Start dates

September 2020

Closing date

May 30, 2020



In collaboration with Scholars at Risk – an international network of institutions and individuals whose mission is to protect scholars and promote academic freedom – the Faculty of Business and Law is offering a fully-funded PhD scholarship to a scholar at risk, or from a state in crisis.

This fully-funded bursary is open to enthusiastic, committed and suitably-qualified researchers who are:

  • Experiencing threats to their life, liberty or academic career or have been forced to leave their country because of such threats
  • From a country or a community that faces social or political unrest or other severe socio-political or economic challenges

The bursary will give the successful candidate the opportunity to complete a PhD in any area of research covered by the Faculty and should lead to outputs that can positively impact local and national communities in the scholar's home country.

Recruitment for the programme normally takes place between April and June each year, and we expect the successful candidate will take up the post in September, at the start of the academic year. However, we encourage any and all interested in the bursary to contact us anytime.

The coordinator is Dr Panos Kapotas, Senior Lecturer and PhD Supervisor, Portsmouth Law School, Faculty of Business Law.


As an applicant for the Scholars at Risk programme, your PhD research proposal will need to focus on a topic that aligns with the experience and expertise of the staff within the faculty.

You can see a full list of the relevant research areas at the Faculty of Business and Law page.

Due to the nature of the bursary, preference will be given to research that could generate considerable positive impact in your home state or communities.


All university fees will be covered in full, in addition to a stipend of around £14,000 per year.

Entry requirements

Candidates are expected to meet the minimum entry requirements for a PhD. Candidates are required to have a 2:1 or above undergraduate degree in an area of study relevant to their proposed PhD topic, and preference is likely to be given to candidates with a Master's degree in that area

Candidates must also have a good command of English (IELTS level 6.5 or equivalent) and shortlisted candidates may be asked to provide evidence of written work in English. The successful candidate may be required to attend an English language course at the University as a condition of their bursary offer.

This bursary is only open to candidates that are 'at risk' (according to the Scholars at Risk evaluation process) and are nationals of (or have an ethnic origin from) a state in crisis (or are members of an ethnic community within that state).

How to apply

To discuss your interest and possible project topics – or to request further information about the bursary and the eligibility criteria – please contact project coordinator Dr Panos Kapotas (

Please include 'SaR / SSiC Bursary Programme (Scholars at Risk / Scholars from States in Crisis)' in the subject line.

The bursary has a two-stage application process, with separate deadlines:

Stage 1

Applicants should confirm that the topic of their proposed research falls within the academic remit of Business and Law through consulting theresearch section of the Faculty’s webpage or by contacting or by contacting the the Academic Coordinator, Dr Panos Kapotas (

Applicants must then contact Scholars at Risk to determine their 'at-risk' status. For information on Scholars at Risk and the at-risk evaluation process, please email Shreya Balhara ( Applicants are strongly encouraged to share their research proposal and send all necessary documentation to Scholars at Risk by mid-March.

Applicants should be prepared to share their research proposal with Scholars at Risk and the BaL Academic Coordinator. The length of the research proposal should be between 2000 - 4000 words. For more information, read our guidance on how to write a proposal.

Applicants that have been identified as at-risk by Scholars at Risk must then apply through our online application system. Applicants should indicate at the top of their personal statement that they are applying for the 'Scholars at Risk / Scholars from States in Crisis' bursary. The deadline for application is 30 May.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to an interview via video call soon after the closing date.

Stage 2

If no applicants meet the Scholars at Risk requirements, the bursary programme will open to applicants from 'states in crisis', regardless of their personal at-risk status.

Applicants in this category are invited to apply directly through our online application system, and the deadline is 30 June.

Decision on applications

Due to the nature of this bursary, in exceptional situations BaL and Scholars at Risk may have to make a decision on whether to award a bursary before the deadline of 30 May, if this is mandated by the personal circumstances of applicants.