Realising Just Cities: Fully Funded PhD Studentship on Just Local Authorities

University of Sheffield - Urban Institute/Department of Urban Studies and Planning

A PhD Studentship is available for an outstanding candidate to join the Realising Just Cities programme for Mistra Urban Futures UK, University of Sheffield.  

Realising Just Cities is a four-year collaborative programme of research and action supported by the Mistra Urban Futures Centre. It is designed and delivered by Local Interaction Platforms (LIP) in Gothenburg, Malmo, Kisumu, Cape Town and Sheffield-Manchester. The programme seeks to determine the value of co-production between research and practice in realising just cities, through theoretical advances and practical demonstration projects.

The Sheffield-Manchester LIP has funding from the University of Sheffield and Mistra Urban Futures for three PhD studentships.  Collectively, they will focus on different organisational cultures and spaces in city-regions and their role in realising just cities. The PhD students will work on different topics but will collaborate, with the supervision teams, to advance understanding and practice in new modes of engaged pedagogy in urban research. This will involve group reflection on the processes and practices of values-led active intermediation across research/practice boundaries.

This studentship is for:

Just Local Authorities?

A PhD carried out through embedded placements within local authority settings in the North of England. This will explore cultures of knowledge reception via an examination of the internal and external reorganisations of local authorities to better engage with citizens in the context of austerity and public sector reform. A focus will be on innovations in the conception and delivery of public services to centre integrated concepts of urban justice within contemporary local authority settings.

Supervision: Professor Beth Perry, Urban Institute, University of Sheffield. It will be co-supervised by staff in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, where the PhD student will be based. They will also be supported by non-academic co-supervisors from policy and practice in Greater Manchester/Sheffield City-Region.

Applicants need to include:

  • A short statement (around 500 words) as to why they are interested in conducting this PhD, and why they are particularly suitable for this post (with reference to transferable skills and experience in engagement/impact and the topic area).
  • A review of the field of around 1000 words, excluding references, covering key areas of theory, academic literature, relevant debates and research questions, understanding of ‘co-production’ and the challenges and opportunities of undertaking PhD research in this mode.

Please note, we are not requesting a PhD proposal; successful candidates will work with their supervisory team to develop a project proposal which is academically excellent and aligns with the programme mission of realising just cities.  

Further information

  • Applicants must have a first class or high upper second-class undergraduate honours degree and a distinction or high merit at Masters level in urban studies, social research or a related discipline.
  • Experience and understanding of methodology and methods in qualitative research are essential.
  • These are non-traditional studentships: they are integrated within a broader programme of research; involve iterative negotiation and discussion with non-academic stakeholders in the design and delivery of the PhD and require placements in host organisations and high levels of community engagement.  Candidates with professional/community development experience post-Masters are welcome.

Interviews: Late February 2017

Start date: April 2017

Further details: or contact

Additional Funding Information

Non-EU students are welcome to apply if they self-fund the difference between Home/EU and Overseas fees.

Closing Date

5pm 01/02/2017

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Northern England