PhD Students

CISRUL is building a vigorous community of PhD students who work closely with the academic staff and play an important role in all our activities. PhD studies can often be a lonely experience and PhD student often find themselves working in splendid isolation; this is not the case at CISRUL, where we give great importance to including PhD students in our many events, both for their benefit and our own.

We offer our own interdisciplinary PhD programme in Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law. This is perfectly suited to students whose interests cross more than one discipline, and who are worried about being told that their PhD project does not fit with the strictures of a single discipline.

However, you are equally welcome to apply for CISRUL funding if you are interested in our topics but decide to enrol for a PhD in law, politics, anthropology, education, history, sociology, philosophy or theology. Several of our current PhD students are enrolled in these disciplines and are supervised (or co-supervised) by CISRUL members in that discipline.

During this 2015/16 academic year CISRUL has funded three new interdisciplinary 3-year PhD studentships that included fees and partial maintenance. Saerom Han and Domenico Carolei started their PhDs in October 2015, and recently we welcomed our third student, Aditya Mohanty to Aberdeen to begin his project. More about our CISRUL PhD candidates can be found under Current Projects.

Below is more information on Applying for a CISRUL Studentship.  We will be announcing PhD studentship opportunities and deadlines for commencement in the 2016/17 academic year shortly. 

New CISRUL Studentship Opportunites and Deadlines will be announced shortly for commencement in the 2016/17 academic year. 

Our CISRUL studentships will include full UK/Europe fees and partial maintenance. Overseas students are welcome to apply and would receive the same partial maintenance, but it's possible they may need to pay the difference between UK/Europe and overseas fees (the difference is around GBP7100 per year).

Note that applicants must hold or be close to completing a postgraduate Masters degree in a relevant field.

Our criteria for selection will be:

1. Quality of application

2. Closeness of fit to CISRUL's ongoing debates (see our main site for details)

3. Closeness of fit to one or more of our PhD supervisors (see our main site for details)

Please apply at


1. You may select the PhD programme in Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law if you wish to pursue inter-disciplinary study.

2. If you wish to apply for a PhD programme in Law, History, Anthropology, Education, Sociology, Philosophy or Theology, that is fine but please indicate under Funding that you are applying for a University of Aberdeen CISRUL studentship. To make sure your application finds its way to CISRUL, you should also email our secretary Lisa Baxter ( to let her know you have submitted it.

Under Prospective Supervisor, you could write the name of the Centre member or members whose interests are closest to yours (see list of People on the Home tab) or otherwise just leave it blank.

Make sure you give us as much information as possible in your Personal Statement. But the most important document is the Research Proposal. You must give a full, clear account of your proposed research. Remember we will consider how closely your research proposal fits with our CISRUL research profile - the best way of learning about our research is by reading on this website about our previous and future events. Give your application reference and your name in the research proposal, and state that you are applying for a PhD studentship from the Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law.

You must also upload evidence of your degree certificate, transcript, two letters of reference, and proof of English proficiency if you are not a native speaker.

If you have any questions please email Lisa Baxter ( in the first instance.

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