The Open University is part of the CHASE AHRC Doctoral Training Partnership (alongside the Courtauld Institute of Art, Goldsmith’s College at the University of London and the Universities of East Anglia, Essex, Kent and Sussex) and successful applicants for PhD study will be able to apply for studentship funding. For UK students, these awards cover both fees and maintenance. For EU residents awards are on a fees only basis. The funding is also designed to enable professional development opportunities, including public engagement skills and placements with CHASE partner organisations in the UK and overseas.
Research in the department is characterised by a strongly interdisciplinary approach and ethos (see information on our areas of expertise and research interests). The Department hosts the Cross-Cultural Identities research group and we currently have ten full-time and part-time PhD students working on a range of subjects. The Open University offers excellent provision for new PhD students. Each student is supported by two supervisors as well as a strong programme of university-wide and Faculty-specific training in research skills. In addition, students have the opportunity to participate in a lively research culture and to contribute to regular seminar programmes, conferences and workshops held in Milton Keynes, London and other Open University national/regional centres.
The Religious Studies Department has a successful track record in winning external research funding, leading large-scale collaborative research projects and supporting individual research. On-going research projects include ‘Re-Assembling Democracy: Ritual as Cultural Resource’ funded by the Norwegian Research Council; ‘Religion, Martyrdom and Global Uncertainties’ funded by RCUK and 'Pilgrimage and England's cathedrals, past and present'.
The department also has strong links with a range of learned societies including BSA Soc-Rel (the Sociology of Religion Study Group of the British Sociological Association), the BASR (British Association for the Study of Religion), EASR (European Association for the Study of Religion), the Ecclesiastical History Society (EHS) and scholarly journals including Critical Research on Religion, Culture and Religion, Fieldwork in Religion and Folklore.
Informal enquiries re studentships should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org in the first instance.