Funded (UK/EU and international students)

Project code



School of Area Studies, Sociology, History, Politics, and Literature

Start dates

October 2023

Application deadline

23 January 2023

Applications are invited for a fully-funded three-year PhD or four-year Masters and PhD studentship to commence in October 2023.

The studentship is funded by the ESRC South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (SCDTP), a collaboration between the universities of Portsmouth, Southampton and Brighton.

It covers University of Portsmouth tuition fees and an annual maintenance grant of £17,668 (2022/23 rate). The SCDTP is able to accept applications from UK and Overseas applicants to all of our accredited disciplines/pathways, however due to UKRI funding conditions, awards to non-UK residents are capped to a maximum of 30% of the total number of studentships awarded.  

The supervisors are Professor Wolfram Kaiser, Dr Nora Siklodi and Dr Annabel Tremlett.

The work will look at:

  • What extent are people with an ethnic minority background represented (in formal and symbolic ways) in the European Parliament (EP), both at the political level of elected MEPs and their advisors, and within the EP’s administration, and what explains their likely severe underrepresentation.

  • How do such MEPs, employees, and EP officials perceive the importance of their ethnic background for their identity and their role in the institution, and why.

  • How has the EP recently started to address issues of staff diversity, especially ethnic diversity, and with what objectives and success.

  • What benefits could a more (ethnically) diverse EP have e.g. in terms of institutional representativeness of national constituent societies or inclusivity of policy-making.

Ethnic minorities are severely underrepresented in the European Parliament (EP) as a transnational democratic institution. This raises major issues about its institutional identity, representativeness, and policy-making. This project will explore EP policy-making on ethnic diversity and analyse the identity and work experience of people (both MEPs and staff) with an ethnic minority background. It will also address normative questions how the EP could improve its ethnic diversity to increase its legitimacy and the efficacy and inclusivity of its policy-making. The project will include an internship in the EP for data collection and work experience purposes.

Entry requirements

You must have qualifications equivalent to a good honours degree (first- or upper second-class level) from a UK academic higher education institution. Degree qualifications gained from outside the UK, or a combination of qualifications and/or experience that is equivalent to a relevant UK degree, may be accepted.  Studentships are open to UK, EU and international students.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

You should have a background in a social science subject, basic knowledge of the EU/EP, an interest in questions of migration, ethnicity, and democracy, some knowledge of key methods. Experience with less standard research methods like e.g. focus groups is desirable.

How to apply

The first thing you will need is a university supervisor to support your SCDTP application – so you’ll need to contact the first supervisor, Professor Wolfram Kaiser ( you submit an application. 

Please note: you’ll need to submit two applications, an online application to the University of Portsmouth and an application for funding to the SCDTP. For more details, visit the SCDTP website.

When applying to the University, please quote project code:SDTP7780123.