ESRC White Rose DTP Network Studentship

University of Leeds - School of Geography

Session 2018-19 - Closing Date 17:00 (UK time) 9 March 2018

Project: (Re)mapping (in)securities

Awards provide fees and maintenance at standard Research Council Rates (£14,777 in Session 2018/19) for eligible applicants.

The School of Geography, University of Leeds is delighted to offer one PhD scholarship (UK/EU tuition fees and stipend at standard UK Research Council rates for eligible applicants), funded by the ESRC White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership Network Awards.  The successful applicant will join a network of two other PhD students, academic supervisors across the White Rose Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and York, and public and voluntary sector partners.  The network, entitled Brexit’s Aftermaths: Contesting Insecurities, will focus on the way in which individuals, communities and civil society groups are negating Brexit’s multiple after-effects in everyday life.  The studentship is available to outstanding students interested in using innovative methods to conduct research on urban public space(s), counter mapping and contestation post-Brexit. Information about the research network can be found here:

In the aftermath of the Brexit leave, anxiety about the future of UK society is high, with a majority of people (68%) recently agreeing with the statement, 'There is increasing tension between different groups living in Britain’ (Hope Not Hate, 2017: 14). This anxiety is doubtless related to the reported 29% increase in national hate crime between March 2016 and March 2017. Against this backdrop, this studentship addresses a timely need for systematic research to investigate the socio-spatial dynamics of urban public space that contribute to, and counter, tension and hostility. Significantly, it focuses on a core problem faced by cities: how public spaces can contribute to and foster alternatives to intensified discord among individuals and communities.

This studentship will employ a mixed-methods participatory approach to investigate insecurities and counter-responses in urban public spaces in post-Brexit England. Specifically, it will use innovative mapping technologies to develop a topography and countertopography of the socio-spatial dynamics and correlates of xeno-racism in contemporary public spaces. Topography is a technology used in planning and military strategy, and as research methodology (predominantly in geography) that develops a detailed account of a place. Feminist scholar, Cindi Katz (2001) describes countertopography as a critical response to some of the problematic ways topography has been deployed. Countertopography redeploys topography’s tools to re-envision space and foster responses to disharmony and inhospitality. How can (re)mapping space contribute to (re)forming positive social relations that acknowledge, but do not reject, ‘difference’?


  • To map (via a topography) the socio-spatial dynamics linked to post-Brexit xeno-racism in urban public space(s). How does space feature in everyday experiences of incivility, aggression and hostility?
  • To identify and produce a counter-topography of socio-spatial features that contest xeno-racism in urban public spaces. How can a counter-topography encourage alternative forms of encounter with (and within) shared public space?
  • To critically develop and extend the interdisciplinary conceptualisation of the relationship between space and (in)security. How is space entangled with Brexit’s immediate and emerging aftermaths? And how might space and its (re)mapping be part of a response to the anxiety and discord that has been a prominent part of these after-effects?

This studentship is in collaboration with Leeds City Council Communities Team; Tel MAMA (Faith Matters); Touchstone; UK Race and Europe Network; Voluntary Action Sheffield

Further information on the application procedure can be found at

For more information on the project, please contact Dr Deirdre Conlon (

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