Languages are much more than merely their communicative function.They serve important symbolic and identity roles in societies which are emerging from conflict to peace. How a particular language is recognised and represented within the institutions of the state, in community settings and by the wider populace inevitably reflects wider political and cultural antagonisms. Language policies, therefore, can relate directly to wider processes of reconciliation or indeed to the continuation of conflict in supposed times of peace via cultural means. In other words, debates on language and identity can be used either to bring communities together or to polarise them.
This project will investigate the impact that language ideologies have in the context of post-conflict societies. In particular, this project should address the manner in which language rights and policies might be implemented in such regions, in particular drawing on the shifting discourses about languages and their relation to speakers’ and learners’ identities, and the impact that such changes might have on a language’s status in the public space, and the nature of the wider public’s relationship with that language.
Students, after discussion with their supervisor, may wish to carry out a study which addresses a number of language settings or concentrate primarily on one language, such as the Irish Language in Northern Ireland, within a strongly comparative context. This contact has been conditioned by political, economic, sociological and geographical issues, leading to Ireland’s indigenous language being reduced to minority language status, with a shrinking autochthonous speech community. This scenario warrants scrutiny, both in terms of seeking to track and understand the ongoing nature of language shift within this community, and to identify fit for purpose language planning initiatives that will protect Ireland’s linguistic diversity and seek to reverse the current decline. PhD projects are invited within this broad area that include both fieldwork and policy objectives.
The scope of such projects will include the development of new analytical frameworks for assessing current and historical efforts at language planning that are comprehensive i.e. attending to economic, cultural, linguistic, educational matters etc. Projects may include investigating policy initiatives to support linguistic diversity in post conflict societies and focus on the case of minority language provision in particular.
- To hold, or expect to achieve by 15 August, an Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC) in a related or cognate field.
- A comprehensive and articulate personal statement
- Clearly defined research proposal detailing background, research questions, aims and methodology
- Research proposal of 2000 words detailing aims, objectives, milestones and methodology of the project
If the University receives a large number of applicants for the project, the following desirable criteria may be applied to shortlist applicants for interview.
- First Class Honours (1st) Degree
- Masters at 65%
- For VCRS Awards, Masters at 75%
- Completion of Masters at a level equivalent to commendation or distinction at Ulster
- Research project completion within taught Masters degree or MRES
- Experience using research methods or other approaches relevant to the subject domain
- Experience of presentation of research findings
The University offers the following awards to support PhD study and applications are invited from UK, EU and overseas for the following levels of support:
Vice Chancellors Research Studentship (VCRS)
Full award (full-time PhD fees + DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).
This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £15,000 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.
Vice-Chancellor’s Research Bursary (VCRB)
Part award (full-time PhD fees + 50% DfE level of maintenance grant + RTSG for 3 years).
This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees and provide the recipient with £7,500 maintenance grant per annum for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.
Vice-Chancellor’s Research Fees Bursary (VCRFB)
Fees only award (PhD fees + RTSG for 3 years).
This scholarship will cover full-time PhD tuition fees for three years (subject to satisfactory academic performance). This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.
Department for the Economy (DFE)
The scholarship will cover tuition fees at the Home rate and a maintenance allowance of £15,285 per annum for three years. EU applicants will only be eligible for the fee’s component of the studentship (no maintenance award is provided). For Non-EU nationals the candidate must be "settled" in the UK. This scholarship also comes with £900 per annum for three years as a research training support grant (RTSG) allocation to help support the PhD researcher.
Due consideration should be given to financing your studies; for further information on cost of living etc. please refer to: www.ulster.ac.uk/doctoralcollege/postgraduate-research/fees-and-funding/financing-your-studies