Catalysis or Stasis? Analysing Brexit’s Impact on UK Public and Foreign Policy

This inaugural Doctoral Studentship with the Centre for Britain and Europe supports innovative full-time research exploring the impact of Brexit on the UK’s public and foreign policy.  

Start date
1 July 2021
Three years, full-time
Application deadline
Funding source
The University of Surrey, Project-led Studentship Award.
Funding information

The funding package for this studentship award is as follows:  

  • Full UK/EU tuition fee covered  
  • Stipend at £15,285 p.a. (2020/21)  
  • RTSG of £1,000 p.a.  
  • Personal Computer (provided by the department)  


The UK’s departure from the EU in 2020 will have a profound impact upon the form and content of the UK’s public policies and its foreign policy relations with the EU. Under the aegis of the Centre for Britain and Europe (CBE), within the Department of Politics at the University of Surrey, this doctoral studentship is designed to explore the range of impacts that Brexit will have upon the shape of the British government (e.g. Whitehall and Westminster), the transformations to both UK domestic policies (education, healthcare, local government, policing, etc.), and foreign policies in way that connect the country to the EU and the wider world (diplomatic structures, trade, investment, foreign and security policies, development policy, climate change, etc.).  

The CBE Doctoral Studentship comprises a full-time 3-year investigation in lockstep with Brexit itself, working alongside leading scholars specialising in British and European policies within the CBE itself. Intensive field work in London, Brussels, key EU Member State capitals (Paris, Berlin, Rome, Warsaw) and, if relevant, third-party states, will produce authoritative first-hand insights from decision-makers in both public (chiefly) and private sector (to a lesser extent) entities, within the spheres of public and foreign policy, allowing cutting-edge analysis on the intended trajectory and consequences of Britain’s evolving post-Brexit status. Therefore, this will require the doctoral student to have a strong professional network throughout Britain and Europe, drawing on it to assist the field work element of the thesis. Research is likely to draw upon and facilitate connections between the CBE and similar entities in British and European universities and think tanks, allowing the doctoral student to build up a professional post-PhD network.  

Related links
CBE Department of Politics

Eligibility criteria

Applications are open to candidates that hold an undergraduate (B.A./B.Sc.) and postgraduate degree M.A./M.Sc.) from UK, European or international universities in Politics, Political Science, International Relations, European Studies, Foreign and/or Public Policy Analysis, History, International Political Economy, International Law, or other cognate subjects.

Only available for UK/EU applicants.

IELTS requirements: IELTS of 6.5 overall and a minimum of 6.0 in each category, or equivalent. 




How to apply

Candidates are required to apply via the Politics PhD programme page with the following: 

  • Complete CV 
  • Covering Letter  
  • 3-page research proposal outlining how the candidate intends to approach the stipulated research aims of the project brief in terms of research question, structure, methodology, research tools, field work, references, 3 year timetable, spectrum of outputs and contributions to the CBE overall.  

Interviews will be hold exclusively online during the first two weeks of June, comprising a 20 minute presentation, followed by a 20 minute interview.  

Candidates will need to provide the names and contact details of 3 references, including the supervisor of their most recent dissertation. 

Application deadline

Contact details

Amelia Hadfield
31 AP 01
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 689063

Centre for Britain and Europe

The CBE Doctoral Studentship will be a key part of the ongoing work of CBE itself on Europe-UK relations and specific investigations into the nature, impact and consequences of Brexit. These projects include regular blogs, vlogs, Briefing Notes and Reports produced by the CBE, as well as collaborative, funded and externally-commissioned work on a variety of EU-UK topics.  


Studentships at Surrey

We have a wide range of studentship opportunities available.