Scholarships and Student Funding

Northern Scholars Scheme PhD Scholarship

Cultural Responses To Climate Change Past, Present And Future In The Nordic And Baltic World

Applications are invited for scholarship funding to undertake full-time PhD study at the University of Edinburgh for up to 42 months full-time from January 2024, or 36 months full-time from September 2024 under the aegis of the University of Edinburgh’s Northern Scholars Scheme (

The scholarship is for the preparation and completion of a PhD under the broad theme of:

Cultural responses to climate change past, present, and future in the Nordic and Baltic world’.

The science of climate change may be well-established - but human dimensions of the contemporary climate emergency, as with climate change more generally, are often poorly understood and under-researched. Environmental humanities and the perspectives they offer on the past, present, and future have much to contribute to contemporary debates, including a critical understanding of how we conceptualise climate change, understand its implications and choose to act (or not). This Scholarship will consider applications which focus on cultural responses to climate change in the Nordic and/or Baltic world.


The University has extensive research expertise. Supervision can be offered by individuals and groups of scholars in a number of Schools in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science, including, but not necessarily confined to:

Literatures, Languages and Cultures (LLC): Notably through Department of European Languages & Cultures (DELC): Scandinavian Studies.  Supervision can be offered in fields such as: Modern and medieval Scandinavian literature, culture and society; Mythology and folklore; Viking diaspora studies; Scandinavian place-names; Scandinavian dialects, sociolects and the societal dimension of linguistic change; Interdisciplinary perspectives on cultural and linguistic minorities; Language policy and language planning; Linguistic landscapes and; Critical approaches to language, political ideologies, identity and power. As LLC is also home to Celtic & Scottish Studies, projects with a small-state,comparative approach would be very welcome.

Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences (PPLS): Supervision in all relevant aspects of language/linguistics, including, but not limited to: Multilingualism (in both its cognitive and social dimensions); Language planning (particularly contrasts between the language/dialect situation in Scotland and in the Nordic countries); Language change (including Scandinavian influences on language varieties in the UK) and; Language technology for ‘small’ languages.

Social and Political Science (SPS): Supervision can be offered in relation to: Immigration/integration policies; Citizenship and; Parties and elections in comparative Nordic perspective.

All units have good links with each other, and consequently the committee also welcomes proposals for interdisciplinary projects, involving joint supervision from different units within the same School, or on a cross-School basis. Where appropriate, additional supervisory expertise can be provided by other academic units outwith the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Science, such as the School of GeoSciences (GS) in the College of Science and Engineering.

The successful candidate will be encouraged to take full advantage of the wide range of available training, knowledge exchange and outreach opportunities. The University and the academic units within it also maintain strong links with numerous partner institutions in the Nordic area, providing further opportunities for research networking and exchange. This includes membership of the University of the Arctic network for education and research in the North.

Candidates are encouraged to discuss their planned dissertation topics with potential supervisors in any of the Schools mentioned above. They are also welcome to contact any of the following:

Alan Macniven (, Guy Puzey (, Ruairidh Tarvet (, Arne Kruse (, and Bjarne Thomsen ( (Scandinavian Studies); and Rob Dunbar ( (Celtic and Scottish Studies) in LLC.

Caroline Heycock ( or Pavel Iosad ( in PPLS.

Pontus Odmalm ( in SPS.


Andrew Dugmore ( in GeoSciences.


The amount of the award will be pegged to UKRI levels. It will cover full-time PhD fees for a home or international student, in addition to an annual stipend starting at £18,622 in 2023-24.


Subject to starting point and satisfactory progress, the Scholarship will be awarded for a maximum of 42 months, with the total amount of the award rising in line with UKRI’s annual increases.


Part-time study may also be possible subject to standard regulations and limitations.


Award holders are eligible to claim for periods of funded sick leave and paid parental leave, during their funded period, in accordance with the latest version of the Sick Leave and Parental Leave Policies for University-funded PhD Scholarship holders.  


Additional Programme Costs, and costs for any necessary fieldwork, are not included in this award. Successful applicants will remain liable for those costs.


The awards are open to Home, and International students commencing a PhD at the University of Edinburgh in either January 2024 or September 2024.

This Scholarship is aimed primarily at candidates entering year one of a suitable PhD programme. Candidates who are about to enter year 2 or 3 of a suitable PhD project may also be considered if their project fully aligns with the theme of the Scholarship. To check, please use the most appropriate contact address above.

Applicants for new PhD programmes in SPS can only be accepted for projects beginning in September 2024, limiting the scope of the award to 36 months full-time, 72-months part-time.

The awards will be made based on academic merit, the strength of the candidates’ research proposals (covering originality, importance, and feasibility), and their relevance to the research profiles of the participating departments. Successful applicants must meet the PhD entry requirements for the relevant School and are likely to hold a UK first-class honours undergraduate degree (or overseas equivalent) in a relevant field, and to have demonstrated a high academic achievement in a master's degree in a relevant field.



The successful candidate will be obliged to give two public lectures for the Northern Scholars Scheme over the course of their PhD studies. They will also be expected to work towards joining or initiating an appropriate research cluster via the University of the Arctic network. The candidate will also be afforded opportunities for training, continuous professional development, and work experience, and will be expected to be proactive in identifying and engaging in the most beneficial activities for their research and development needs.


Prior to applying for the Scholarship, applicants must have applied for admission to a full-time/part time programme of study within an appropriate School as outlined above.  Only applicants with an offer of admission can go forward to the selection committee in late October 2023. 

Please ensure that you upload a CV with your programme application.

Applicants for the Scholarship must complete the link below by 4pm (BST) the 29th September 2023.


The University will inform the successful applicant in November 2023.

General enquiries email