ESRC WRDTP Collaborative Studentship: UK Mass Atrocity Prevention

In April 2018, the UK Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) launched an inquiry into the Government’s approach to mass atrocity prevention. This followed four previous inquiries into the UK’s role in relation to mass violence in Myanmar, Libya, Syria, and Iraq. In September 2018 the FAC published its report ‘Global Britain: The Responsibility to Protect and Humanitarian Intervention’ calling for ‘a cross-Government mass atrocity strategy that can help identify areas of high risk at an early stage’.

The collaborative project has been developed with Aegis Trust who are an NGO (established in 2000) working to prevent mass atrocity crimes around the world. The student will be based in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Leeds and will play an active role in the European Centre for the Responsibility to Protect which is also based at the University of Leeds.

The studentship will develop the first UK cross-government strategy toward mass atrocity prevention (defined as genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, or ethnic cleansing). To date, there are a small number of policy reports on UK and EU mass atrocity prevention but no in-depth academic study on the former.

The project will involve i) a cross-departmental analysis to identify obstacles hindering the UK government’s current approach ii) investigate whether mass atrocity indicators can be incorporated into the Government’s integrated approach to conflict prevention ii) learn lessons from non-UK approaches such as the US Atrocity Prevention Board (2011), UN Atrocity Prevention Strategy (2014) and EU Atrocity Prevention Strategy (2018), and v) compare and contrast qualitative and quantitative approaches toward predicting mass violence.

Entry requirements

A minimum UK Upper Second Class Honours or equivalent is essential. It would be desirable if the student was able to evidence at least one of the following: a knowledge of mass atrocities such as Genocide Studies/the Responsibility to Protect, a knowledge of British Politics, a knowledge of qualitative research skills such as semi-structured elite interviewing, a knowledge of quantitative research methods such as data forecasting.

How to apply

How to apply for an ESRC WRDTP Studentship at Leeds:

  1. Applicants applying on both a +3 and 1+3 basis should first of all apply for the relevant research postgraduate programme to commence 1 October 2019 and obtain their Student ID Number;
  2. Applicants should complete the research on-line scholarship application form available at: by the relevant deadline.  An Information Sheet with regulations, guidance notes and a link to the application form is available at

It is important that you select the correct studentship type for which you wish to apply, as this will determine the sections you will be asked to complete.

After receipt of your studentship application, the relevant School will provide further advice on your suitability for either a 1+3 or +3 studentship and advise whether you are required to apply for a Masters study place for the MA Social Research (Interdisciplinary) programme.

As guidance:

  • A ‘1+3’ consists of a one year MA Social Research (Interdisciplinary) which provides training in quantitative and qualitative research methods as well as a 3 year PhD (hence 1+3).
  • Or ‘+3’ for those that are eligible to go straight on to the PhD. To be eligible you must be able demonstrate that they have already gained least 60 credits (not including dissertation) at Masters level of core social sciences research methods training acquired in the last five years. This must include a broad range of methods, including quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods and the use of appropriate software/tools for their application, and comprehension of principles of research design and strategy, and an appreciation of alternative approaches to research.

How to apply (email)

How to apply (phone)

+44 (0)113 343 8056