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PhD Studentship - Integrating Grassroots Voices Into Public Debates About Development in the Global South: a Vietnamese Case Investigation Into the Working Dynamics Between Journalism and Civil Society in News Coverage of Development Issues and Policies

Bournemouth University - Faculty of Media & Communication

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Bournemouth
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £15,225 Maintenance grant per annum
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 13th March 2020
Closes: 30th April 2020

Funding amount: £15,225 maintenance grant per annum

Lead Supervisor name: An Nguyen

You will carry out research to identify good practices that can be promoted – and those to be avoided – to improve the capacity of media and civil society organisations in bringing ordinary people into public debates about development issues and policies. In particular, you will be trained to independently conduct theoretical and empirical research work to answer the following questions:

RQ1: To what extent and in what contexts are grassroots voices heard in Vietnamese news coverage development issues and policies?

RQ2: What sourcing, fact-finding and framing practices do award-winning development journalists in Vietnam consider effective/ineffective to balance lay and elite voices in the public debate over development issues and policies?

RQ3: What approaches and strategies do Vietnam-based CSOs consider effective/ineffective in working with journalists to ensure the development needs, interests and concerns of people on the ground are integrated in the public debate?

The empirical research will involve a quantitative content analysis of development news output and in-depth interviews with Vietnamese development journalists, communicators, policy-makers and civil-society organisations.

What does the funded studentship include?

Funded candidates will receive a maintenance grant of £15,225 per annum (unless otherwise specified), to cover their living expenses and have their fees waived for 36 months. In addition, research costs, including field work and conference attendance, will be met.

Funded Studentships are open to both UK/EU and International students unless otherwise specified.

Eligibility criteria

Candidates for a PhD Studentship should demonstrate outstanding qualities and be motivated to complete a PhD in 4 years and must demonstrate:

  • Outstanding academic potential as measured normally by either a 1st class honours degree (or equivalent Grade Point Average (GPA) or a Master’s degree with distinction or equivalent
  • An IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 minimum (with a minimum 6.0 in each component, or equivalent) for candidates for whom English is not their first language and this must be evidenced at point of application.

Additional Eligibility:

  • superior fluency in the Vietnamese language (to analyse Vietnamese news output and conduct interviews with Vietnamese journalists and other stakeholders);
  • prior academic background in journalism studies, development communication or a related field, ideally in an English-speaking environment;
  • ability to work independently as well as part as a research team;
  • excellent interpersonal communication and coordination skills; and professional experience in – or with – Vietnamese media and communication industries and/or the development sector.

In addition to satisfying basic entry criteria, BU will look closely at the qualities, skills and background of each candidate and what they can bring to their chosen research project in order to ensure successful and timely completion.

Closing date: The first call for applications will close on 30 April 2020.

For further information on how to apply click the ‘Apply’ button below or email

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