european union flags in a row

Research covering humanities, social sciences and the arts

REF 2014 put us in the top 10 institutions nationally for our area studies research impact and intensity

Bringing together researchers and postgraduates from across the University, the Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR) is a supportive and intellectually stimulating place. We welcome linguists, historians, sociologists, political scientists, anthropologists and specialists in area studies. Our work crosses multiple fields in humanities, social sciences and the arts. 

In the Research Excellence Framework 2014, 25% of our research in Area Studies was rated world-leading, and 43% internationally excellent. This placed it in the top 10 institutions nationally for impact and for research intensity.

A regular programme of events helps promote our research and nurture our culture. We host strategic research projects on topics such as EU language policy, the Transnational European Union, the History of the Jewish Press in Central Europe, Port Towns and Francophone Africa in a comparative and transnational context.

Partnerships and collaborations

We're partnered with external stakeholders and research organisations on issues of mutual interest, including Southern England Local Partners (SELP), the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR)Chatham House and the West Africa Institute (WAI).

Several of our PhD students are members of the international History of European Integration Research Society (HEIRSpostgraduate research network. Founded by a group of doctoral students from Portsmouth and Cambridge, HEIRS works as an open network for all PhD and early career researchers to contribute to discussions on European integration and its history.


Our activities have been funded by major UK and European research councils, including:

  • Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
  • European Social Fund (ESF)
  • Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC)
  • European Union (EU)
  • British Academy
  • Various non-governmental organisations (NGOs).


Our research explores these topics:

  • Citizen, race and belonging – Questioning current and historic issues around citizenship, race and belonging in the widest sense
  • Francophone Africa – Focusing on the internal histories, colonial legacies and globalised futures of Francophone Africa
  • Higher education – Supporting and developing higher education research through networking, collaboration, and identification of funding opportunities
  • History – Working on a core focus on modern and contemporary American, British and European histories
  • Language across borders – Studying transgressions of the rules and boundaries of language systems, drawing on applied linguistics, translation studies, corpus linguistics, sociolinguistics, social theory, psychology and neuroscience
  • Mental health in childhood and education – Bringing together research and projects in the field of mental health in childhood/education, across the University of Portsmouth and beyond
  • Sociology and social theory – Researching a wide range of social issues, drawing on diverse traditions of analysis in sociology and social theory
  • Transnational politics and society – Focusing on political and societal phenomena and issues across border
  • Women's and gender studies – Exploring topics from nineteenth-century activism to the history of contemporary feminism, gender and international development, and contemporary activism in Africa and Asia

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