Thematic Doctoral Pathways

The LJMU Thematic Doctoral Pathway programme is now closed to applications.

The consolidation of UKRI funded Doctoral Training Programmes across UK HEIs has created a ‘gold standard’ for PhD studentships. Doctoral training consortia with an inbuilt structured, cohort-style doctoral experience have become an established mechanism for investment in doctoral training. Despite changes in consortia membership to include more post-92 institutions, UKRI funded Doctoral Training Programmes are still typically concentrated in pre-’92 research intensive universities.

LJMU is piloting an internal Thematic Doctoral Pathway (TDP) to develop our own programmes of cohort-PhD offer.  This will support research excellence, enhance our reputation for outstanding training and research opportunities for postgraduate students, and directly underpin external applications to join funded Doctoral Training Programmes.

Each TDP should be linked to at least one area of expertise across LJMU (assessed as being a minimum of 50% of overall rating at 3* and 4* in REF 2021).

Each TDP should consider the nature of the team and focus area of the proposed work and should identify interdisciplinarity where relevant as well as collaborations between Research Groups, Centres and Institutes within LJMU (potentially across Faculties).  External academic collaboration must be significantly “additive” to the quality of the TDP and the student experience. These collaborations must be formally confirmed in any application (appended letters).

Each TDP will be coordinated by an academic expert in the area but must identify members of the “team” and the skills and experiences they bring.  There is value, also, in identifying early career researchers who will contribute to the TDP.  After the award of the TDP, open advertisement and application for the PhD positions is required.

Research at LJMU

Research and scholarship are at the heart of everything we do at Liverpool John Moores University. Research is central to the student experience and informs the curriculum at all levels.

The results of the 2021 Research Excellence Framework demonstrate the world-leading quality of our research with 66% classified as “world-leading” or “internationally excellent”.

LJMU ranks in the top half of the overall research league table, placed 46th out of 129 universities for research power - the overall quality of our submission multiplied by the full-time equivalent number of researchers submitted.

Find out more about our research impact at LJMU.

We offer research students the opportunity to become part of a vibrant research community, which is delivering world-leading and internationally-excellent research right across the institution. Ranked in the top 25 English universities for PhD completion rates, we also offer expert supervision and excellent training and support via our dedicated Doctoral Academy.

PhD scholarships

Students can expect a fully-funded three-year PhD scholarship, comprising:

  • Annual full time study fees fully
  • A contribution towards running costs (£1,600 per annum)
  • An annual stipend (around £16,062 per annum in 2022/23, raising in line with UKRI rates) paid in monthly instalments for full-time study
  • Coaching, mentoring support and advocacy
  • A comprehensive transferable skills development programme from LJMU Research Development Programme
  • Additional subject-specific training relevant to the cluster (this may include guest lectures, research sandpits, advanced methodological training, depending on the cluster)

Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Scholarships

Further to the launch of the VC Studentships and in line with our commitment to widening participation supports the postgraduate research degree of students from Black, Asian, Minority and Ethnic communities who are under-represented within LJMU academic and research careers.

LJMU promotes a ‘Respect Always’ culture and has a zero-tolerance policy towards harassment. The university has a thriving Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Student Group and all Schools have active equality, diversity and inclusion groups that work to create and promote an inclusive environment for students and staff from diverse backgrounds. Beginning to decolonise curricula and research practices as well as preparing a Race Equality Charter submission are both examples of the university’s commitment towards building a truly inclusive community.

How to apply

Please complete the application form, which can be accessed together with the guidance notes.

Find out more and apply

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