Self-funded PhD opportunities

The geographies of labour and working lives

  • Application end date: Applications accepted all year round
  • Funding Availability: Self-funded PhD students only
  • Department: Department of Geography
  • PhD Supervisor: Dr C Ekinsmyth

Research Project Code - GEOG1301015

The Department of Geography, University of Portsmouth a position for doctoral (Ph.D) research available for three years (full-time) for a suitably qualified candidate to start in February or October 2016 (UK or EU students only). Applicants are invited to submit a research proposal in the area of ‘the geographies of labour and working lives’. 

Dr Carol Ekinsmyth (see is interested in supervising a student in the following research area: 

The geographies of labour and working lives – Investigation of the ways in which individuals and/or families earn a living in the contexts of their industries, their locations or their family lives. This could involve ethnographic study of ways of working within an industry (see for example, Ekinsmyth’s earlier work on the magazine publishing industry), the analysis of opportunities for work in a place or labour market, the analysis of changing ways of working through technologies (for example the Internet and social media) or the analysis of work-life balance necessities where caring work needs to be fore-grounded in work-life decisions (see for example Ekinsmyth’s work on mothers who start businesses). This work could be undertaken within the more specific field of the geographies of entrepreneurship and/or self-employment. This would include the spaces and places where self-employment ‘is done’, and the role of homes, neighbourhoods, policy, family, intersectionality and/or industry sector. A further focus could be home-based business in neighbourhoods. Here, the predominance, networks, mechanisms and invisibilities of home-based business might be of interest. This could involve a detailed ethnographic study and mapping (a GIS) of the prevalence of home-based business activities in an area. A related interest in the gendered geographies of working and caring could also be the focus of the project. Here the management of the boundaries between work and family, and the roles of social class, ethnicity, place, neighbourhood or industry sector could be investigated. 

The precise topic of investigation will be agreed with the Supervisor when the student’s interests are known. 
Staff web pages also provide more information on individual research interests and the specific projects that staff members have recently undertaken 

The department also advertises research themes for Masters projects (MRes Science) – see the pdf for Geography under Course structure at 

Applicants for the phD programme are expected to have a good first degree (minimum upper second class Honours degree or equivalent) and ideally a Masters (or equivalent) in a relevant subject area. Non-accredited research and skills training is available through the University-wide Graduate School. If you so wish, you may discuss your ideas informally with Dr Carol Ekinsmyth (tel: 02392 842474: e-mail: ) or email We will also be happy to answer any questions regarding the application process. 

How to apply:

To apply or make an enquiry, please visit postgraduate research: Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Applications should use our standard application forms and follow the instructions given under the ‘Research Degrees’ heading on the following webpage:

When applying please note the project code - GEOG1301015

Alternatively you may receive a hard copy by contacting the Faculty of Science, Postgraduate Admissions Office, St. Michael's Building, White Swan Road, Portsmouth, PO1 2DT. Tel: +44 (0)23 9284 5550. 

Application Deadline: As appropriate 

Funding Notes:

This is currently for self-funded applicants. Periodically, funded positions (including tuition and maintenance grant) become available, and when this is the case, the funded positions will be advertised on this website. For other applications (welcome at any time) tuition fees will be payable for three years, full-time study (£3,996 per year – UK and EU students only).