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Applications are invited for a funded PhD studentship at Queen's University Belfast, entitled The Media and Nation-Building in Post-Conflict Societies.

The studentship will be supervised by the School of English and the Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice. It will strengthen the media research already being carried out in the School of English, and will capacity-build in the new institute. It also targets the university’s strategic priority of research into conflict, identities and human rights. Moreover, with its focus on newly democratising  societies, the proposed studentship is consistent with the research focus of the ISCTSJ.

This studentship will examine the role of the media in nation-building in societies emerging out of conflict, thereby supporting the university’s strategic research priority into conflict, identities and human rights. Focussing on one case country or several set in comparison, it will explore how the media can be used in the democratisation process, when society is politically fragmented, and ethnically and culturally diverse, and has a legacy of violence. This research is both timely and urgent and speaks directly to media policy in these sorts of societies.

The studentship acknowledges and builds on a strong research tradition into the media’s role in conflict societies.  In the past, such research has concentrated on, for example, the role of media in reporting conflict in South Africa and Northern Ireland. The proposed studentship expands and extends this research focus into societies emerging out of conflict, which is a key objective of the ISCTSJ. The research will examine anew the specific problems facing the media in countries attempting to democratise after conflict and have to deal with the legacy of past violence.

The material generated will benefit organisations in all countries emerging from conflict, and be of interest to stakeholders such as the UK Department for International Development, and international development organisations such as BBC Media Action. In this respect, the project will have palpable ‘impact’. In addition to a strong academic record, the successful applicant will have a background in journalism and in international development.

Students must apply to the School via Queen’s Online Application portal (https://dap.qub.ac.uk/portal/user/u_login.php). Applicants must clearly indicate in the relevant section on the application form which DEL Themed Award they wish to be considered for and quote the full title of the project. Academic proposals are 750 words and students are welcome to consult with the named academic staff below on their proposals. Supervision of this project will be by Professor Paul Simpson ([log in to unmask]) and Professor John Brewer ([log in to unmask]); all queries regarding the application process should be addressed to Dr Adrian Streete ([log in to unmask]).

The deadline for applications is: 5pm, Monday 17th February, 2014. Applications for the DEL awards will then be ranked in the School and successful candidates notified in April 2014.

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