U21 PhD Scholarships and the U21 Graduate Research Conference

'Digital Futures' U21 graduate research conference, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 6-12 June 2015

The sixth U21 Graduate Research Conference (GRC) will be hosted by Shanghai Jiao Tong University with the theme: Digital Futures, examining how the digital technology landscape has changed and what that means for the years ahead. The GRC is an excellent opportunity for Postgraduate Research students to network with their peers from other globally reknowned research intensive universities. Attending students will have the opportunity to deliver either an oral or poster presentation. 

International Relations have three bursaries of £1,000 available to support the participation of our nominated PGR students to participate. A place at the GRC and the associated £1,000 bursary is available through a competitive application and interview process.

Application process and deadline

Applications are now closed for the 2015 GRC and will re-open in the New Year.


U21 PhD scholarships

International Relations offer a number of scholarships each year to assist PhD students in travelling to our U21 partners. Each scholarship pays up to £1,500 to assist a student with travelling and accommodation costs. A visit might usually be expected to be for a period of approximately one month. Applications are for travel in the following academic year i.e. bids submitted during this current cycle will be for visits proposed to take place between August 1st 2015 and July 31st 2016. 

You can scroll down this page to find details of previous U21 PhD Scholars, including reports. For a full list of U21 institutions please visit the official U21 website

How to apply

Please click below to access an application form, supervisor statement form and guidelines for the U21 PhD Scholarships. Please read the guidelines thoroughly before beginning your application.

U21 PhD Scholarship Application Form

U21 PhD Scholarship Guidelines 2014-15

U21 PhD Scholarships Supervisor supporting statement

The deadline for applications is Sunday 29 March 2015.  If you have any further questions, please contact Matt Clulee, International Relations @ m.clulee@bham.ac.uk 

Drop in sessions

We will be hosting drop in sessions as detailed below, where you can learn more about the application process from the U21 Officer, and also listen to and ask questions of previous PhD Scholars. Sessions will take place at 12.30-13.00 and 13.30-14.00 on both dates listed.

  • Wednesday December 10th, Nuffield Building Room G22
  • Wednesday January 21st, Nuffield Building Room G18 

  2014 PhD scholarship winners:


Forename Surname School College Thesis/Project Title
Ben Johnson Medicine MDS Molecular genetic investigation of inherited thrombocytopenia 
Charlotte  Bendall Law CAL Gender in intimate relationships: a socio-legal study.
Chris  Jeavons Mathematics EPS Optimal constants and extremising functions for Strichartz-type inequalities
Christian Darko Business CoSS Wage inequality in Ghana: The role of education, Skill-Biased Technological Change and Foreign Direct Investment
Jonathan Dugdale History CAL An Inter-Regional Approach to Liao Dynasty Architecture 
Leonie Clitherow GEES LES Terrestrial invertebrates and their subsidies to stream communities across floodplains in watersheds of different ages in Glacier Bay, Alaska
Rhys Crilley Government and Society CoSS Legitimacy Claims in the Digital Age: Analysing Visual Narratives of Strategic Communication
Roland Sookias GEES LES Euparkeriidae and the early evolutionary radiation of archosauriforms
Simon Wild GEES LES 20th Century Storminess –
Developing a coherent understanding of long-term trends and decadal variability
Yu Zhang Metallurgy and Materials EPS Corrosion of Titanium for Biomedical Applications

2013 PhD Scholarship winners:


Some of our successful PhD Scholars at the U21 Celebration event in June, due to travel in 2013-14, with destinations in brackets. From left: Geoffrey Mills, Aimee Fox-Godden, Simon Phelan, Chiara Mingarelli, Sarah Penny, Elena Perez-Alvaro.

Please see below for their thesis titles and reports.




