PhD Studentship: Brexit and the Re-Narration of Discord

University of Sheffield - Department of Sociological Studies

The Department of Sociological Studies is delighted to offer one PhD scholarship, funded by the White Rose Doctoral Training Partnership Network Awards. The successful candidate 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. 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 conducting research on the relationship between intimacy, discord and conviviality post-Brexit.

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

Supervised by Hannah Lewis, Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield and Simon Popple, School of Media and Communication, University of Leeds, the project will employ mixed methods including innovative approaches to the digital documentation of conviviality despite insecurity across intimate UK neighbourhoods and localities. Can capturing and representing this conviviality-with-discord act to empower lives made insecure via Brexit? What can be learned from looking at the intimate as a space not to retreat from difficulty, but for confronting and building new opportunities? This timely studentship will ask how ‘the intimate’ might be a space and model for experiencing, mediating and managing the polarising of political hopes, desires and beliefs about living together.


  • To analyse, via biographical and social history methods, the relationship between ‘the intimate’, insecurities and ‘getting by’ in Brexit’s aftermaths.
  • To deploy digital methodologies for visualising and documenting the above relationships within a digital archive, to afford empowering and reflective opportunities to individuals and communities.
  • To critically engage and extend the interdisciplinary debate about community cohesion and conviviality despite (or even because of) diversity and difference.

Research network information:

The project starts 1 October 2018 as a fully funded 3 or 1 + 3 PhD programme depending on the experience of the selected candidate. For eligible students full awards cover UK/EU tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend at standard Research Council rates (£14,777 in Session 2018/19) for full-time study. EU applicants will be eligible for fees only unless resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date.

Candidates must have a minimum UK Upper Second Class Honours or equivalent in a social science discipline. Any of the following are highly desirable: 1) Prior experience with non-academic government and/or civil society groups; 2) Advanced training in Social Science Research Methods; 3) A background and/or engagement in critical scholarship on conviviality, ‘race’, community and family; 4) An interest/experience in innovative social science research and methods, particularly digital platforms and community archiving.

Apply through PG Online stating ‘Brexit and the re-narration of discord WR DTP Network’. Select ‘University of Sheffield Project Scholarship’ as proposed funding. Include supporting documents: CV including academic record (max. 3 pages); statement of motivation (max. 2 pages); academic transcripts and two references.

Further application information here:

The deadline for applications is 9 March 2018 with interviews week commencing Monday 19th March. 

Informal enquiries to

The PhD will be based at the University of Sheffield. There will be some meetings and potential data collection in other cities and towns in Yorkshire and Humber.

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Northern England