If you plan to apply, please pay close attention to the list of tasks that we identify. We are looking for someone with advanced training in more than one method, including survey design/ administration, social networks analysis, and discourse analysis. Ideally, you would also have a political (or, at least, social) science background. If not, have a think about the relevant perspectives or skills that you can bring from another discipline.
Of course, you would not be expected to be an expert already, and we (plus some of our colleagues at Stirling and elsewhere) will be there to help you develop your skills. However, we’d still be looking for someone with demonstrable training at a postgraduate level (rather than someone about to embark on an MSc).
You will also see that we describe the PhD in terms of ‘hitting the ground running’: we have an interest in the topic, have already done some work on it, and have set out many of our expectations (this is unusual for PhDs that I supervise, but not for PhDs in other sciences). This is a good thing in many ways, since you will already have a research question and a set of methods to adapt (something that otherwise takes a remarkable amount of time), but also something that limits your ambitions in the short term (certainly, when I did a PhD I pretty much chose something on my own, according to what interested me at the time).
To make up for the latter, I think it’s safe to say that (all going well, if we all live up to expectations, without prejudice, etc.) you will end up in an excellent position to further your career by 2019. All going well, I would expect us to publish together and make enough of an ‘impact’ to make you highly employable in academia (and beyond).
I can also teach you how to say a lot about something without revealing your personal/ political preferences, or to state stubbornly that they are not relevant/ anyone’s business (this will come in handy when people ask you if you are for/ against fracking). People get annoyed when you keep these things to yourself, but this is not the only benefit: there are some practical and intellectual advantages too.
If you have further questions, please feel free to email me or Dr Stephan.