribute to various sustainable development goals and targets and in particular societal well-being, environmental sustainability, and economic growth in Viet Nam.

The project will be co-supervised by Dr John Xiaogang Shi and Professor Fabrice Renaud. Dr Shi’s research work has been focused on the analysis and modeling of hydrometeorological hazards (e.g. floods and droughts) and hydrological forecasting in the context of climate and environmental change by using satellite data sources, reanalysis products and in situ observations, as well as model outputs. He has developed a new agricultural drought index, which can provide soil moisture and other hydrologic variables using observation-forced model simulations of the terrestrial hydrologic cycle. Professor Renaud has extensive experience in environmental risk and community resilience and will supervise drought risk assessment and drought resilience. He has been working in Viet Nam and in the Mekong delta in particular continuously since 2006. The supervisory team will provide the successful candidate with high quality scientific training.  

About the School/Research Group

The successful candidate will be based at the University of Glasgow’s School of Interdisciplinary Studies in Dumfries, Scotland. This rural campus in south Scotland is home to a multidisciplinary team of lecturers and researchers. The PhD research will be carried out within the Environmental Science and Sustainability Group.

Eligibility

Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria

  • First-class or 2.1 Bachelor's degree, or Master’s degree (or overseas equivalent), preferably with a background of hydrology, atmospheric science, engineering or environmental science.
  • Demonstrate an interest in hydrologic modelling and/or remote sensing. Proficiency with appropriate modelling tools is essential.
  • Have strong numerical and analytical skills, and/or relevant programming experience.

Award details

The scholarship is available as a +3 (3 year PhD) only. The programme will commence in October 2021. The CoSS PhD Scholarship package includes:

  • An annual maintenance grant (stipend) indexed to the RCUK rate
  • Fee waiver at the standard Home or International rate
  • Recipients can also draw on a Research Training Support Grant (RTSG)

How to apply

All applicants should complete and collate the following documentation, and then attach to a single email and send to socsci-scholarships@glasgow.ac.uk with the subject line 'CoSS PhD Scholarship - Strengthening drought resilience through a Big Data-based drought prediction system for the Mekong Delta Region in Viet Nam'

  • College of Social Sciences funding application cover sheet
  • CoSS PhD Funding Application Form
  • Academic transcript(s): for all completed or soon to be completed higher/tertiary education (for currently enrolled degrees, this should show enrolment and any grades obtained to date) and an accredited translation if not in English - scanned copy in colour of the original document/s
  • Degree Certificate(s) for all completed higher/tertiary education and an accredited translation if not in English - scanned copy in colour of the original document/s
  • References: 2 references on letterheaded documents – one must be academic the other can be academic or professional. if required, these can be sent from your referees directly to socsci-scholarships@glasgow.ac.uk, with your full name and the scholarship you are applying for as the subject
  • Curiculum Vitae (CV)

Applicants lodge their application via email: socsci-scholarships@glasgow.ac.uk

Closing Date: 30 April 2021

Selection process

Applications will be assessed by a selection panel and shortlisted applicants may be asked to attend a remote interview.

All scholarship awards are subject to candidates successfully securing admission to a PhD programme within the School of Interdisciplinary Studies. Successful scholarship applicants will be invited to apply for admission to the relevant PhD programme after they are selected for funding.

Contact details

Dr John Xiaogang Shi (John.Shi@glasgow.ac.uk)