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The University of Southampton
Politics and International RelationsPart of Economic, Social and Political Science

Fully-funded PhD Scholarship, "Fairness, Common Heritage and The International Seabed Authority"

Published: 12 March 2015

The Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute (SMMI) at the University of Southampton has been awarded a major grant to host a new Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarship programme, ‘Understanding Maritime Futures: Opportunities, Challenges and Threats’, which will support at least 15 PhD students.

This particular scholarship will investigate how, from the point of view of justice, any funds from the exploitation of seabed resources should be shared. Though in the first instance a project in normative political theory, it would suit an individual willing to pursue a project bridging political theory, philosophy and law, and to develop some familiarity with the geology of seabed resources. The successful applicant would be supervised by a team led by Professor Chris Armstrong, but spanning Politics and International Relations, Philosophy and Law, with additional assistance from an expert in marine geology.

The Doctoral programme as a whole encourages applicants willing to:

  • employ a transdisciplinary approach to tackle an important societal challenge;
  • develop ideas which might inform national and international decision makers from government, business and civil society;
  • challenge public understanding and/or capture the public imagination.

The studentship will cover tuition fees for UK/EU applicants and provide a maintenance grant at a rate comparable with other UK Research Council studentships. The funding associated with this project is only available for EU/UK students.

Start date: September 2015

For informal advice, contact Professor Chris Armstrong, Politics and International Relations;

How to apply:

Candidates should apply using the standard online application form here:

You must make clear in your application that you wish to be considered for the SMMI scholarship, supervised by Professor Chris Armstrong in Politics and International Relations. Applications must be received by 30th March 2015.

Candidates will be shortlisted based on academic excellence and aptitude for inter-disciplinary research. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed, and will be asked to provide, in advance of interviews, a ~1500 word response to either of these questions:

  • "What key principles should be considered for the future use of seabed mineral resources in the deep ocean?"


  • "What policy developments are required to make the oceans and seas ‘an enabling environment for development for the benefit of all’ (United Nations Development Strategy Beyond 2015)?"
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