Brexit’s implications for contested geographical territories with a history of conflict: Northern Ireland, Gibraltar and Cyprus

Interdisciplinary PhD Scholarships on the Theme of Conflict

Have you recently completed a Master Degree or expect to do so very soon? Are you interested in carrying out interdisciplinary research on Brexit during the 4 coming years, commencing in September 2022? 

The School of Law & Government and School of History & Geography is offering a fully funded, four year fees + stipend scholarship in the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences at Dublin City University. The project will be supervised by Prof. Federico Fabbrini (Full Professor of EU Law & Founding Director of the Brexit Institute) & Dr. Gerry O’Reilly (Associate Professor of Geography). This is one of four interdisciplinary PhD Scholarships being offered in the Faculty from 2022. Note that candidates may apply for one scholarship only. 

TITLEBrexit’s implications for contested geographical territories with a history of conflict: Northern Ireland, Gibraltar and Cyprus


Brexit -- the decision of the United Kingdom (UK) to withdraw from the European Union (EU) -- has produced major consequences, particularly in three geographical territories which have a long history of disputed sovereignty and conflict, namely Northern Ireland, Gibraltar and Cyprus. In fact, the Withdrawal Agreement -- the treaty regulating the terms of Brexit -- includes 3 Protocols, one for each of these conflict areas. The purpose of this PhD research project is to explore the implications of Brexit for contested geographical territories with a long history of conflict such as Northern Ireland, Gibraltar and Cyprus. As a result, we welcome doctoral proposals that pursue research in the above mentioned field, and contribute to the first monographic research carried out to date comparing how the 3 Protocols attached to the Withdrawal Agreement on Northern Ireland, Gibraltar and Cyprus have collectively endeavored to deal with territories with unique features but a shared a history of conflict. The successful PhD candidate will undertake an interdisciplinary research that ideally analyzes in comparative perspective the legal provisions enshrined in the Withdrawal Agreement to deal with Northern Ireland, Gibraltar and Cyprus, and contextualizes them in light of the ongoing conflicts at play in these geographical spaces.  

Candidate profile
The ideal candidate must have recently completed or expect very soon an LLM or MA or equivalent degree in Law, or a closely related area. The candidate is expected to have first class or upper second-class honours bachelor’s (or equivalent) degree. In addition, the applicant should:

  • Have a strong interest in Brexit and geography
  • Have excellent knowledge of written and spoken English (See DCU’s requirements for English language skills; applicants must ensure that they meet these requirements before submitting an application.)
  • Meet DCU’s entry requirements in general (see general entry requirements here)



The strict deadline for application is: 19 April at 5 pm (Irish Standard Time). Applications received after this deadline will not be considered. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview around the middle of May. 

What to submit:

Candidates should email their applications in a single pdf file to with “APPLICATION Interdisciplinary PhD in Conflict” in the subject line. This application must include:

  1. A brief cover letter outlining your motivation for applying
  2. A complete version of this form

Note: Incomplete applications will be deemed ineligible.


Applications will be reviewed by the supervisory panel and short-listed. Short-listed candidates will be called for interview (online). If successful at the interview stage, candidates will then be invited to make a formal application to DCU via the Student Application Portal. Applicants are expected to read the information available here on the general process for PhD applications to DCU. Please note that the offer of a scholarships is not a formal offer of a place for PhD studies at DCU. The latter is made only after successful application via the Student Application Portal and verification of eligibility. 

For queries contact: