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Diversity100 PhD Studentships

Available now for 2021-22 entry

In 2020, we marked 100 years since Birkbeck joined the University of London. Birkbeck is a research-excellent institution profoundly committed to widening participation.

We are concerned with the lack of representation by Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) students at doctoral level. Compared with other institutions, our BAME students form a relatively high percentage of overall student numbers, but in all five of our Schools the proportion of BAME students at PhD level is significantly lower.

In this context, Birkbeck offered five studentships for PhD students starting their studies in Autumn 2020. These scholarships actively address under-representation at the highest level of research, and encourage BAME students to consider academic research in all disciplines. 

We are pleased to announce that a number of Diversity100 PhD studentships are available again for 2021-22 entry and we are now inviting applications. 

Advice for applicants

Value of award

  • These studentships will offer financial support to Home fees BAME PhD students.
  • The studentships cover all tuition fees (£4,407 a year for 2020-21) and provide a tax-free stipend for living expenses at UK Research Council rate (£17,285 a year for 2020-21) for up to three years full time or five years part time.

Eligibility criteria

  • The awards are for:
    • new students beginning their PhD studies in Autumn 2021
    • current Birkbeck PhD students providing they will have at least 50% of their doctoral research remaining at the start of the Autumn term 2021.
  • All candidates must qualify for Home fees.
  • These studentships are available to BAME PhD applicants only. The following ethnic groups are considered as BAME:
    • Arab
    • Asian - Bangladeshi
    • Asian - Chinese
    • Asian - Indian
    • Asian - Other 
    • Asian - Pakistani
    • Black - African
    • Black - Caribbean
    • Black - Other 
    • Gypsy or Traveller
    • Mixed - White/Black Caribbean
    • Mixed - White/Black African
    • Mixed - White and Asian
    • Mixed - Other 
    • Other - Any other Black or Minority Ethnic Group.

How to apply

  • Apply for a place on an MPhil/PhD programme
    • Applicants must submit a PhD programme application - you may apply for a place in any of the Birkbeck departments listed below or visit our online PhD programme list to explore potential research areas.
    • You will need to identify a potential supervisor and write a research proposal.
    • When you complete your online Birkbeck PhD programme application form, please use the Finance section to state that you intend to apply for a ‘Diversity100 PhD studentship’.
  • Submit an abstract
    • In addition to the PhD programme application, you must submit an abstract of your research proposal to the  by email, using our abstract form. The abstract must be no more than 250 words and must be written in a way that can be understood by a non-specialist.

Current student applications

Guidance about the application process

  • To find out more about what you should expect to do in order to apply for a PhD, please see this overview of the PhD application process
  • Please note, depending on the PhD programme you are interested in, there may be additional requirements that you need to meet in order to submit a successful PhD programme application. This information will be available to you via the relevant PhD programme prospectus page.
  • Writing a successful PhD programme application is likely to require a period of preparation that will last several weeks or more. During this time you will need to consider your research area, identify a potential supervisor and discuss your potential research project with them. You must plan to allow sufficient time to complete this process.

Opportunities to find out more

  • The BGRS will be organising some briefing sessions for prospective applicants where you can find out more about the Diversity100 studentships, about the application process and what it is like to be a doctoral researcher at Birkbeck.
  • We plan to run these briefing sessions online in the Spring Term 2021. If you would like to be informed once details are available please, complete this brief form. In the meantime, you are welcome to contact the relevant department (links below) for further information about how to apply for a PhD at Birkbeck.

Available departments

Closing date for applications

  • The closing date for applications is midnight on Monday 10 May, 2021.
  • All those wishing to be considered must have submitted a Birkbeck programme application and a Diversity100 abstract by this date.
  • You are encouraged to apply in advance of the deadline wherever possible.

Selection process

  • Successful candidates will have a strong academic background and/or exceptional research potential.
  • Each School will be responsible for considering applications received. 
  • Your application for a Diversity100 studentship will be considered on the basis of:
    • your completed PhD programme application (including a research proposal)
    • and on the basis of your abstract.
  • The process for considering applications will be overseen by a panel chaired by the Assistant Dean for postgraduate research or equivalent in each school.
  • No candidate can take up the award unless they are also offered a place on the relevant doctoral programme.

Notification of outcomes

  • Following the closing date for applications on 10 May 2021, Schools will be asked to rank Diversity100 applications.
  • Successful candidates will be contacted by 30 June 2021.