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Fog in the Channel? The impact of Brexit on the transnational relations of British political parties


Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

Project code



School of Area Studies, History, Politics and Literature

Start dates

October 2019

Closing date

24th January 2019

This is a fully-funded 3-year PhD or 4-year Master's and PhD studentship, to start in October 2019.

This PhD is a unique opportunity for the successful candidate to become part of the SCDTP cohort, and the University’s Centre for European and International Studies Research (CEISR) – which brings together world-leading research in Area Studies. The supervisors for this project are Prof. Wolfram KaiserDr Nora Siklodi and Dr Brigitte Leucht.

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

The studentship is available to UK students only and covers tuition fees and an annual maintenance grant of £14,777 (2018/19 rate).

The work on this project will look at:

  • How Brexit impacts the transnational relations of British political parties, both in terms of their formal and informal ties and their functions – for example, through facilitating transnational policy learning
  • Which strategies British political parties use to sustain existing formal and informal ties, and how they might create new or stronger ties with political parties outside the EU, in Europe or globally
  • How political parties might better work together to make use of their transnational party networking and policy learnings after Brexit

The project will explore how Brexit affects the formal and informal transnational ties of British political parties.

It will also study the experience of British parties which have lost representation in the EP, and how their reduced role in EU political parties or party organizations has impacted how they fulfill crucial functions as intermediary democratic bodies, such as in policy learning and transfer.

The project will combine quantitative and qualitative methods and will include an internship in a British and/or European political party HQ.

Entry Requirements

  • You must be a UK resident and hold a good honours degree (2:1 and above) from a recognised higher education institution.
  • Please note, if you're applying without a Master's qualification containing a substantial Social Sciences methods component, you may be required to complete a relevant Master's beforehand. The Master's will be fully funded by the SCDTP and will be run from the University of Southampton.
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

  • Essential: Background in a social science subject & knowledge of British/European politics and policy-making.
  • Desirable: Basic knowledge of relevant quantitative and qualitative research methods.

How to Apply

Before you apply, you'll need a University supervisor to support your SCDTP application -- so please contact the project supervisors before you submit an application.

The project will require you to discuss possible methods and research design as well as detailing how your skills, background and research interests match the project. It is therefore very important that you discuss the project with the supervisor.

Full instructions are given on the SCDTP application form and there are different word limits depending on whether you are applying for a 4-year Master's or 3-year PhD.

Please note: you will need to submit an online application to the University of Portsmouth plus an application for funding to the SCDTP. For more details, visit the SCDTP website.

When applying to the University, please quote project code: HPSS4320119

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