UCD Iseult Honohan Doctoral Scholarship 2020

Deadline: Tuesday, 31st March 2020 

The overall aim of the scholarship is to attract applicants of the highest academic standards to participate in the PhD programme in the School of Politics and International Relations, and provide them with the training, experience and mentorship necessary to their professional development.

We welcome applications from all areas of the discipline - political science, political theory, international relations, development and international political economy.

The UCD School of Politics and International Relations (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 scholarship is named after Dr Iseult Honohan, one of the first female PhD graduates from the (then) Department of Ethics and Politics. She retired from teaching in 2015 after over 25 years of service to UCD as one of the leading academics in normative political theory.


  • Applications are open to anyone who intends to apply to the full-time PhD programme in Politics and International Relations;
  • Continuing students, or students transferring only part of their PhD studies to UCD are not eligible to apply


This scholarship:

  • Covers full fees
  • Provides a living stipend of 16,000 euro per year for up to four years
  • Is open to EU and non-EU applicants

Application Procedure

Applicants need to proceed through the standard application process for the PhD programme before they can be considered for the scholarships.

Please note that, due to the volume of applications, they will not be checked in advance of the closing date for any inaccuracies or missing components. It is up to the applicant to ensure that they have submitted all required documents, including references (whether sent directly or by the referees). Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application to the PhD requires submission of:

  • Cover letter stating the reasons for your interest in the SPIRe programme.
    • If you have already been in contact with a staff member of SPIRe, with a view to potential supervision, this must be noted in your cover letter. There is no obligation to consult a staff member in advance of sending in your application.
    • Please note in both your cover letter and email that you wish to be considered for the Iseult Honohan 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)
    • If you are currently in a Master's programme and do not have your final result, all transcripts to date need to be included
  • C.V. or Resume (2 pages maximum)
  • Two academic references
    • Actual letters, on headed institutional paper, are required.
    • If sent by email, they should be from an institutional email address. SPIRe reserves the right to verify all references.
    • Sending the names of referees only is not acceptable
    • Please note: Given the current university closure due to Covid19, all references should be sent via email. Do not send by post.
  • 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. Click on the link below for further details-
    English Language Requirements

Awards will be primarily based on the academic track record of the applicants and the academic merits of the proposal, but social relevance and fit with the school will also be taken into account.

For your information: A list of SPIRe academics and their research areas

This documentation should be emailed to Ms Dara Gannon (dara.gannon@ucd.ie). 

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.

For those interested in the scholarship, applications to the PhD programme should be submitted by March 31st 2020.

Enrolment for all PhD students is in September 2020 only. 

UCD Iseult Honohan Doctoral Scholarship 2020-21 Terms and ConditionsPDF|200KB