Current CDA / ARCS Opportunities

Find listed below a number of SGSAH-funded Collaborative Doctoral Awards (CDAs) and Applied Research Collaborative Studentships (ARCS) commencing in 2024 which are currently open for applications. 

SGSAH CDAs provide AHRC funding for PhD-level research projects which are developed in partnership between Higher Education Institutions and non-HEI organisations or businesses. The ARCS funds doctoral research projects that are developed in collaboration with external organisations across creative, heritage, third and business sectors, normally based in Scotland.

Precarious housing, precarious belonging: exploring experiences and perspectives of young asylum seekers living in temporary accommodation

Edinburgh Napier University, Glasgow University and Migrants Organising for Rights and Empowerment (MORE)


About the Project

This fully funded PhD position is an exciting opportunity to conduct a joint research project at Edinburgh Napier University and the University of Glasgow, working in collaboration with Migrants Organising for Rights and Empowerment (MORE), a migrant led organisation based in Glasgow. The project will adopt an arts-based participatory approach by combining social sciences qualitative methods with artistic research. Working closely with a small group of young asylum seekers, the potential candidate will employ creative methods including poetry, storytelling and drawing to explore how temporary accommodation and precarious housing impact on young migrants’ sense of identity and belonging.

This study will attend to the urgent gap in our knowledge on the impacts of living in temporary accommodation on young asylum seekers in the UK, answering the following research questions:

1. What are the experiences of young asylum seekers living in temporary accommodation?

2. How does this form of precarious housing impact on their sense of identity and belonging?

3. How can arts-based methods advance our understanding of the housing-belonging nexus in the context of youth migration?

The student will be based at School of Applied Sciences at Edinburgh Napier University (ENU). They will join the ENU’s Doctoral College and benefit from PGR opportunities offered within the university. This includes joining ‘On the Margins’ collaborative research network which offers a range of events and activities focusing on participatory methodologies with marginalised groups and communities. As a collaborative HEI, the student will also be part of the Graduate School of Social Science at the University of Glasgow, benefitting from training opportunities offered from all the departments within the School. There will also be opportunities to take part in PGR training and programmes offered by SGSAH and beyond. Part of the project will involve working with MORE, which is a grassroots organisation that provides support to asylum seekers and refugees living across Scotland and campaigns for their rights to employment, education and decent housing. Collaboration with MORE will include the curation of an exhibition at the end of the study, featuring the creative work produced with the young participants.



This scholarship is funded by Scottish Graduate School for Arts & Humanities (SGSAH) via Scottish Funding Council (SFC) Applied Research Collaborative Studentship (ARCS). It covers the full cost of tuition fees at Home (UK) rate and a tax-free annual stipend of £19,237 a year (2024/5) for three years and six months.

Candidates who meet the following criteria qualify as Home students:

· Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements) or

· Have settled status or

· Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements) or

· Have indefinite leave to remain

Applicants who are not eligible for Home (UK) fee rate will be required to fund the difference in fee levels each year. See here information about current fee rates.



· Candidates must hold an undergraduate degree at 2:1 level or above in arts and humanities or social sciences. You should be a graduate who has experience of working with young people and/or qualitative, interdisciplinary or arts-based research in the field of race and migration, social inequalities or related fields.

· Have completed or on course to complete a master's degree in a relevant discipline and/or demonstrate equivalent, relevant professional experience.

· Be able to demonstrate preparedness for the proposed, specific collaborative doctoral project.

Relevant subject disciplines include Migration Studies, Creative and Performative Arts, Human Geography, and Sociology. This is a project involving young people from marginalised groups and communities, and we encourage students from these backgrounds to apply.


English language requirement

IELTS score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s policy are available online.



When applying, please quote the application reference SAS0193 on your form.


· Completed application form - please select ‘PHD APPLIED SCIENCES full-time’ link on the institutional website.

· A personal research statement (This should include (a) a brief description of your relevant experience and skills, (b) an indication of What you would uniquely bring to the project and (c) a statement of how this project fits with your future direction.)

· 2 academic references, using the Postgraduate Educational Reference Form (Found on the application process page)

· CV

· Evidence of proficiency in English (if appropriate)

Please send any enquiries to Dr Taulant Guma at Edinburgh Napier university ( ) or Prof Marta Moskal at University of Glasgow (

Deadline 10th June 2024

In the eye of the beholder: New perspectives on Scottish nature through exploring visual representations, value, and connection.

Queen Margaret University (Edinburgh), and NatureScot



We know that nature is understood in many different ways, and is deeply entangled with human biographies, stories and ideas across all ages. Our understanding of nature emerges through both direct sensory experience and through visual representations – and while previous research suggests that direct experiences in nature are shown to nurture our connection to the natural world (framed as a positive subjective relationship), the indirect ways in which connection is nurtured has been less studied. This PhD project seeks to explore the potential tensions and possibilities between direct experience and visual representation, within a Scottish context, and how visual representations of Scottish nature (in a variety of media, including websites, logos, campaigns and artistic representations) impact on how we value and how we connect with the natural world.


The Project

The PhD student will work in partnership with NatureScot and stakeholders to explore how different visual representations of nature can enhance cognitive, affective, and behavioural affinity with the natural world, also known as nature connection, and alter the perceived value of nature in a variety of audiences in Scotland today. This will include questions around how Scottish nature in represented in contemporary media, how it is accessed, represented and understood by individuals and groups and work towards creating an understanding of how particular representations or forms of media elicit different emotional responses.

This is a collaborative PhD, in collaboration with NatureScot, Scotland's Nature Agency, and is jointly funded by the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities, QMU and The University of Edinburgh.


The Person – Prior experience and key attributes

The successful candidate will have a 1st/ 2.1 Honours Undergraduate degree, and/or a Masters degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. Art History or Theory, Media or Culture Studies, Psychology) and/or equivalent research experience.

What sorts of knowledge and skills are we looking for in an applicant?

  • An interest in the ways in which nature is represented in a variety of media, and the impact these representations have.
  • Ability to build relationships and communicate effectively with communities and liaise with key stakeholders
  • Some research skills in qualitative or quantitative research and a willingness to learn and apply skills from both approaches.
  • Dynamism and enthusiasm to drive ideas forward, set goals and work to deadlines.

    Your proposal should detail relevant interdisciplinary literature you might draw upon as well as outlining your proposed research design for the research aims outlined above.




Application deadline: 7th June 2024

Expected interview date: 18th June 2024

PhD start date: 23 September 2024