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PhD Programmes


CIM offers doctoral students the opportunity to carry out an interdisciplinary research programme of their own design. Through our wide in-house expertise, as well as the links we foster with other departments, we offer a stimulating environment that will challenge and support you throughout your study. The diverse expertise and research interests of our academic staff can be found here.

This programme allows you to think outside the box and pursue original and innovative interdisciplinary research. The PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies is our first degree, and it allows students to pursue research projects in line with the core aims of the Centre. Students applying to this programme will draw from more than one discipline in conducting their research, and often seek to combine or innovate at the level of research method. Contemporary challenges often fall between or cut across disciplinary expertise and this degree is designed to meet these challenges. Apply here (with link to our application system).

We also offer the joint a programme PhD in Media and Communication in collaboration with Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies (CCMPS). The programme is for students who wish to engage directly with the field of contemporary media. Students on this programme are able to combine research supervision with members in CIM and CCMPS and will have access to the research commuities of both Centres. If you wish to apply for this degree, you will need to apply through the Centre for Cultural and Media Policy Studies.

  1. Determine if you are eligible to apply for a PhD. Eligibility information is below. There are no deadlines to apply for entry to the PhD, but there are deadlines relating to scholarships. If you wish to be considered for a scholarship, please consult the Funding Information below and work towards the deadlines specified. We recommend that candidates submit their applications as early as possible.
  2. Consider how you will fund your research. Full-time PhDs typically last between 3 to 4 years. In order to fund your study, you may need to apply for a scholarship, loan, or rely on support networks. Whatever the case, a clear funding strategy is needed before you commence your studies.
  3. Try to identify a potential supervisor, and make contact with them before submitting your application. Details of our academic staff members' expertise and areas of interest are avaailable on our Staff Profile pages. If you require assistance identfying which member of staff is best placed to supervise your proposed research, please feel free to contact our Director of Postgraduate Research Studies (n dot calvillo at warwick dot ac dot uk)
  4. You may wish to nominate one co-supervisor from outside CIM. If you wish to do this, please make clear why this is the case in your application.
  5. Write your research proposal. Your research proposal should be around 2,000 words (and include references), but the focus is on quality. The proposal should be uploaded along with your application. Your proposal should consider: the main research question/s; the background context of the study and existing research; the discipline/s upon which the project will draw; theoretical frameworks (what theories with the work draw on and why?); methodological approach (i.e. ethnography, digital methods, GIS, discourse analysis); the topic, main examples or case studies; and any possible issues the project may have (such as access to data or specific archives).
  6. Organise the supporting documents. This will involve uploading your CV, academic transcripts, language test results (if needed) and referee information. We recommend that you let your referees know in advance that you intend to apply and send them your application materials so they are best positioned to comment on your suitability for the programme.

For any academic questions please contact CIM’s PGR Director Nerea Calvillo at n dot calvillo at warwick dot ac dot uk (possible supervisors, grants, etc).

For any administrative questions, please contact CIM’s PGR Administrator at CIM at warwick dot ac dot uk (documents required, transcripts, application process, etc)

Please follow this procedure carefully. Failure to do so is likely to affect your proposed start date and any applications for University Scholarships.

STEP 1: Initiate an application for admission to the University, including your Personal Details, Project Proposal and CV. This step is required to find you a possible supervisor or to initiate conversations with your nominated supervisor/s.

STEP 2: Your nominated supervisor(s) will consider your research proposal and CV. If a nominated supervisor thinks that s/he may be able to supervise your project, you will be invited to contact them to discuss the details of your project. If the supervisor wishes to proceed to the next stage, you will be invited to complete the full application to for admission to the University, where you will upload the Supporting Documents. If not, you will be informed by the PGR Administrator.

STEP 3: If you meet the formal criteria for entry the University will make you a formal offer. Formal offers will not be issued without satisfactory references and, for students whose first language is not English, evidence of meeting our language requirements.

If you are applying for a scholarship this process has to be completed first.

For any academic questions please contact PGR Director Nerea Calvillo at n dot calvillo at warwick dot ac dot uk (possible supervisors, grants, etc).

For any administrative questions, please contact CIM’s PGR Administrator at CIM at warwick dot ac dot uk (documents required, transcripts, application process, etc).

  • A strong research proposal that aligns with current research in the Centre.
  • Generally, we require our applicants to have obtained a 2:i undergraduate degree and Master’s (or equivalent) in a relevant subject. However, applications are considered on a case-by-case basis. CIM does not specify a background discipline. If you are unsure about how your previous studies map onto the British system, guidelines can be found through Warwick's International Office.
  • Two academic references; if you include your referees' email addresses on your application, they will receive an automatic email asking them to upload the reference, so you do not need to supply the reference letters yourself in the first instance - just supply the relevant contact details.
  • If English is not your first language or your previous studies have not been completed in English, you must have an IELTS score of 7.0 (Band B). More info can be found through Warwick's International Office.

