PhD studentship on the ERC project "Cosmological Visionaries: Shamans, Scientists and Climate Change at the Ethnic Borderlands of China and Russia"

Type of award


Managing department

School of Social Sciences


Full tuition fees, a maintenance grant of aprox. £15,285 per annum paid in monthly instalments and contribution to travel and fieldwork expenses during the fieldwork year.

Specified use

PhD in Social Anthropology

Tenable period

Three years full time  

Continuation of award

Continuation of the award is subject to satisfactory progress.

Number available


Funding provider

The School of Social Sciences at the University of Manchester

Level(s) of study

This funding is available to students undertaking the following types of study:

  • Postgraduate research

Allowed study options

This funding is available to students undertaking the following modes of study:

  • Full-time

Subject restrictions

This funding is available to students undertaking study in:

  • Social Anthropology

Academic requirements

The doctoral student will be enrolled on the PhD Anthropology programme based at the University of Manchester¿s Department of Social Anthropology, therefore the successful candidate will be required to submit a full University of Manchester PhD application to fulfil admissions requirements.

Applicants are expected to have a First Class or Upper Second Class Bachelor Honours UK degree and/or a Master¿s degree (minimum merit, with a minimum overall average of 65%, including 65% in dissertation and no mark below 55%) in a relevant subject. 

Nationality restrictions

Other eligibility criteria

Applicants must hold an offer of study at The University of Manchester before applying for this funding.

 In addition, the successful candidate will have excellent Russian skills, be familiar with the region (previous work or education experience), and be prepared and willing to conduct ethnographic research.

Application procedure

Full on-line application which must include;

  • Research proposal.  Click  here  for guidelines.
  • Two academic references
  • Degree certificates and transcripts
  • CV
  • Name of the project's supervisor Dr Olga Ulturgasheva  (to be included on the application form)

Please note there is no separate funding application form for this award. Decisions will be based on the online programme application and supporting documents.

Further details on the application procedure are available here

Application form

Additional documentation

Please note that in addition to the materials requested as part of the regular admissions process, candidates must submit a letter outlining : (1) their interest in the research topic of the project; (2) previous relevant research or work experience; (3) links between their PhD proposal and the main research agenda of the project; and (4) their overall suitability for the studentship within the framework of the project.

Selection criteria

The PhD student will be part of the `Russia¿ team led by Dr Olga Ulturgasheva and hosted by the University of Manchester¿s Department of Social Anthropology . Under the supervision of Dr Olga Ulturgasheva, the student will be responsible for developing and carrying out the research project focusing on intersections of climate change, animist cosmologies of indigenous reindeer herders and environmental destruction in Northeast Siberia and Russian Far East within the overarching research agenda of the study. The student will also undertake collaborative work with other team members.

Selection body

It will be driven by two research teams, i.e. Manchester team with the focus on Russia and KCL team with the focus on China. The Manchester-based ¿Russia¿ research team will uncover the scientific and indigenous views on climate change in Siberia and mobilise dialogues between scientists and indigenous peoples, explore how collaboration can benefit both parties and contribute to mapping the policies on climate change in Russia and China. More details about the project are available here .

Closing date

30 Jan 2021

Friday, January 29, 2021 .

Decision date

March/April 2021

Additional information

The six-year ERC-funded project in partnership with Kings College London (KCL), will explore what global environment initiatives of the future will look like by asking:

  • How can scientists, shamans, priests, and other indigenous holders of animistic knowledge collaborate in regions of climatic vulnerability?
  • What are the geopolitics of climate change and the policies that surround it?

More information is available here.

Contact details for enquiries