Global Britain, International Identity, Development aid and Foreign Policy in a Post-Brexit World

We warmly welcome applicants within this area, however, this is a competitive studentship that will be awarded based on academic excellence and the successful applicant will be selected from one of the following areas listed below:

Conditions of the award

  • It is not open to individuals who are already holding another award which covers the payment of tuition fees in full or part.
  • It is not open to individuals who have already been awarded a doctoral degree or equivalent.
  • Receipt of the scholarship is conditional upon you commencing your period of study by registering no later than 1st October in the academic year for which the award is offered.
  • Scholarships cannot be deferred to a later year.
  • Applicants must live within a reasonable distance of the University of Leeds whilst in receipt of this Scholarship.

Project description

This studentship is in collaboration with British Foreign Policy Group.

This study will focus on the connection between UK international development policy and foreign policy in a Post-Brexit Britain. Increasingly development policy is being explicitly used as a foreign policy tool by the UK, to push policy priorities internationally such as bi-lateral trade, securitisation and political ideologies. This project will critically examine the key intellectual drivers for policy formation and change within key government departments and how this will shape the UK’s international identity.

The collaborative project has been developed with BFPG, a leading think-tank that examines how policy making and policy process adapt in the field of British Foreign Policy and the motivating factors behind those changes. The student will be based in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Leeds, working with Dr. Victoria Honeyman (former chair of BISA Foreign Policy Working Group) and Dr. Simon Lightfoot

In line with the priorities of the BFPG, the studentship will examine what specific changes has Brexit brought to foreign policy making, specifically to how Britain builds relationships overseas, including overseas development aid. In addition it will provide one of the first studies outlining what specific international identity is Britain attempting to create via its changes in policy making, and how effective has that been.

The project will include interviews with key opinion formers facilitated by the BFPG, analysis of speeches/social media posts to identify key themes and motivations and the building of a data set for use by BFPG and develop typologies of international identity within both Labour and Conservative parties to identify commonalities and differences between parties. The successful candidate should therefore be able to evidence suitable skill sets in these areas.

Entry requirements

Candidates should hold a 2:1 first degree or equivalent and a merit of higher Masters degree (or expected grade if not yet completed).

How to apply

Download an application form and return your completed application to by the closing date.

You will also need to have submitted a PHD application to the School identifying this pre-defined project title and provided full supporting documentation: transcripts and degree certificates, two references and (in lieu of a research proposal) a short supporting statement of 1-2 pages addressing your reasons for applying for this project, your suitability for the project and how you would respond to the research questions as set out in the project description.

You can apply for a PHD at

How to apply (email)

How to apply (phone)

+44 (0)113 343 8056