The School of Politics and International Relation at University College Dublin is offering two new fully-funded Ad Astra doctoral scholarships in the 2020/21 academic year.

SPIRe is the oldest and largest school of its kind in the Republic of Ireland. According to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019, UCD School of Politics and International Relations is ranked in the top 100 in the world.

The successful candidates will undertake a PhD under the supervision of Dr Thomas Däubler or Dr Stefan Müller.

  • Thomas Däubler does quantitative empirical research on electoral systems, parliamentary behaviour and political parties.
  • Stefan Müller works on representation, party competition, public opinion, and computational social science, especially quantitative text analysis.

The candidate’s research focus should relate either to Thomas Däubler’s or Stefan Müller’s fields of interest.

The successful candidates can also benefit from joining the Connected_Politics Lab, an interdisciplinary hub for researchers using computational methods to study politics and society. The Connected_Politics Lab is hosted by the College of Social Sciences and Law at UCD.

Worth of Award

The scholarship will provide:

  • Tuition fees at up to the non-EU rate
  • A yearly stipend of €18,000
  • An annual research budget of €4,000, which creates excellent opportunities for, e.g., conducting surveys, running experiments, or attending conferences.
  • There is no obligation to teach or do research assistance attached to the Ad Astra scholarship, but the successful candidates may engage in these activities if they wish to do so.


  • Applications are open to anyone who intends to apply to the PhD programme in Politics and International Relations;
  • EU and non-EU students are equally eligible for studentships under this award;
  • Continuing students, or students transferring only part of their PhD studies to UCD, cannot apply.

How to Apply

Applicants need to proceed through the standard application process for the PhD programme before they can be considered for the scholarships. Application to the PhD requires submission of:

  • One-page cover letter stating the reasons for your interest in the SPIRe programme.
  • Please note in both your cover letter and email that you are applying for the Ad Astra Scholarship
  • Thesis proposal (3-5 pages maximum), which should include:
    • a statement of the research question;
    • a brief literature review that points to research gaps the PhD project could address;
    • an outline of theoretical approaches considered;
    • a brief discussion of the proposed methodology
  • Copies of all academic transcripts (undergraduate and postgraduate)
  • C.V. or Resume (2 pages maximum)
  • Two academic references (actual letters, on headed institutional paper, required). If sent by email, they should be from an institutional email address. SPIRe reserves the right to verify all references.
  • Evidence of English language competence, where non-native English speaking applicants have NOT obtained previous university degrees from a university in an English-speaking country.
  • This documentation should be emailed to Ms Dara Gannon ([email protected]).
  • The submission of original academic transcripts and other documentation will be required as a condition of the final award of a place on the programme.
  • You may also be requested to conduct a Skype interview as part of the application process.

Deadline: For those interested in the scholarship, applications to the PhD programme and the application form should be submitted by March 31, 2020.


Click here for more details and to apply

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