Anthropology, School of Oriental and African Studies
*ERC PhD studentships*
*Deadline: 24 April 2015*
*Roads and the politics of thought: Ethnographic approaches to
infrastructure development in South Asia*
Applications are invited for two doctoral studentships tenable at SOAS for
3 years (full time) starting in September 2015.
This project offers an exciting opportunity for two outstanding graduates
to join a major anthropological research project funded by the European
Research Council – as part of the conventional track PhD in Anthropology at
SOAS. The project is focused on contemporary road-building projects as
infrastructure in South Asia. The overarching aim of the project is to
explore the relationship between infrastructure investment and global
sustainability through research on the politics and dynamics of particular
New roads are being constructed at unprecedented rates in certain parts of
the world. The proposed research will ask: Why? To what end? Who benefits?
What ideas lie in the foundations of this new infrastructure? Roads are
presented as solutions to poverty, ‘development’ and economic growth. Are
they? In what ways? What else might roads do? As cheap oil dwindles and
questions of climate change remain, why are so many international
institutions cultivating new roads?
The project will provide the first ethnographic account of the culture of
road builders, their knowledge practices, interrelations and motivations.
The research will be rooted in case studies of particular road projects in
Pakistan, India, Maldives and Sri Lanka. These sites have been selected to
bring to the fore how nation-building, neo-liberalism, ambition,
environmental vulnerability and modernity feature in contemporary
road-building. We will look at the organisation of road building on the
ground, in offices, and within a broader array of institutions and state
bodies in national and international contexts in order to understand the
global cultures of road-building practice.
The project is academic in design and will contribute to various pressing
and critical debates relating to power, global justice and environmental
futures. The subject also merits wider discussion and at the core of the
research design is an innovative collaboration between anthropologists and
leading Indian contemporary artists (CAMP, Mumbai).
Applicants are encouraged to contribute their own provisional research
ideas in the form of a proposal along with their application. Suitable
projects may focus on particular stretches of new national highways, major
tunnel or bridging works, or roads against which particular claims are made
for the nation, history or identity. Particular preference may be given to
projects which focus on either Pakistan or India. Projects will have
anthropological fieldwork at their core, but may also draw on other
methodologies, including archival and visual media work.
Applicants are encouraged to contact Professor Edward Simpson at
email@example.com for further information about the project in advance of
*Criteria and Requirements*
– Minimum Entry Requirements: applicants are required to hold a BA
and/or MA degree in Anthropology, with a merit or equivalent in the Masters
Degree and a MA dissertation grade of 65% or higher. Applicants must
provide a clear and coherent research proposal of 2000 words.
– Only new applicants may apply: those already enrolled on a research
degree programme at SOAS are not eligible.
– Your on-line admission application should include a research proposal
outlining how you would fulfil the provisional project aims described above
and a personal statement indicating how you would contribute to the overall
aims of the project and the way in which you are qualified to carry it out.
– Shortlisted candidates may be interviewed in person at SOAS or
remotely via skype during the week of 11 May 2015.
– The studentship is for a duration of 3 years and will cover course
fees at the UK/EU rate and a student stipend: Year one – Euros 22,294***;
Year two – Euros 24,523; Year three – Euros 26,975 (***equivalent to
approximately £15,856 but exchange rates are subject to change)
– The studentship is open to applicants paying fees at the UK/EU rate
only (Applicants from non-EU countries may apply for this project but will
be required to meet the additional costs of overseas fees from other
– Candidates will be assessed on academic merit by a Selection Panel
consisting of three academic members.
– The assessment of your application will be based on the information in
your on-line application for admission. Selectors will be looking at your
degree results and also at academic references, personal statement,
research proposal and other relevant information.
*Scholarship Application Deadline*
– Scholarship applications must be received no later than 5pm (UK local
time) on Friday 24 April 2015.
– It is recommended to apply for the research degree two weeks *BEFORE*
the scholarship deadline (that is by Friday, 10 April 2015).
*Notification of Results*
Successful candidates will be notified by the end of May. If you have not
heard from us by the end of May, you should assume your application was
*Scholarship Application Procedures*
Applicants should follow two steps:
– *STEP 1:* *Apply for the research degree (MPhil/PhD) Anthropology and
Sociology at SOAS*
Applicants must submit a COMPLETE on-line application for admission to the
research degree (MPhil/PhD) Anthropology and Sociology
but no later than the scholarship deadline of 17:00 UK time, 24 April
2015. It is strongly recommended to apply for the programme two weeks *BEFORE
*the scholarship deadline (that is by 10 April 2015).
A complete application for admission includes transcripts, an explanation
of the grading system for any degrees obtained outside of the UK, two
references, CV, research proposal and a personal statement.
IMPORTANT: Your on-line admission application should include a research
proposal outlining how you would fulfil the provisional project aims
described above and a personal statement indicating how you would
contribute to the overall aims of the project and the way in which you are
qualified to carry it out.
– *STEP 2:* *Apply for the scholarship*
You must apply for this scholarship via the on-line scholarship application
form as soon as possible but no later than the scholarship deadline of
17:00 (UK time), 24 April 2015.
For any queries regarding the studentship application procedure, please
For any queries regarding the project, please email Prof. Edward Simpson,
firstname.lastname@example.org – See more at: http://www.anthropology.gr/el/node/337#sthash.mak8IEjg.dpuf