Applications are invited for the ACU Routledge/Roundtable Commonwealth Studentships 2022.

About the Programme

The Ph.D. studentships present support for research projects on Commonwealth-associated themes. Two studentships are available each year, one for UK-registered college students and one for Commonwealth students in different nations.

The research has to be carried out within the candidates’ country of residence. Proposed research should fulfill not less than one of the below standards:

  • Relate to the Commonwealth as a whole or any Commonwealth-wide establishment or organisation
  • Have a strong Commonwealth comparative aspect
  • Be of relevance to a Commonwealth country apart from the UK.

For instance, an analysis challenge evaluating LGBT rights in South Africa and Uganda can be eligible, as would a challenge on the reform of colonial-era anti-LGBT laws in India, however a challenge on the position of Stonewall in advocating for LGBT rights within the UK wouldn’t.

Applications are welcomed from a broad range of disciplines within the humanities and social sciences, however, the choice could also be given to disciplines usually covered by the Round Table journal, together with (not exclusively) politics, international relations, economics, international history, geography, law, development studies, and area studies.

The studentships are funded by The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs and the journal’s publisher, Routledge, in affiliation with the ACU.

  • The first studentship is open to registered PhD students from UK universities, though not necessarily UK citizens.
  • The second is open to registered PhD students from ACU member universities in Commonwealth counties apart from the UK and Chevening and Commonwealth Scholarship alumni who’re PhD college students at any Commonwealth university outside the UK.
Funding Amount

The studentships have a maximum value of GBP 5,500 each. Due to the pandemic, the studentship is not going to fund the travel.

  • As a part of the studentship, candidates are required to identify and work with a mentor at an ACU member university in a country apart from their own.
  • This must be an expert in a subject linked to the applicant’s subject of research, who will be capable of providing support and recommendation throughout the studentship.
  • Before applying, candidates are inspired to informally approach not less than one potential mentor. If their application is successful, they will be required to obtain a letter of support from their mentor to comply with the mentorship earlier than their studentship is confirmed.
The Role of the Mentor

The mentor will be anticipated to carry a minimum of two virtual conferences with the student throughout the interval of the studentship. They might be expected to contact the student by email to share their experiences in their related field, provide advice around publishing, events, and trends of their field, challenge and empower them to consider methodizing.

The mentor may even be expected to contribute to either the podcast or the article submitted by the student (see post-studentship necessities section below for more information) and be paid an honorarium of GBP 500, payable at the end of studentship. Mentors should read and abide by the mentor code of conduct guidelines.

Mentor Code of Conduct Guidelines
  • The relationship between mentor and mentee shouldn’t be exploitative in any approach, nor open to misinterpretation
  • Mentors are accountable for setting and keeping appropriate boundaries that govern interactions with mentees
  • Mentors should preserve a clear mentoring relationship with mentees and not allow personal bias to influence their actions
  • Mentors should preserve confidentiality, objectivity, and equal partnership
  • The mentor’s position is to respond to the mentee’s needs and agenda slightly than imposing their own agenda
  • Mentors will share the responsibility for making a smooth end to the relationship with the mentee, as soon as it has achieved its purpose
  • Any private information relating to the mentee held by the mentor must be deleted as soon as it’s no longer needed.
Application Process & other Details:

Applications must be submitted by 15:00 UTC on 23 July through the online application form.

As a part of the application, you should submit:

  • A CV
  • A studentship plan, outlining:
    • The work you propose to carry out throughout the studentship, in non-technical language
    • The likely impact of your studentship work, and the way it will advance knowledge in your discipline and contribute to a greater understanding of the Commonwealth
    • The deliberate outcomes and outputs of the studentship
    • Letters of support from referees, one academic (ideally your Ph.D./DPhil supervisor), and one personal
    • Define the intended use of the funds
Post-Studentship Requirements

Successful candidates might be required to submit an article of between 4,000 and 6,000 words based on their research no more than 12 months after the take-up of the award. The article will then be considered for publication within the Round Table journal. Successful candidates will also be required to make a podcast on their research, for publication on the journal’s website.

  • Deadline for applications: 14:00 UTC on 23 July 
  • Announcement of winners: September 2021
  • Take-up of awards: 1 November 2021 to July 2022

If you have a question that isn’t answered here, contact [email protected].

Click here to view the official notification for the ACU Routledge/Roundtable Commonwealth Studentships 2022.

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