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Graduate Teaching Assistant Scholarships in the School for Policy Studies

13 June 2019

The School of Policy Studies at the University of Bristol is seeking to recruit two Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA) for a PhD in areas which expand and complement the School’s profile in Social/Public Policy or Criminology/Social Harm.

The successful applicants will join a dynamic School with that pushes forward intellectual debates and real-world solutions to a range of policy and social dilemmas within an interdisciplinary environment. It has an exceptional reputation for teaching, research and public engagement. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) 80% of research in social work and social policy was rated world-leading or internationally excellent. In the QS World Rankings, social policy at the University of Bristol is consistently ranked in the top 30 worldwide and top ten in the UK. And the School’s undergraduate (UG) programmes are top rated in national league tables.

GTA Scholarships are highly competitive and guided by the principle of supporting the recipient’s educational as well as research development in a holistic way.  School-specific support for GTA post-holders will be complemented by centrally-provided support, organised by the Bristol Doctoral College, which will take advantage of the Personal and Professional Development programme for all Postgraduate Research students.

GTA postholders will study for a PhD under supervision of two members of staff within the School for Policy Studies, and undertake teaching duties within the School’s undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. They will be attached to one of the School’s seven research centres linked to their research interests.

Further Particulars

GTA awards are for a period of up to four years, starting 23rd September 2019.

For a successful applicant, the scheme will waive the full tuition home/EU fee for a research student in the School. Please note overseas students will need to cover the difference between overseas fees and the funded amount for home/EU fees themselves (for fee details, visit:

It also offers an annual research stipend of £14,000 and teaching income of approximately £2400-4000 depending upon the amount of teaching undertaken.

The Social/Public Policy GTA will be expected to contribute to seminar teaching on at least one of these undergraduate units: Social Policy Past and Present; Key Concepts, Theories and Ideologies in Social Policy; Comparative and International Social Policy; Critical Skills for Social Scientists; and Social Policy and Segregation and inequality in the UK (measurement and debate).

For the Criminology/Social Harm GTA, the relevant units are: Understanding Crime, Harm and Society; Critical Skills for Social Scientists; Criminology; Controlling Crime and Social Harm; and Criminological Theory: An Introduction.

There may also be some opportunities to teach on the School’s postgraduate programmes.

The GTA scholarship requires recipients to be involved in up to 250 hours of teaching and teaching-related activities each year, including facilitating seminars, seminar preparation, marking, and office hours. As part of this, postholders will be expected to undergo teacher training sessions through the CREATE scheme offered by the University’s Staff Development Unit.

Where awarded, the bursary will be paid in instalments in each year of PhD study, up to four years or until the thesis is submitted, if earlier. The student must remain registered as an active full-time research student in the School and satisfactorily deliver the teaching outlined above. Awards will be renewable at the end of each year, subject to satisfactory teaching performance. Payment is conditional on meeting the formal Faculty requirements for progression in PhD study which includes completion of 60 credits of taught components and a PhD Progression Panel.

The award will not be payable once the PhD has been completed or when a student leaves the PhD programme. Payments will be suspended if the award-holder suspends their studies or switches to part-time registration.

A full bursary (home/EU fee waiver, research stipend and teaching income) will not normally be awarded where a student is in receipt of another source of external funding during the course of PhD study. In some cases, a partial award could be considered. Details of the external funding should be provided on the candidate’s statement made in support of their GTA application.

GTA Selection Criteria and eligibility

In addition to the conditions of admission to the Social Policy or Social Work Doctoral programmes which involve submission of a research proposal lying within the interests of two potential supervisors within the School for Policy Studies (see:, applicants for GTA funding should hold (or expect to hold) a first class/good upper second class BSc/BA or MSc/MA with distinction/merit (or equivalent qualifications) in the social sciences.

Candidates will be selected for these awards on the basis of:

  • academic excellence
  • teaching experience (or potential), matched to teaching needs (ascertained via interview)
  • research fit with the school

For International applicants

For applicants whose first language is not English, the minimum English language requirement is an IELTS score of 6.5 minimum overall (or equivalent).

Please note that proof of the right to work in the UK will be required upon issuing of the teaching contract. For overseas applicants who would require a Tier 4 Visa there a few additional rules:

Application procedure

PhD applications should be completed using the University Online Application system. Please note that this can be saved as you go along, completed in several stages, and extra required information, e.g. transcripts, can be uploaded as it becomes available. Applicants are encouraged to approach potential supervisors by email to discuss their research intentions/ideas and research proposal.

PhD applications MUST be submitted no later than 5pm on 28th June 2019. To be considered the application should include all the required documentation such as references.

Applicants should also send a statement explaining the applicant’s interest and suitability for the GTA (maximum 500 words) to by the same date.  The subject line of this email should be ‘GTA Scholarship Application’.

The School reserves the right not to make awards if no suitable candidates present themselves. Applicants who have not been contacted by the end of August 2019 should assume that their application has been unsuccessful.

Further information

School contacts:

Professor Christina Pantazis (GTA scholarship and teaching queries)


Emma Western (Postgraduate Admissions Administrator)


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