PhD in International Relations

People sitting at desks in a library

Admission to, and management of, all PhD programmes is conducted through the School of International Relations (IR). However, CSTPV academics are able to act as supervisors within this overall structure. CSTPV is an inter-disciplinary research centre for a wide range of subjects connected broadly to terrorism and political violence and welcomes applications from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds. This includes backgrounds in International Relations, but encompasses fields as diverse as Anthropology, Criminology, History, Political Science, Psychology and Sociology amongst others. We recommend that you approach individual CSTPV staff members informally first before you apply formally through the School of IR. Please look at our staff profiles to see what topics our academics supervise PhDs on.

PhDs can be taken full-time for three years or part-time for six years. Either way, it is a major undertaking that is not to be taken lightly. But conducting original research at this level can, and should, also be a truly fulfilling experience. As part of the School of IR, CSTPV therefore aims to provide a supportive intellectual home for those PhD students working on terrorism-related subjects.

Applications are invited for the Dr Haruhisa Handa PhD Studentship, for full-time PhD research into any aspect of Terrorism and Political Violence, with study to commence in academic year 2021/2022.

The successful candidate will be supervised by one of the academic staff at Handa CSTPV, a research centre located within the School of International Relations at the University of St Andrews.

The successful candidate will receive a Studentship of £16,000 per annum for a period of three years, during which time their tuition fees (home or international) will also be paid in full.

Applicants must separately apply for PhD study in the School of International Relations and must be holding an offer of a place for PhD research (with a CSTPV first supervisor) by the date of the Studentship deadline of 23 April 2021. Information about PhD research in the School, and about the application process for it, is available here.

To apply, please submit the following by email in one document (Word or PDF) to Please title the email Handa Bursary Application – Name.

1. CV

2. Thesis proposal of up to 500 words. The proposal should demonstrate:

  • The originality and feasibility of the proposed project
  • Its importance in relation to the existing scholarly literature
  • The manner in which the applicant’s academic record to date qualifies them for pursuing this doctoral research
  • 3. Copy of PhD study acceptance letter or email

    We also require 2 academic references. Informal enquiries can be made to Gillian Brunton at These should be sent to by 23 April 2021 Late Applications will not be considered.