Does Intercultural Dialogue work in Fragile Contexts?

Eligibility: UK/EU/International graduates with the required entry requirements

Award Details:  Bursary £15000 pa (TBC) - Tuition fees (UK/EU/International)

Duration: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: 30 June 2019

Interview dates: TBC

Start date: September 2019

Informal enquiries are essential before application; contact Dr Serena Hussain to discuss this opportunity.

This PhD project is part of the Cotutelle arrangement between Coventry University, UK and Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. There are two studentships available for this projects. One candidate will spend 1 year at Coventry University, the second year at Deakin University and the remaining 1.5 years at Coventry University, the other candidate will spend 1 year at Deakin University, the second year at Coventry University and the remaining 1.5 years at Deakin University.

The supervision team will be drawn from the two Universities.

Successful candidates will receive a full scholarship covering course fees and living costs. Students will study in both Universities and on successful completion will be awarded a PhD by both.

The Intercultural Dialogue (ICD) approach differentiates itself from other methods of engaging with diverse societies, principally by encouraging dialogue with the cultural ‘Other’ for its own sake, rather than being outcome focused. However, critics of ICD ask whether it is relevant outside of the European context where it was developed (Aman; 2012); and whether it is applicable in fragile contexts, where for example, there is conflict over sovereignty (Phipps; 2014). In recognition of such critiques this PhD explores the utility of ICD as a framework in:

  • A non-European/Western setting which is
  • A fragile context and
  • has a long standing disputed status

The PhD candidate will conduct ICD workshops with youth belonging to stakeholder communities within the disputed region in order to explore the utility of ICD as both a) a research tool for academic exploration of community and stakeholder perspectives; and b) a framework for promoting inter-group dialogue between communities and stakeholders within fragile contexts. The student will be provided with extensive training and guidance on ICD by the supervision team and will work closely with a partner NGO within the setting, who will support with the facilitation of workshops for qualitative data gathering and participant observation.

  • £15,000 bursary plus tuition fees - UK/EU/International
  • The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.
  • All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities. 

Successful applicants will have:

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree (second class honours upper division) in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 70% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 70% overall module average, and/or
  • A Masters Degree in a relevant subject area will be considered as an equivalent. The Masters must have been attained with overall marks at 70%. In addition, the dissertation or equivalent element in the Masters must also have been attained with a mark at 70%
  • a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)
    • the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a prescribed period of study
  • Strong industrial experience is desirable.
  • The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a prescribed period of study


  • Experience of conducting research in non-European/Western fragile context

Please note that applications must be made to both Universities.


To find out more about the project please contact Serena Hussain at

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project. 

All UK/EU/International students are eligible to apply that meet the academic requirements, the eligibility criteria can be found making an application page.