Awards Available

//////// *IMPORTANT: CIM Internal deadline for pre-selection panel for ALL scholarships POSTPONED. Now: 13 December 2021 (23h)*/////// It is essential to consider how you will fund your studies and support yourself throughout the 3-4 years it takes to complete a PhD. Each year there are a number of different scholarships to apply for depending on the area and approach of your research (Arts and Humanities, Sciences, Social Sciences) and residential status (Home, International (including EU)). Details about scholarships and other sources of funding are below.
Opportunities Deadline for applications Further Details
Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Midlands Graduate School DTP, for social science students. 18/01/2022* Midlands Graduate School ESRC DTP
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Midlands4Cities DTP, for arts and humanities students. 12/01/2022* AHRC Midlands4Cities DTP
Chancellor's International Scholarships, for International students from any disciplinary background. 20/01/2022* Chancellor's International Scholarships
China Scholarship Council (CSC)- Warwick Scholarships, for Chinese students from any disciplinary background. 01/02/2022* China Scholarship Council
Monash Warwick Alliance Joint PhD Scholarships from any discipline (with some conditions.) 20/01/2022* Monash Warwick Alliance
Commonwealth PhD Scholarships (for high income countries) from any discipline (with some conditions.) deadline date tbc* Commonwealth
Further information about these and other scholarships is available via the Warwick Doctoral College

Funding Application Process

If you are applying for one of the scholarships processed via Warwick:

STEP 0: To participate in the pre-selection panel you must have , at least, completed the basic application (CV and Research Project) for admission to the University (although the more information we have, the better), the acceptance from your supervisor, indicated in the system the scholarship you intend to apply to, and ideally a draft of the summary of your Research Project in the format required by each scholarship (see STEP 3). If pre-selected you must finalize STEP 1 as soon as possible.

STEP 1: Make sure you have completed the full application for admission to the University, including the reference letters (except in the case of the M4C scholarships) two weeks before the scholarships deadline . This is very important because otherwise we cannot make an offer, which is a pre-condition to apply for the scholarships.

STEP 2. Make sure to read the scholarship guidelines several times to understand the additional material required. Some scholarships require a support statement from the prospective supervisors, new additional reference letters or other documentation.

Remember to ask for reference letters and any other material that involves others as early as possible!

STEP 3. Prepare the Research Proposal in line with the specific requirements of the scholarship. In many of them the proposal needs to be summarised in response to specific questions, which takes some time to craft.

STEP 4. Submit the application at least 3 days before the grant’s deadline. Your supervisors, PGR director and Administrator will not be able to answer any questions after this date. We suggest that you submit one week in advance, to make sure we can support you if there are any issues.

Please note that it is good practice to, at the end of the application process, thank your prospective supervisors, PGR administrator and PGR director for their help and support, to acknowledge the amount of work that is invested in each application. This is even more relevant when applying for scholarships, which are a time-consuming collective effort.

Some of the topics currently being studied by doctoral students in CIM include:

  • Twitter, the City and the Gut: Re-Writing the City Landscape with Health-related Knowledge
  • Digital Theatres of Transparency
  • The Politics of Algorithmic Management
  • An Ethnography of Facebook and the Production of Value in a Political Campaign
  • A reconsideration of the notion of medium through the work of American metaphysician Wilfrid Sellars
  • "The authority of the steam": power dynamics of digital production in the Bitcoin blockchain
  • Meme Theory
  • An Exploration of Freedom and Surveillance in Cybernetic and Anarchist Approaches to Self-organization in Transhuman Techno-utopias
  • Intergenerational memory in practices of care in Ecuador: the cases of agroecological farming and traditional midwifery
  • Understanding Hashtags
“I’m extremely grateful to have done my PhD at CIM. I really don’t think I could have done my project, which was interdisciplinary by nature, anywhere else. At the same time, I think CIM’s interrogation of ‘methods’ changed my own intellectual outlook on how knowledge might be researched and produced. It helped that everyone was lovely and welcoming, too!"
- Scott

"CIM afforded me the space and freedom to pursue my research interests. I always felt fully supported and encouraged in an intellectual environment that was challenging, stimulating and diverse. Researchers, students and professors are all working on a variety of compelling projects and getting a glimpse of their interests and activities was priceless and very inspiring for me."
- Silvia

“CIM is a truly multidisciplinary environment and provided me with the expert advice of outstanding scholars to conduct research in the fields of political culture and online media studies that I was always passionate about. The academic and administrative staff were very supportive when I needed them most and provided me with the space and freedom to conduct a challenging and high-quality academic research project."
- Esteban

"Completing my PhD in CIM was a greatand challenging experience, and I actually enjoyed the defence! This was largely due to the fantastic guidance of my supervisors and readers at CIM, and the unique research environment that brews in the Centre." - Pablo


PhD Program