Full PhD studentship: “Social Imaginaries and International Collaborative Doctoral Programmes in England and Denmark. What is in it for stakeholders?”

Eligibility: UK and international applicants
Award Details: Stipend plus tuition fees
Duration: Full-time, up to 3.5 years fixed term
Application deadline: 1
st March 2022
Interview date: will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates
Start date: September 2022

Coventry University (CU) and Aarhus University (AU) are inviting applications from suitably-qualified British and
international candidates for a fully funded PhD studentship which will start in September 2022.
The successful candidate will enrol at the Centre for Global Learning (GLEA), Coventry University as their home
institution and will undertake a cotutelle doctoral research programme under the supervision of academic experts
from both universities, spending a minimum of one year or up to 18 months at the Centre for Higher Education
Futures (CHEF), Aarhus University in Denmark.
The cotutelle programme offers doctoral researchers the opportunity to advance their skills and expertise in the
higher education field, whilst developing their intercultural and international skills, and creating international
networks and collaborations.

Details of the PhD project

The global knowledge economy, the changing nature of knowledge production, research funding mechanisms, and
labour market for doctoral degree holders are driving forces that together have led to an increased interest in
International Collaborative Doctoral Programmes (ICDP) in England and Denmark.
ICDP could entail negotiation of new hybrid transnational programmes changing funding landscape, pushing the
boundaries of national doctorate regulations and institutional practices, building international supervisory capacity
and doctoral learning ecologies, new research networks, access to additional facilities and resources, and ways of
(re)orientating research themes towards the UN sustainable development goals.
Informed by a critical realist position, this PhD project focuses on international collaborative doctoral education as
policy, practice and as an object of knowledge. It examines stakeholders’ social imaginaries at inter/national,
institutional and individual levels that make ICDP possible, giving such programmes sense and legitimacy. Here
imaginaries are social because they are socially constructed and have social (and material) impacts. Such social
imaginaries also have elements of moral structure (what is right) and moral agency (what is worth striving for) (Taylor,
The complexity of multi-level social imaginaries in different contexts renders challenges in conceptualising and
conducting ICDP. The absence of consensus in ICDP definitions and of accurate minimum data sets precludes
comparison and debate across institutions and programmes in the global north and south.
Project objectives:

  1. Develop a conceptual classification scheme of ICDP through multi-level social imaginaries analysis and systematic
    literature review;
  2. Explore case studies of Denmark, England and their global academic and industrial partners to understand
    how/why certain types of ICDP are prioritised and sustained;
  3. Theorise ICDP transnational supervisory pedagogies and learning ecologies for candidates and supervisors within
    the case studies.

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