PhD Scholarships Call 2022

The School of Communications at Dublin City University is now inviting applications from qualified candidates for up to four PhD Scholarships


The School of Communications at DCU is home to almost 1,000 students at undergraduate, postgraduate and PhD levels. With a tradition stretching back more than 40 years, the School is defined by excellence in both teaching and research in communication, journalism and multimedia studies. In the QS global subject rankings in 2021 DCU was in the top 150 (of almost 1,500) universities worldwide in the area of communications. DCU is ranked number 1 nationally in Communications & Media Studies.

The School’s academics undertake research that contributes to national and international debates and public policy formation. They also lead research projects supported by national and international funders. This cutting-edge research is across a range of (inter)disciplinary fields including (new) media studies, media history, journalism studies, science communication, political communication, social media studies, film and television studies, music industry studies, advertising, and cultural studies. In the past five years, the School has supported approximately 40 doctoral students to achieve PhD awards through this scheme.

The School now has an opening for up to four funded PhD scholarships (across a four-year duration). As well as a tax-free stipend of €16,500 plus fees, we also support our students with funding for conference travel and offer PhD candidates opportunities to gain teaching experience.


In this call, we invite applications in the following areas / themes:

Digital Challenges for Journalism and Politics: Fellowship(s) in this area will ideally focus on the social, political, economic, and democratic impact of recent changes in the media environment. Particular relevant are (cross-country) comparative studies on the relationship between social media platforms and news organisations, algorithmic power, political polarization, changing media systems, media coverage of corruption, and investigative journalism. (For further information contact Dr. Alessio Cornia

Science, Technology and Environmental Journalism: Fellowship(s) in this area will ideally focus on the broad area of science, technology, and environmental journalism. We especially welcome proposals to research journalism about energy and climate change, including journalism related to the transition to low-carbon societies. We also welcome proposals to research the political economy of science, technology, and environmental journalism, and journalism about the financial dimensions of sustainability, as well proposals to research journalistic portrayals of the technological dimensions of the energy transition. (For further information contact Dr. Declan Fahy

Journalism & Objectivity: Fellowship(s) in this area will ideally focus on the challenges to objectivity and impartiality that are inherent in contemporary journalism. Particularly relevant are proposals relating to the nature of the public sphere, contemporary journalistic practices and norms, news values, media regulation, new media, cancel culture, and moral certainty. (For further information contact Dr. Mark O’Brien

Interdisciplinary Digital Communications Research Fellowship(s) in this area will ideally focus on interdisciplinary digital research, grounded in Communications and incorporating / developing novel methods. Of particular interest are (a) studies of discourse and participation in online spaces, particularly within established and emerging social media platforms; (b) studies exploring the technological mediation of public discourse, community building, or collaborative learning; or (c) explorations of the ethics within such online digital communications research. Proposals for monograph thesis PhD projects, as well as practice-based doctoral projects in these thematic areas will be considered. Applicants should directly address the interdisciplinary elements of their proposed research (or practice) and discuss their intended methodological approach(es). (For further information contact Dr. Dónal Mulligan


NB. Applications should consist of a 2,000 word research proposal as well as a brief CV detailing academic qualifications and professional experience to date.

NB. Applicants must contact the relevant supervisor prior to submitting an application.

NB. All applications should be submitted to Ms. Eileen Myers, Secretary, School of Communications, DCU (, clearly indicating the theme under which they are applying.

We intend to shortlist and interview selected candidates either in person or online over April and May. Successful candidates then will be required to apply formally to be admitted as PhD students and may also need to show proficiency in the English language. Successful candidates will begin their studies in October 2022 and are required to be normally resident in Dublin for the duration of their studies.

Closing date for applications:  Thursday 31st March 2022.