Criminology: ESRC Wales DTP PhD Collaborative Studentship 2020 at Swansea University

  • Phd
  • Full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a stipend
  • 3 February 2020

Swansea University, supported by the ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership for Wales (Wales DTP), invites applications for funded PhD study, available to start in October 2020. The following collaborative studentship is available in the Criminology pathway of the Wales DTP:
‘Gender in the Online Far Right: Mapping Transnational Linkages and Fractures’ in collaboration with the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI).
Both academic research and policy have historically neglected the role of gender in extremism and terrorism. Yet this situation is changing. There are growing calls for more work exploring not just the role of women in extreme movements, but of masculinities and femininities. Following recent far right attacks utilising social media, such as that in Christchurch, New Zealand, there is a fresh impetus for research. In particular, authors point to the importance of regressive gender politics in the constitution of far right ideologies of identitarians, incels and others. Yet far right movements also attract women, including as leaders. As new movements mobilise against communities including migrants, Muslims, feminists, and LGBQT people in the online space, there are significant gaps in knowledge. In particular, the digital age has enabled the global transmission of gendered far-right practices and narratives, and the far-right is increasingly designated a ‘transnational’ movement. Yet, there is little work which identifies, maps and details the specific gendered ways in which ideas, actions and actors online ‘cross borders’.
This project addresses this gap. Its aim is twofold: to analyse online English language textual data and to map far right social media networks, in order to identify the precise means by which far right narratives and actions spread transnationally. Platforms to be studied include YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. From a starting point of key influencers with a known transnational following, such as Colin Robertson (aka “Millennial Woes”), the work will identify further key individuals, contemporary groups and movements, and the nodes through which transnational networks connect. The student will use tools including GEPHI and PYTHON to identify the (mainstream) discourses intersecting with far right movements and ask, how does gender politics within the far right intersect with local political institutions? Which narratives are shared, and in which directions? During this mapping phase, textual data will be gathered for discourse analysis. The research therefore emphasizes the ways in which online extremism is embedded in, and not distinct from wider social norms.
The student will undertake this study of contemporary online far right movements drawing on existing literatures on online, the far right, and gender. It is expected that the resulting research will contribute to a deeper understanding of the contours of the online far right, and the intricacies of gender within them. It will also inform government policy on counter-narratives, and social media companies’ efforts to combat extremism on their platforms.
Swansea University
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Swansea University

Swansea, is a coastal city and county, officially known as the City and County of Swansea in Wales.

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Residential eligibility:
Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open to UK Nationals and EU students who can satisfy UK residency requirements. You must:
  • be ordinarily resident in the UK, meaning there are no restrictions on how long you can stay, and
  • have been 'ordinarily resident' in the UK for at least three years prior to the start of the studentship grant. This means you must have been normally residing in the UK (apart from temporary or occasional absences), and
  • not have been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. (This does not apply to UK nationals and EU nationals who were ordinarily resident in the EU immediately before the period of full-time education).

Due to funding restrictions, these scholarships are not open to international candidates.
Academic eligibility:
ESRC studentships are highly competitive. Candidates should have an excellent background in the social sciences, holding a 1st or upper 2nd class degree; applications from those also holding a relevant research training Master's degree (or an equivalent background in research training) will be considered for a ‘+3’ award.
Full-time ESRC studentship award holders cannot hold either a full-time job, or a permanent part-time job, during the period of their award. Part-time ESRC studentship award holders cannot hold a full-time job.


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The studentship provides the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend. There will be additional funds available for research expenses.

Studentship awards commence in October 2020 and will cover your tuition fees as well as a maintenance grant (currently ÂŁ15,009 per annum for 2019/20 for full-time students, updated each year) and includes access to an additional Research Training Support Grant (RTSG). There are other opportunities and benefits available to studentship holders, including an overseas fieldwork allowance (if applicable), internship opportunities, oversea institutional visits and other small grants.

A ‘1+3’ studentship provides funding for four years (or part-time equivalent), completing a research training Master's in the 1st year, followed by 3 years research funding for a PhD. A ‘+3’ studentship provides funding for the three years PhD research study only (or part-time equivalent).


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