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Bonnart Trust PhD Scholarship

This scholarship is for new MPhil/PhD research students applying for a full-time MPhil/PhD in the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy or in the School of Law, in any of the following departments: 

  • Criminology
  • Geography 
  • History, Classics and Archaeology 
  • Law
  • Philosophy 
  • Politics 
  • Psychosocial Studies.

Please note: Students applying to the School of Law are required to have a supervisor in the School of Law and a co-supervisor based in the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy.


The scholarship will be awarded to an outstanding candidate whose research topic explores a theme concerned with either 'diversity and belonging' or 'minorities and social justice' (see more detail below).


  • The purpose of the Bonnart Trust is to 'establish and maintain scholarships at universities in the United Kingdom for research at the postgraduate level into the nature of racial, religious and cultural intolerance with a view to finding a means to combat it'.
  • Bonnart Trust PhD students join a network of Bonnart scholars. The Trust not only supports its scholars financially, but also through networking, sponsoring and mentoring activities and encourages them to engage with a wide range of audiences inside as well as outside academia. 
  • On completion of their PhD, Bonnart scholars are required to prepare a short summary of their thesis which is suitable for publication on the Bonnart Trust website. 


NUMBER OF Scholarships

  • The Bonnart Trust offers one scholarship each year. The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the home fee rate (£4,500 in 2021-22) and a stipend (£17,609 per year for 2021-22) for up to three years. In addition, the Trust provides funding of up to £1,000 per scholar over the duration of their PhD to support their research and/or wider development.


  • You should usually have an upper second-class undergraduate honours degree, or equivalent, and a Master’s degree, or equivalent. 
  • You will need to be an outstanding candidate whose research topic explores a theme concerned with either diversity and belonging or minorities and social justice.
    • Diversity and belonging: research topics include, but are not limited to: subjective and attitudinal dimensions of intolerance, the ways in which racial, religious, linguistic and other minorities challenge societies and cultures to think of themselves in new ways, the extent to which minorities identify with and seek to integrate within mainstream society.
    • Minorities and social justice: concerned with the social outcomes experienced by minorities. Research topics include, but are not limited to: the entitlements and social trajectory of minorities, how these vary across place and time, the concept of social justice as applied to minorities, including minority language speakers.
  • We encourage applications from candidates who are able to draw connections between their doctoral research and contemporary concerns and practical outcomes beyond the university. 
  • We will only consider current Birkbeck students who are already enrolled on an MPhil/PhD degree within the School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy or School of Law under exceptional circumstances. 


  • Prospective students 
    • 1. Prepare a concise research proposal that:
      •  addresses one of the two themes outlined in the eligibility criteria above: either diversity and belonging or minorities and social justice
      • draws connections between the proposed research topic and contemporary concerns and practical outcomes. 
    • 3. Apply online for the relevant MPhil/PhD degree by 31 January 2022. Make sure to check the 'How to apply' section on the web page for your chosen programme for any department-specific procedures. 
    • 4. Complete the Bonnart Trust PhD Scholarship application form and  no later than 31 January 2022
  • Current students 
    • If you are a current MPhil/PhD student at Birkbeck, you should complete steps 1 and 4 (above) and , along with a brief outline of your exceptional circumstances by 31 January 2022. 


  • Closing date: Monday 31 January 2022
  • Interviews: TBC