Funded PhD Opportunity

Funding has just been released for an exciting Ph.D. project – Trust, Audit, and Public Engagement – in collaboration with Audit Scotland.  We are now open for applications, deadline 23rd July.

The funding covers home/EU tuition fees plus a maintenance allowance at standard RCUK rate (£14,553 for 2017-18), for three years.  Students of any nationality are eligible to apply for this funding, but those not eligible for home/EU rates will be personally responsible for the additional cost of international fees (i.e. an extra £11,565 per year).

Project Details

Audit Scotland aims to give independent assurance to the people of Scotland that public money is spent efficiently and effectively. It conducts exemplary professional audits of over 220 organisations, including police, fire, NHS bodies, local councils, and FE colleges, reviewing governance and results, as well as financial probity.  But audit does not automatically generate public assurance: auditors face significant challenges in engaging their potential audiences.  Better engagement would enable Audit Scotland to enhance public trust in organisations where that is appropriate, whilst holding underperformers to account; lack of engagement risks undermining trust in public accountability.

This project aims to develop new conceptual models for the relationship between Audit Scotland and the wider population it represents and serves.  The first objective is to examine parallel debates concerning ‘public understanding’ of science, establishing commonalities and differences.  The second objective is to articulate a conception of public understanding or engagement in audit which stresses the development of skills alongside factual knowledge.  The third objective is to explore ways in which different forms of public engagement with the work of Audit Scotland might support appropriate trust both in the organisations under audit, and in the processes of audit and accountability themselves.

This is an Applied Research Collaborative Studentship, funded jointly by the Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities and the University of St Andrews.  It will involve significant placements at Audit Scotland under the supervision of Antony Clark (Assistant Director for Performance Audit and Best Value), alongside academic supervision from Katherine Hawley and Rowan Cruft.

The doctoral student will be a member of the world-class St Andrews Stirling graduate programme in Philosophy (SASP), encouraged to take advantage of the wide range of seminars, reading groups, training and other opportunities on offer there.

You can find a full description of the doctoral project here.

Who Should Apply?

Applicants should have both a good undergraduate degree, and a masters level qualification completed by October 2017.  The doctoral project will primarily rely upon philosophical methods and literature, and applicants must demonstrate a significant philosophy component to either their undergraduate or their masters degree, or both.

We welcome candidates who have combined philosophy with a relevant discipline such as accountancy, finance, public administration, economics, politics, or science and technology studies (this is not an exhaustive list).  We also welcome candidates whose primary background is philosophy.

The successful candidate must satisfy the general Ph.D. entry requirements of the University of St Andrews, including an English language requirement.

How to Apply

The deadline for applications is 23rd July 2017.  Applicants should email Professor Katherine Hawley, attaching the following documents:

  • A CV, including academic qualifications with grades obtained.
  • A writing sample of 2-3,000 words, including an explanation of the original purpose of the piece (e.g. excerpt from undergraduate dissertation, MA essay, conference submission). We hope to see work which demonstrates an ability to write clearly, handle complex ideas, and present reasoned arguments.
  • A statement (500 words) explaining how your academic, extracurricular, workplace, and/or other experience has prepared you personally and intellectually to carry out this doctoral research.

Applicants should also arrange for two letters of reference to be emailed to the same address by the same deadline.  We will begin reviewing applications immediately, but you should let us know if you expect your references to be delayed.

Any informal enquiries about the application process should be emailed to BOTH AND