Scholarships & funding opportunities

The Impact of Migration: Differences Between Scotland and the Rest of the UK

Fully-funded* 3-year PhD Scholarship, Department of Economics and Fraser of Allander Institute.
  • Number of scholarships 1
  • Value Stipend: £14,652 pa. Fees: Home/RUK/EU Fee waiver
  • Opens 13 December 2016
  • Deadline 28 February 2017
  • Help with Tuition fees, Living costs
  • Duration 36 months


Candidates are required to have:

  • An excellent undergraduate degree with Honours in a relevant business, scientific/technological or social science subject
  • A Masters degree (or equivalent) will be strongly preferred
  • Students may also have other relevant experience or skills which are relevant to this project
  • Candidates who are not native English speakers will be required to provide evidence for their English skills (such as by IELTS or similar tests that are approved by UKVI, or a degree completed in an English speaking country).

Candidates should be available to take up study in the UK on 1st October 2017

*Whilst open to International candidates, please note that this scholarship covers Home/EU/RUK Fee rate only.

Project Details

The year 2016 was characterised by a number of unexpected election results, for instance, the UK decision to leave the European union or Trump’s presidential election victory. The migration debate has been central to these events. In fact, Eurobarometer data suggest that concerns about migration have been consistently more pronounced in the UK than elsewhere.

 By contrast, attitudes in Scotland appear to differ from the rest of the UK. Whilst these differences in attitudes have been widely discussed, rigorous evidence on migration trends is surprisingly scarce. Reliable evidence on migration to Scotland is of significant policy relevance. For instance, data suggest that in the absence of migration flows, Scotland’s population would have fallen in recent years. In the light of Brexit and the uncertain outlook for migration policy, this demographic trend represents a pressing challenge for Scotland’s economy.

The PhD will explore migration patterns to Scotland in detail. The analysis will juxtapose estimates for Scotland with rest of the UK. The investigation will focus on three areas: characteristics of migrants, the impact of migration on the economy and policies affecting migrants. The analysis will proceed in various steps.

 First, the PhD will provide a careful description of migration flows to and migrants in Scotland. It will address questions such as:

  • Which countries do recent migrants to Scotland come from?
  • What is the educational level and cultural background of migrants?  
  • Do migrants take up jobs in the same sectors or occupations as Scots?

Second, the PhD will investigate the impact of migration on the Scottish economy. It will econometrically estimate the causal impact of migration on employment and wages. Moreover, the PhD will investigate in which industries and occupations migrants find jobs. We will ask:

  • Do areas receiving large migration inflows experience changes in employment or wages?
  • Does the aforementioned effect vary by industry or occupation?
  • Do migrants take up jobs for which they are over-qualified?

Third, the PhD will evaluate the impact of labour market policies on migrants and the implications for Scotland’s new Fiscal Framework. It will examine the long-term outlook for Scotland’s budget under different migration assumptions, both in terms of numbers but also their tax contribution. Moreover, the analysis will examine the potential impact of alternative policies to attract migrants, including the potential options for devolved variations in immigration policy as well as more traditional public service provision, such as the quality of health care and education.

The analysis will be of an empirical nature and will combine cutting edge methodologies with official, representative data for the UK. The PhD will employ a number of econometric and statistical techniques to investigate migration patterns and the impact of migration on Scotland’s economy. 




How to apply

At this stage, we are inviting applicants to apply for the scholarship only. The successful candidate will then be asked to complete an application for PhD study at Strathclyde. 

All applications should include:

  • a cover letter indicating the candidate's relevant skills/experience and how they can contribute to this research
  • a CV and relevant qualification transcripts.
  • two references (please refer to guidance on references)

    When sending the above documents please use the following file-naming convention: fullname_typeofdocument

    For example,







    Apply now by uploading your documents here. Please note that any incomplete applications or applications with files that do not follow the above format will not be considered.*

*We will keep your details on file to use when any other relevent scholarships arise.