Tuesday, 16 February 2016

6 International Leverhulme #PhD scholarships for Open World Learning

Just received word that there are still open places for the 6 Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarships (£14057 per year) focusing on research related to Open World Learning. These are additional PhD scholarships to the one's I posted last weekLearning in the 21st century is undergoing subtle and radical transformation as a result of the impact of digital, networked technologies. Open learning gives unprecedented access to information and education and provides support to learners across the globe. However, it is not the technologies themselves that represent the biggest change, but the opportunities for openness that flow from their thoughtful application, in the form of availability of and access to formal and informal learning. Without research, these changes in learning may exclude the very people who most stand to benefit from them.

The call will make you part of the Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)

at The Open University, UK. You will need to reside in the UK, but you can have your research location/context situated anywhere in the world (regarding it is part of your research study). 

If you have a PhD research idea on Open World Learning, and you want to quickly discuss your ideas to see whether they fit in with the Open World Learning concept, feel free to drop a line to Bart Rienties (bart.rienties@open.ac.uk). For detailed information and how to apply for the studentships in general go to www3.open.ac.uk/employment, or call Anne Foward, on 01908 655364 or e-mail CREET-student-enquiries@open.ac.uk. 

In 2016, the Open University is offering
 6 three-year, full-time Doctoral Scholarships in Open World Learning fully funded by the Leverhulme Trust. Candidates should have, or expect to gain, a 2.1 or above in an undergraduate degree or a Masters degree in education, language studies, psychology, computer science or another appropriate discipline.

Funding is available for UK, EU and International students. Full funding for the Leverhulme Trust Doctoral Scholarships includes fees and a living allowance for three years, depending on satisfactory progress. The living allowance is currently £14057 in 2015/16.

Deadline for application is 9 March 2016, with potential interviews starting April/May 2016. A quick overview of how to apply can be found here (= filling in the application form (is found in the link), and write a 600 - 1000 word proposal; I put my proposal here as an example). What I did (but not sure whether this approach made a difference), was to start from my research idea, and then see whether people with a OU background had done research in the same area. Then I put that research also into my proposal (not only, just a bit to indicate that I did know OU research). I also contacted a person I knew who worked at the OU, to get a better understanding of what a PhD is like at that institute. Then I referred to that person in my application, just by name to indicate that I was truly actively getting information. Do it, I did it and it is really worthwhile (strengthening knowledge, great research environment, multiple TEL-laboratories available). Sending a proposal does not take too much time, and it is really worth the effort as this is a worldclass institute for those investigating online learning in all its aspects.

To apply, write a short research proposal and explain how your proposal fits the overall theme of Open World Learning and how you intend to conduct research on the topic. In generating your proposal please refer to the additional information for each topic available at

Please indicate explicitly in your application that you are applying for Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarships in Open World Learning.

The Open University is one of the UK's leading Research Institutions. In the 2014 REF 72% of its research was rated as "world leading" or "internationally excellent". The Open University is ranked 2nd in the UK for its Education research based on quality and breadth (Times Higher research power).

The Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET), at the Open University has an international reputation for the quality of its research. Providing postgraduate students with a supportive environment and excellent facilities ensures a future supply of first class researchers. CREET offers you a unique opportunity to study for a PhD in areas such as Technology Enhanced Learning, Learning Analytics, Open Educational Research, International Education and Development and Language and Literacy Studies, guided by world experts. 

A vibrant international community of students is currently studying our MRes and PhD programmes. The Open University provides excellent support for students and offers a full range of training in computer, library and presentation skills. The studentships are full time at the Milton Keynes campus and students are normally expected to live within commuting distance of Milton Keynes.

If you feel that the challenge of research in these exciting and interesting areas is for you and you have the drive and intellectual curiosity to pursue postgraduate research, then we look forward to hearing from you!

Further information, including more details of CREET research, can be found athttp://www.open.ac.uk/creet/main/.