Introduction to Routledge/Round Table Commonwealth Studentship

The Ph.D. studentships provide support for research projects on Commonwealth related themes. The studentships are funded by The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs and the journal’s publisher, Routledge, in association with the ACU.

Two studentships are available each year, to the maximum value of GBP 5500 each. The first is open to registered Ph.D. students from UK universities, who are resident in the UK at the time of applying for the award, although not necessarily UK citizens.

The second is open to registered Ph.D. students from ACU member universities anywhere in the Commonwealth, and to Chevening and Commonwealth Scholarship alumni who are Ph.D. students at any Commonwealth university outside the UK, who wish to travel to a UK university for their period of research, before returning to complete their Ph.D. at their home university.

In 2019-20, one of the two studentships available supported a Ph.D. student to travel to the UK for their research. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020-21, this studentship will support the successful applicant to research their home country. If restrictions then permit, it may be possible to offer a travel research award again in 2021-22.

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Proposed research must either:

  1. Relate to the Commonwealth as a whole or any Commonwealth-wide institution or organization, or
  2. Have a strong Commonwealth comparative aspect, or
  3. Be of relevance to a Commonwealth country other than the UK.

For example, a research project comparing LGBT rights in South Africa and Uganda would be eligible, as would a project on the reform of colonial-era anti-LGBT legislation in India, but a project on the role of Stonewall in advocating for LGBT rights in the UK would not.

Applications are welcome from a broad range of disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, but preference may be given to disciplines usually covered by the Round Table journal, including (but not exclusively) politics, international relations, economics, international history, geography, law, development studies, and area studies.

Eligibility for Routledge/Round Table Commonwealth Studentship

The first studentship is open to registered Ph.D. students from UK universities, who are resident in the UK at the time of applying for the award, although not necessarily UK citizens.

The second is open to registered Ph.D. students from ACU member universities in Commonwealth counties other than the UK, and to Chevening and Commonwealth Scholarship alumni who are Ph.D. students at any Commonwealth university outside the UK.

Mentorship

As part of the studentship, applicants are required to identify and work with a mentor at an ACU member university in a Commonwealth country other than their own. This should be an expert in a subject linked to the applicant’s subject of research, who will be able to provide support and advice during the studentship. Before applying, applicants are encouraged to informally approach at least one potential mentor and, if their application is successful, will then be required to obtain a letter of support from their mentor to agree to the mentorship before their studentship is confirmed.

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The role of the mentor

The mentor will be expected to hold a minimum of two virtual meetings with the student during the period of the studentship. They will be expected to be in contact with the student by email to share their experiences in their relevant field, provide advice around publishing, events, and trends in their field, and to challenge and empower the student to consider new ways of thinking.

The mentor will also be expected to contribute to either the podcast or the article and will be paid an honorarium of GBP 500, payable at the end of the studentship. Mentors must read and abide by the mentor code of conduct guidelines.

How to apply for Routledge/Round Table Commonwealth Studentship?

Applications should be submitted via the online application form before the deadline.

As part of the application, applicants should submit:

  1. A Resume/CV
  2. A studentship plan, outlining:
  • The work you plan to carry out during the studentship, in non-technical language
  • The likely impact of your studentship work, and how it will advance knowledge in your field and contribute to a greater understanding of the Commonwealth
  • The planned outcomes and outputs of the studentship.

3. Letters of support from referees, one academic (preferably your Ph.D./DPhil supervisor) and one personal

4. An outline of the intended use of the funds

Post-studentship requirements for Routledge/Round Table Commonwealth Studentship

Successful applicants will be required to submit, no more than twelve months after the take-up of the award, an article of between 4000 and 6000 words based on their research, for consideration for publication in the Round Table journal. Successful applicants will also be required to make a podcast on their research, for publication on the journal’s website

Deadline to apply for Routledge/Round Table Commonwealth Studentship

The last date for submission of application is 31st July 2020

Announcement of selected applicants: September 2020

Take-up of awards: 1 November 2020 to July 2021