PhD Studentship – Towards a Good Digital Society

University of Sheffield

‘remember to imagine and craft the worlds you cannot live without, just as you dismantle the ones you cannot live within’. Ruha Benjamin, Captivating Technology, 2019

The Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Sheffield is funding a PhD studentship, to start in Autumn 2023, as part of the ESRC Digital Good Network. This PhD will be first supervised by Professor Helen Kennedy .

The Digital Good Network explores what a good digital society should look like and how to get there. It focuses on three societal challenges that are crucial to envisioning the digital good: equity, sustainability, and resilience.

Societies want digital technologies to work for the social good, but in research, policy and civil society, there has been far more attention to digital harms than to the digital good. To ensure that digital technologies have good outcomes for people and societies, we need to turn our attention to what the digital good should look like and how it can be achieved.

For detailed information about the vision of the Digital Good Network, visit our website .

For information about writing a research proposal, visit the PhD Study section of the Sociological Studies website.

Subject areas: this PhD will be first supervised by Professor Helen Kennedy . While proposals should engage with social science theory and methods, we encourage interdisciplinary applications. Second supervisors should come from supervisor from the Digital Good Network Management Team . Please visit the Digital Good Network website for interests and expertise. Please note – Dr. Ros Williams is not able to be a second supervisor on this PhD because they will be first supervisor on another PhD opportunity being advertised currently (also linked to the Digital Good Network).

Funding notes:

The 3.5 year studentship covers.

  • Tuition fees at the Home rate (£4,712 per year starting in 2023-2024). We welcome applications from international students. Overseas fees are £20,830 per year (starting in 2023-2024) and international students would need to find their own funding to cover the shortfall.
  • An annual maintenance grant for each year of the award, at the standard RCUK rate (minimum £18,622 per year for your living costs, paid in regular instalments)

How to apply: Please complete a University Postgraduate Research Application form available here: and include a 1000 word proposal and a CV. Please clearly state the prospective main supervisor in the respective box and select Sociological Studies as the department.

Deadline to apply: Monday 26th June 3pm

Interviews:Friday 21st July 2023 (subject to change)

If you have any questions before you submit your application, please email [email protected] .


Funding covers Home rate tuition fee (£4,712 p/year starting 23-24) & annual stipend at standard RCUK rate: £18,622.

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