Aimee Fox-Godden @ UNSW

Elena Perez-Alvaro @ Queensland

Enrico Vanino @ HKU

Guanxiong Wang @ UNSW

Jiayuan Li @ UBC

Simon Phelan @ UNSW

Thea Buckley @ Delhi-U


 Full list of 2013 U21 PhD Scholarship winners


Name School College Destination Thesis Title
Aimee Fox-Godden History CAL UNSW Addressing the gap in the ‘learning curve’ of the British and Commonwealth forces in the First World War by examining the learning relationship between the Western Front and the subsidiary theatres.
Chiara Mingarelli Physics and Astronomy EPS UBC Exploring the use of PTAs (Pulsar Timing Arrays) to detect gravitational wave s from supermassive black hole binaries . 
Elena Perez-Alvaro Mechanical Engineering EPS Queensland Human remains as watery graves: protection of shipwrecks containing human remains. 
Enrico Vanino Economics CoSS HKU The behaviour and strategic interaction between Chinese and European firms in areas such as international trade and direct foreign investment.
Geoffrey Mills EDACS CAL UConn The composition of a campus novel with a strong comic thrust and a supporting investigation into the recurring elements of farce found in the academic novels of three well known practitioners: Kingsley Amis, Malcolm Bradbury and David Lodge.
Guanxiong Wang Mechanical Engineering EPS UNSW To develop a multilevel filter capable of separating molecular components from complex fluids including blood plasma, aimed at biomedical and healthcare applications requiring blood analysis.
Jiayuan Li Government and Society CoSS UBC Exploring the time trend of life satisfaction in China over the past two decades and report a marked decline in happiness. 
Samantha Husbands Health Sciences MDS UBC Identify and develop best practice guidance for building decision-analytic models, which are utilised in health care funding decisions internationally. 
Sarah Penny Immunity and Infection MDS Virginia Research into identified phosphor-antigens related to colorectal and oesophageal cancers with the aim of discovering potential new immunotherapeutic targets.
Simon Phelan Sport and Exercise Science LES Queensland Examining the learning culture within a British Olympic high performance centre in investigating how the workplace enables or constrains coach professional learning. 
Thea Buckley Shakespeare Institute CAL Delhi Exploring the intersection between Shakespeare’s original English works and selected new local language Indian adaptations.  

  Full list of 2012 PhD Scholarship winners and links to their reports

First Name Surname School College Destination
Carla Aloe Languages, Cultures, Art History and Music CAL UBC
Emma  Login IAA CAL Virginia
Herjeet Marway Philosophy, Theology, Religion CAL McGill
Sarah Baker Metallurgy and Metals EPS Lund
Naomi  Green Mechanical Engineering EPS Dublin
Felix Rehern Mathematics EPS Auckland
Alex Upton Electronic Electrical and Computer Engineering EPS Auckland
Congxiao Zhao Civil Engineering EPS HKU
Katharine Chisholm Psychology LES Melbourne
Paul Coleman Life and Environmental Science LES Melbourne
Kareen Heinze Psychology LES Melbourne
Johnny Lau Psychology LES Queensland
Katharine Mumford Psychology LES Connecticut

Carla Aloe @ UBC

Emma Login @ Virginia

Felix Rehern @ Auckland

Herjeet Marway @ McGill

Kareen Heinze @ Melbourne

Katherine Mumford @ UConn

Paul Coleman @ Melbourne

 2011 PhD Scholarship winners and links to their reports


Anna Fogel Connecticut 2012

Annie Ginty Amsterdam 2011

Clark Hobson McGill 2012

Flor Gonzalez Melbourne 2012

Ian Thornhill Queensland 2012

Jennifer Seddon Melbourne 2012

Na Mi Virginia 2011


Forename Surnames School College Destination Thesis Title
Anna  Fogel Psychology LES Connecticut Sucrose sensitivity and fruit and vegetable consumption
Annie Ginty Sport and Exercise Science LES Amsterdam The behavioural corollaries of and mechanisms underlying blunted cardiovascular and cortisol reactions to acute psychological stress.
Clark Hobson Law CAL McGill Confidentiality and truth telling: bioethics and judicial decision making
Eleni Christodoulou Government and Society CoSS UNSW Hegemony, Strategy and Pedagogy: The Politics of Peace Education in Cyprus
Ian Thornhill GEES LES Queensland Biodiversity and water quality in urban ponds
Jennifer L Seddon Psychology LES Melbourne The use of cannabis in first-episode psychosis
Laura Quinn Cancer Sciences MDS Melbourne The effect of Epstein-Barr virus immune evasion genes on CD8+ T cell recognition
Na Mi Metallurgy and Materials EPS Virginia Atmospheric pitting corrosion on stainless steel
Flor Gonzalex Correa Government and Society CoSS Melbourne The duties of transnational corporations towards human rights


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