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School of Communications

PhD Study

The School of Communications at Dublin City University is now inviting applications from qualified candidates for up to six 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 almost 40 years, the School is defined by excellence in both teaching and research in journalism, multimedia and communications studies. In the QS global subject rankings in 2019 DCU was in the top 200 of almost 4,500 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 to public policy formation. They have also led 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 six funded PhD scholarships (across a four-year duration). As well as a tax-free stipend of €16,000 plus fees, we also support our students with funding for conference travel and offer PhD students opportunities to gain teaching experience.

Scholarships are open to those working in a wide array of theoretical, epistemological and methodological approaches relevant to our school, this year, we particularly welcome applications in the following areas:

Digital challenges for journalism and politics: Fellowship(s) in this area will ideally focus on the social and political impact of recent changes in the media environment. Particular relevant are comparative studies on the relationship between social media platforms and news organizations, algorithmic power, disinformation and political polarization. (For further information, contact Dr. Alessio Cornia – alessio.cornia@dcu.ie)

Digital media technologies in urban space: Fellowship(s) in this area will ideally focus on the social and spatial impact of digital media technologies in urban space. These might involve (but are not limited to) surveillance and privacy issues, smart city infrastructures, the role of artificial intelligence and algorithms in everyday life, participatory art performances, interactive installations, mixed reality, public play interventions or any other projects that critically analyze the role of ubiquitous computing in the contemporary mediated city. Practice-based projects are encouraged and working knowledge of practice-based creative media software and front-end programming, user interface and user experience is preferable. (For further information, contact Dr. Marcos Dias – marcos.dias@dcu.ie)

Popular culture and new forms of promotion: Fellowship(s) in this area will ideally focus on sport, advertising and/or tourism. Possible research topics might include: mediasport; digital advertising; sporting subcultures; screen tourism; sport and nation branding; and work in the promotional industries. (For further information, contact Dr. Neil O’Boyle – neil.oboyle@dcu.ie)

Worlds of Journalism: Fellowship(s) in this area draw on the School’s involvement in the Worlds of Journalism study founded to regularly assess the state of journalism throughout the world. The project explores the different ways journalists perceive their duties, their relationship to society and government, and the nature and meaning of their work. Proposals are specifically welcomed that make use of the project’s dataset on trust and demographics. Please see http://www.worldsofjournalism.org/  before preparing an application. The successful applicant will also work as a research assistant on the next phase of the project to commence in 2020. (For further information, contact Prof. Kevin Rafter – kevin.rafter@dcu.ie)

Media Policy & Regulation: Fellowship(s) in this area will will explore how established conceptions of media concentration and media pluralism are being (or will be) altered by the emergence of new data and information infrastructures. Google, Facebook, Twitter et al. have increasingly become not just constitutive elements of the global media industries since the beginning of the 21st century but arguably now dominate these sectors. Traditional studies of media concentration and pluralism have tended to focus on how to regulate ownership and control of legacy media organisations in the print and broadcast fields. However, given the key role played by digital intermediaries, the research undertaken will seek to 1) establish how these new players effect the diversity of news and information available to individual consumers and 2) how/whether such entities might be regulated to ensure that the emerging media ecology is as pluralistic as possible.  (For further information, contact Dr. Roddy Flynn – roddy.flynn@dcu.ie)

General PhD scholarship(s): In addition to the above targeted areas, we also welcome applications for doctoral research projects across the broader range of media, communications and journalism fields.  Applications are also welcomed from prospective candidates wishing to pursue practice-led PhDs. Candidates must have consulted with a potential supervisor before applying. Current research interests of our staff can be viewed via their profiles at this link: https://www.dcu.ie/communications/people-staff.shtml

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

Applications to: Ms. Catherine Delaney, Secretary, School of Communications (commsschooloffice@dcu.ie

General inquiries to: Dr. Jim Rogers, Chair of PhD Studies (jim.rogers@dcu.ie

Closing date:  Friday 3rd May 2019