Postgraduate research opportunities

PhD Studentship - "Making International Climate Cooperation Work: A Quantitative Analysis of Climate Treaty-Making"

International relations between countries are often via multilateral agreements. Using climate treaty-making as a pertinent empirical study, this project aims to develop a better understanding of how governments of individual countries make multilateral agreements.

Number of places

1

Funding

Home fee, Stipend

Opens

14 February 2020

Deadline

30 April 2020

Duration

36 months (+3) or 48 months (1+3 - includes Masters year)

Eligibility

Applicants should:

  • hold an undergraduate degree (at least 2:1/equivalent) or better in a relevant social science subject, including, for instance, international relations, political science, economics, or social statistics
  • demonstrate the ability to undertake independent research
  • have a strong interest in acquiring and/or further developing skills in quantitative research methods and data analysis
  • have basic knowledge in statistical programming or strong interest in acquiring these skills

Students must meet ESRC eligibility criteria. ESRC eligibility information can be found here.

Project Details

International relations between countries are often via multilateral agreements. Using climate treaty-making as a pertinent empirical study, this project aims to develop a better understanding of how governments of individual countries make multilateral agreements. Existing models tend to focus on each government’s decision to participate in a treaty, one by one. This is obviously an oversimplification for two reasons: first, in deciding to join an agreement or not, governments will probably be strategic and think about how their own decision affects the likelihood of other countries’ decisions; second, their decision to join an agreement will also depend on which other countries have already joined, and what relation they have with them. These important aspects of treaty-making are currently underexplored. This project seeks to offer a quantitative analysis of international cooperation on climate change by advancing statistical models that are appropriate to capture the above described strategic and social network dynamics. Several governments have already declared a climate emergency, and any successful applicant would not only acquire advanced quantitative methods skills, but would also be trained in using these methods to address a major societal challenge of our time.

The student will be based at the University of Strathclyde (degree awarding institution), where they will benefit from tailored PhD-level training courses; they will also benefit from being co-supervised by Professor Mark Tranmer at the University of Glasgow, with access to, for instance, the Glasgow Quantitative Methods Group (GQMG) at the University of Glasgow. This creates a really unique opportunity for the student to interact with leading academic staff from both Glasgow universities. 

Funding Details

The scholarship is available as a +3 or a 1+3 programme depending on prior research training. This will be assessed as part of the recruitment process. The programme will commence in September 2020. It includes:

  • an annual maintenance stipend at RCUK rate (2020/21 rate £15,285)
  • fees at the standard home rate (indicative fee level for 2020/21 £4,407)
  • students can also draw on a pooled Research Training Support Grant, usually up to a maximum of £750 per year

Further information

The School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Strathclyde is one of the leading research departments in the UK, ranking 11th in the 2014 REF. 

The University of Strathclyde has a city-centre based campus in Glasgow, which was recently rated the 8th best city in the world (Time Out, 2019). Strathclyde is a research-intensive University, and is home to over 23,000 students from over 100 countries. It is also the only UK University to have won the Times Higher University of the Year award twice.

Strathclyde’s postgraduate researchers additionally benefit from the support of the Faculty’s Graduate School, which offers excellent training, events, and funding opportunities. They also engage with our Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Development, which offers a personalised skills-training programme covering impact, external engagement, and generic skills

How to apply

Applicants must register on GradHub, fill out the Equal Opportunities form (required), and submit their application through GradHub. 

Interested applicants are invited to submit their applications containing the following documents by 30 April 2020:

  • Application form
  • Academic transcripts
  • Two academic reference letters
  • CV
  • Motivation letter (single page)
  • An English language certification (if required)

Applications will be ranked by a selection panel and applicants will be notified if they have been shortlisted for interview by 4 May 2020. Interviews will take place on 11 May 2020.

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