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PhD Studentship (ESRC South Coast DTP) - Brain Drain? Young people’s out-migration as a career strategy

Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology

Location:  Highfield Campus
Salary:   £14553
Annual stipend of £14553 (2017/18 RCUK rate) plus payment of programme fees
Closing Date:   Wednesday 31 January 2018
Reference:  SCDTP890617CC

Brain Drain? Young people’s out-migration as a career strategy

A fully funded studentship awarded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (SCDTP) commencing in 2018/19 Academic Year.

Supervisory Team:

Prof Pauline Leonard (Pauline, Dr Charlie Walker

Many young people are tempted by the idea of working abroad, perhaps fleeing a lack of career opportunities within the UK or seeking excitement by working in an international context. However the decision can have long term consequences for both individuals and society, perhaps preventing a return to the UK and causing a ‘brain drain’ of talent from the British economy. What are the benefits and challenges of migrating as a means to starting a career? What are the experiences of working abroad once in post and how productive is this as a long-term career building strategy? What are the motivations and barriers to returning to the UK? This project will employ qualitative methodologies to explore these important questions. 

Research questions:

1. What are the ‘push’ factors to leaving the UK and migratingas an entry route into work?

2. What are the benefits and challenges of starting to build a career in a foreign context?

3. What opportunities or barriers exist for returning to the UK? 

Skills required of the PhD student:

-        A good first degree in sociology, social policy, geography, education or cultural studies

-        Interest in sociology of work; sociology of youth; migration; education and training; lifecourse approaches

-        Abilities in social theory and qualitative methodologies


South Coast DTP Funding provides an annual maintenance grant (tax free) of £14553 (2017/18 RCUK rate), plus payment of all programme fees.  Other funding available for SCDTP funded students can be found on the SCDTP website (

Funding is provided for 3 years full-time PhD study (pro-rata for part-time students).  Applications for 1+3 funding for students completing a Master's year prior to the commencement of PhD study are also welcome (details available at

Application Procedure

The full application procedure, the funding application form, and more information on the South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership can be found at:

For further information about this project, please contact the lead supervisor detailed above.  For questions relating to the application procedure, or for more information about the SCDTP, please visit the SCDTP website or contact us at

The closing date for this job opportunity has now passed, and applications are no longer being accepted for this position



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