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Research degrees

Scholarships for postgraduate research students

Funding opportunities offered by York St John University.

Scholarships are grants given to a student that you should not need to pay back.

We have the following scholarships available for postgraduate research students.

Master by Research: Community Music

Funding available to support a Master’s by Research project attached to the International Centre for Community Music, York St John University, UK.

Application deadline: Monday 1 July 2024

Interviews: Week commencing Monday 15 July 2024

Start Date: October 2024

Duration: 2 Years part time

As part of a larger research project exploring questions connected to the pedagogy of participatory music-making practices, the International Centre of Community Music is seeking a musician-researcher to explore questions surrounding the experiences and impact of participants and workshop leaders connected to the MetamorPhonics bands based in London and Reykjavik Iceland.

The MetamorPhonics bands are set up in collaboration with higher education institutions and charities which provide support for those in recovery and rehabilitation. The bands are led by experienced professional music leaders and focus on collective and collaborative composition processes, resulting in vibrant and exciting music, collectively created and owned by all band members.

MetamorPhonics bands have 50/50 membership of students in higher education and people in recovery and can have up to 30 members. The projects involve high profile public performances, and the bands release their original recorded music for public consumption.

As part of the project, and under the mentorship of Sigrún Sævarsdóttir-Griffiths, the successful candidate will set up and host a new MetamorPhonics band in York. The research project will be supervised by Lee Higgins and will be part of a larger investigation spanning 3-years funded by the Icelandic Research Council.

The funding includes part time tuition fees and travel budget.

If you would like further information or an informal conversation, please contact Lee Higgins:

Apply for studentship

PhD Fee Studentship: Institute for Social Justice

Co-produced local food systems, community governance and regeneration: the future of allotments in York.

Application deadline: Monday 1 July 2024

Interviews: Week commencing Monday 15 July 2024

Start date: Tuesday 1 October 2024

York St John University’s Institute for Social Justice is seeking applications from candidates interested in pursuing doctoral research to investigate the social and economic role of allotments in the future food system, both in York and nationwide. 

We are looking for a researcher with understanding and experience of community action, community organising or participatory research, who is excited to work collaboratively over several years with a local organisation. The studentship will involve working closely with York’s allotment management charity YACIO (York Allotments Charitable Incorporated Organisation).

The research aims to have a positive impact by developing possible future pathways for the very significant but often overlooked role of allotments in building resilient local food systems. As well as contributing substantially to food production, allotments are a site for development of skills for sustainable futures, forging of community networks, and tackling wellbeing and food poverty issues. They have the potential to contribute much more in terms of societal, economic and environmental benefits if their management and operation is developed more innovatively. This is particularly significant in the current UK context where local authorities are increasingly handing over the management of allotments to communities in different forms.

Therefore, this studentship will seek to understand:

  • What is the future of allotments, socially, economically and culturally? Are allotments at a turning point given societal and environmental changes?
  • How can emerging alternative approaches to allotments be fostered, to make them more productive and contribute to local food security, including through cooperatively managed plots or small-scale commercial food production?
  • How can allotments become more a community, rather than local authority, managed resource? How might other cities learn from YACIO’s approach and vice versa?
  • How might the above approaches intersect with social inclusivity and the need to remove barriers to participation in allotments? 

During the PhD student’s placement with YACIO, they would also engage practically with some of the organisation’s ecological, fundraising or development work (depending on the PhD student’s particular skills, interests and availability), in order to become more embedded in the networks within which YACIO operates and gain a better understanding of the factors which shape and constrain its development.

The project builds upon existing research interests of the Ecological Justice Research Group, an interdisciplinary research group within the Institute for Social Justice, and the cross-university staff/student network Living Lab: Feeding the Campus. 

This fee scholarship is open to candidates interested in pursuing a PhD either part or full time. We welcome all applicants and particularly encourage candidates from backgrounds that are currently under-represented in university sectors. The studentship start date is 1 October 2024. 

For informal enquiries contact Dr Cath Heinemeyer:

Apply for studentship

Please note that scholarships and funding are subject to change each academic year. The financial support through the progression scholarship for October 2025 onwards is currently under review.

If you plan to start your course from October 2025, the financial support available to you may differ from what is currently listed on the York St John University website.

If you have any questions regarding PGR scholarships and funding, please email Victoria Lain at

Applying for a scholarship

As part of your application we will ask you to write a research proposal. This should include the following:

  • What are the main research questions you would address?
  • What would be your methodological approach to the research?
  • What makes you the right person to carry out this research?

Please note that CVs are not accepted in place of the application form.

You can see examples of research proposals on our dedicated page: Research proposal examples.