PhD Scholarship Opportunities

University of Kent - The School of Anthropology and Conservation (SAC)

The School of Anthropology and Conservation (SAC) at the University of Kent invites applications from outstanding candidates for our range of competitive PhD scholarship opportunities.

The School has an international reputation for the research of its academic staff, many of whom are leaders in their respective fields. Its vibrant research culture provides excellent opportunities for postgraduate study, and the breadth of expertise within the School enables us to offer research supervision across a wide range of topics.

The School has been extremely successful over the last 12 years at securing a significant number of Scholarships for PhD students. We are delighted that 15 of our September 2016 intake of PhD students have fully funded scholarships either from Research Councils or from the Kent Vice Chancellor’s Research Scholarships.

Scholarship Competitions:

  • NERC Environment East Doctoral Training Partnership (EnvEast DTP)

The partnership draws together relevant expertise from a complementary set of research organisations to train scientists capable of making outstanding contributions to their discipline and able to apply their knowledge to the challenges facing the UK economy, the quality of life for its citizens, and the state of the global environment. Scholarships, open to Home and EU candidates, cover Home/EU tuition rate plus a maintenance grant (£14,296 in 2016/17).

Application deadline: 8 January 2017

  • CHASE, Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC)

CHASE will offer students a wide range of exciting opportunities to gain professional experience, work across institutions and disciplines, and acquire advanced research skills. Funding consists of a fee waiver at the Home/EU rate plus a maintenance stipend (£14,296 in 2016/17).

Application deadline: 11 January 2017

  • ESRC South East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS)

SAC is a member of this new partnership which is committed to providing innovative and challenging world-class doctoral training in a dynamic, inter-disciplinary research environment. The School will be submitting applications to the Science, Technology and Sustainability Studies pathway and the Social Anthropology pathway. Studentships cover fees, a maintenance grant (£14,296 in 2016/17) and access to further research funding and are open to UK/EU students who meet the residential criteria.

Application deadline: 30 January 2017

  • Kent Vice Chancellor’s Research Scholarships

Open to applicants from the fields of social anthropology, environmental anthropology, biological anthropology or biodiversity conservation. We particularly welcome applicants who wish to undertake interdisciplinary projects relevant to the School’s research culture. Scholarships cover Home/EU tuition rate plus a maintenance grant (£14,296 in 2016/17).

Application deadline: 30 January 2017

Full details are available on our website:

PhD Opportunities

We are currently considering applications across a range of topics related to the School’s interdisciplinary research culture. Full details of the supervisory interests of staff can be found on our School website. We are also particularly keen to hear from candidates interested in working on the following topics/research areas:

Socio-cultural Anthropology

  • Amazonia and Lowland South America, indigenous urbanisation, placemaking, gender, kinship and the informal economy as well as those interested in conducting research on organisations and financial markets – Dr Daniela Peluso.
  • The anthropology of the economic crisis and austerity, political anthropology, the anthropology of Panama, nationalism and ethnic identity - Professor Dimitrios Theodossopoulos.
  • Europe; history, memory, heritage; time; rural social transformation; tourism; anthropology of science and technology (including ag-biotech, environmental themes); anthropology and literature – Dr Matt Hodges.
  • Spiritual ecology, migration and diaspora and the connections between human health and the environment – Dr Anna Waldstein.
  • Southeast Asia and the Pacific, anthropology of oil and natural resources, religious transformations, Catholicism and animism, anthropological approaches to place and kinship, resource conflict, and violence and post-conflict recovery - Dr Judith Bovensiepen.
  • Tonga, mental illness, efficacy, collaborative media, visual research methodologies, contact improvisation, intentional communities – Dr Mike Poltorak.

Biological Anthropology

  • Behavioural ecology of social foraging in chimpanzees – Dr Nicholas Newton-Fisher.
  • Bone and tooth microstructure; Bioarchaeology; Paleopathology; Human growth and development – Dr Patrick Mahoney.
  • Do isotope ratios vary in bone collagen affected by pathology and/or disease? – Dr Geraldine Fahy.
  • Female/female competition: Friends as allies, alloparents, and mating rivals – Dr Sarah Johns.
  • Human evolutionary anatomy, dental anthropology, geometric morphometric analysis of bones and teeth, functional morphology, hominin systematics – Dr Matthew Skinner.

Conservation and Human Ecology

  • How: (i) people relate to garden wildlife; (ii) observing wildlife mortality may influence people’s psychological well-being; and (iii) we can increase people’s engagement in wildlife disease monitoring and mitigation programmes through citizen science initiatives – Dr Zoe Davies.
  • Ecology, evolution and conservation of birds – Dr Peter Bennett.
  • Landscape ecology, land use change, nature conservation policy and governance, drivers of environmental change – Dr Joseph Tzanopoulos.
  • Spatial socio-economic analysis of forest wilderness creation in the Scottish Highlands; Developing a sustainability index for competing land use systems; Are wildlife trade bans an effective and sustainable tool for conservation? – Professor Douglas MacMillan.

Further details and applications

Full details of scholarships and application processes are available via:

Should you have any specific questions please don’t hesitate to contact our Postgraduate Admissions Officer: