PhD Scholarship Opportunity

Project: Investigating the transforming sociolinguistic profile of Chinese heritage schools in the UK (Ref. SoSS-2023-023)

For students who are interested in multilingualism, language-in-education policy and heritage language education, please feel free to contact Dr Yuying Liu ( for informal enquiries before a formal application is submitted.

Apply here

PhD scholarship details:

The School of Social Sciences at Heriot-Watt University is offering a number of full-time PhD studentships to start in September 2023.  Studentships include a tuition fee waiver and an annual stipend currently set at £17,668.  The duration of the studentships is three years.  The School of Social Sciences also offers a research support allowance of £2,250 over the registered period of study.  In addition, full-time scholarship holders are normally offered an opportunity to undertake paid teaching support each academic year.

The School consists of the Department of Languages & Intercultural Studies, the Department of Psychology, and Edinburgh Business School.  Our world-leading research in languages and intercultural studies is based around the Centre for Translation and Interpreting Studies in Scotland and the Intercultural Research Centre.  Research students have access to a range of training and other activities supported by the School, and through the University’s Research Futures Academy.

We have a number of project areas to which we’re looking to recruit high-quality PhD candidates:

Investigating the transforming sociolinguistic profile of Chinese heritage schools in the UK (Ref. SoSS-2023-023)

For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Yuying Liu (

Further details of these project areas can be found by following the link to the scholarship pages on our website.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to get in touch with the relevant named contact(s) for an informal discussion prior to submitting their application.

Entry Criteria and Application

Applicants should have an undergraduate degree with a minimum classification of 2:1 in a field relevant to the project for which they are applying.  A Master’s degree is desirable for all projects, and essential for some (see the project-specific information by following the links to our website for further details).  Any additional project-specific entry criteria can be found by following the links above.  In addition, candidates for whom English is a second language should meet the University’s minimum English-language requirements.  If you have not already studied a degree programme that was taught and examined in the medium of English, the minimum overall IELTS score is 6.5 with no score lower than 6.0 in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.  Applications for more than one project from the same candidate will be considered.

Please note that possession of the minimum qualifications does not guarantee shortlisting for interview.

Applicants should submit their application via

When completing the online application form, please indicate that you are applying to the ‘SoSS 2023 PhD scholarship competition’ in the field that asks how you will fund your studies.

Applicants should supply:

  1. A full Curriculum Vitae.
  2. Copies of full academic transcripts from all previous academic degree courses and copies of degree certificates for degrees already awarded. If you are currently pursuing a degree course please provide all available marks to date.  If your degree is from a non-UK institution, please provide evidence of the UK equivalency of your qualification.
  3. A brief covering letter outlining why you want to study for a PhD at Heriot-Watt University, and what makes you an excellent candidate.
  4. An outline research proposal (max. 1500 words). This should clearly identify how the proposed research question and modes of inquiry align with your chosen project area. The proposal should clearly identify which project area has been selected by referring to the project title and ref. no. You should also ensure that the name of the main contact for your project area listed above is included in your application when prompted to enter your proposed supervisor.

Interviews will be conducted via video conferencing (e.g. Zoom or similar). Interview support for those with disabilities will be available where required (e.g. a BSL interpreter).

If you have any general queries about the applications process, please contact

At Heriot-Watt University we understand that being diverse makes us better which is why we support a culture of respect and equal opportunity, and value diversity at the heart of what we do. We want to increase the diversity of our workplace to underpin a creative environment and welcome applications from underrepresented groups. Heriot-Watt is committed to giving access and opportunities to student carers, and received the Going Higher for Student Carers Recognition Award from Carers Trust Scotland in 2020.

Managing editor: Lisa (Zhiyun Bian)

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