Funded PhD studentship: The effectiveness of immigration detention centres in preparing detainees for removal

The Centre for Criminology at the University of Oxford is offering one collaborative ESRC + 3 studentship to commence in October 2013 co-funded by Her Majesty’s Prison Inspectorate entitled, ‘The effectiveness of immigration detention centres in preparing detainees for removal: a study of detention centre conditions and outcomes’.

The +3 studentship covers the cost of fees and provides a stipend for three years of doctoral study. It is open to students with a good first degree and a Masters degree in any relevant social science. Students with a masters degree the curriculum of which does not meet the ESRC’s graduate training requirements will be required to take additional methods training during the first year of their doctoral study.

ESRC +3 Studentships are only available to UK (fees plus stipend) and EU (fees only) students.

Applications are invited for these studentships with a closing date of Friday 18th January 2013Interviews will be held on week of 11 February 2013.

To apply, please see the further details below.

Further information

All applicants should read the ESRC Guidance Notes for Applicants and eligibility criteria which can be found on the ESRC website at:

Informal enquiries about the studentships are welcome and can be made to Dr. Mary Bosworth; email; tel: +44 (0)1865 281927.

Enquiries about the application process should be addressed to Ms Tracy Kaye, Graduate Studies Administrator; email:; tel. + 44 (0)1865 274444.

Further information about the Centre, its staff, research and graduate programmes can be found on the Centre’s website:

Information about HM Inspectorate of Prisons can be found at:

Collaborative HMIP/ESRC ‘+3’ Studentship

‘The effectiveness of Immigration detention centres in preparing detainees for removal: A study of detention centre conditions and outcomes.’

Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford

Further Details

The +3 studentship is available to those who wish to study for a doctorate having already completed a Masters degree. Students with a masters degree whose curriculum does not meet the ESRC’s graduate training requirements will be required to take additional methods training during the first year of their doctoral study.

The studentship will examine the effectiveness of programs in British immigration removal centres.  It will be supervised by Dr Mary Bosworth, with staff at HMIP providing mentorship.  The project will be primarily qualitative, based on observation and interviews with detainees and staff.  The student may also use survey tools developed for understanding life in detention.  Strong methodological training will be essential.  Some knowledge of languages other than English would be helpful.

The project will be in line with HMIP’s statutory remit to inspect conditions of detention and treatment of detainees. It will help to develop HMIP’s effectiveness and impact in the agreed area of study.  As part of her or his induction and ongoing learning, the student will undergo induction and training at HMIP. He or she may be required to reasonably contribute to some aspects of HMIP’s work, for instance accompanying them on inspection.  This will not be such as to obstruct the student’s ability to pursue the project.  The student appointed to carry out the studentship will provide an interim and final report to HMIP on the progress of his or her research

How to Apply

Applications for the collaborative HMIP/ESRC +3 studentship are invited from those who i) have obtained a first class, or high upper second class degree, in a relevant subject, such as criminology, sociology, law, social policy, politics, and history, and ii) have completed, or by the end of September 2013 expect to have completed, a masters degree in a relevant subject with an average mark of 68% or above.

To apply you need to submit a full application to the University of Oxford for a DPhil in Criminology via Graduate Admissions:

  1. A completed application form, which can be downloaded from:  (Applicants must read the accompanying Notes of Guidance before completing this form);
  2. A letter of application, stating your reasons for wishing to pursue the programme;
  3. CV/Résumé;
  4. An official transcript of previous higher education results up to the present;
  5. Two samples of written work (each piece should be around 2,000 words in length; it may be a clearly defined extract from a longer piece of work if you prefer);
  6. A research proposal of 2,000 words, which should be the outline of a proposed doctoral study indicating your chosen topic; why you are interested in it; the research questions you want to ask, and how you propose to answer them;
  7. Three academic references;
  8. An application fee payment of £50.

Applicants should refer to the relevant studentship in Section I on the application form by using the appropriate code, either ‘CFC/1314/ESRC/HMIP+3’.

This should be sent to the Graduate Admissions Office by 5:00 p.m. on Friday 18th January 2013.

A copy of all the application materials should also be sent by email to Ms Tracy Kaye on by 5:00 p.m. on Friday 18th January 2013

Interviews will be held on: the week of 11 February 2013



Mechanisms of confinement. A territorial approach to contemporary social and political control – Call for Papers

I was delighted to be invited by TerrFerme to join the scientific committee of their conference “Mechanisms of confinement. A territorial approach to contemporary social and political control“, to be held in Pessac, Bordeaux, France, 17-19 October 2013.

The Call for Papers for the conference is now out, with a February 1st 2013 deadline for submissions.

This symposium sets out to study the value, for analysis, of putting different types of custodial space into perspective. What does this comparison of analytical visions of confinement produce, what awareness does it develop? What facets of confinement can it highlight that have received little attention from specialized fields? These questions can be broken down into several major fields of investigation, an exploration of which would seem to benefit from the dialogue between research into the various custodial institutions: briefly;

Space and power relations: Power relations inside establishments that deprive people of their freedom are one of the central themes of research into confinement…

Control operators and institutions: private vs. public: Custodial institutions have often been apprehended by existing research as the expression of the sovereign power of the state over its subjects…

Routes, circulation, mobility: Since the 1960s American prison sociology has highlighted the necessity of considering custodial establishments in their relations with the exterior, with their environment…

Custodial institutions and inequality: Although different research trends in the social sciences have recently questioned the relationship between public institutions and inequality, particularly ethnic and religious inequality, this question seems to have received little attention in the literature on confinement…

Civil society and confinement: governing facilities, production and the circulation of knowledge: For several decades, associations and NGOs have played an essential role in a considerable number of custodial establishments…

The working languages of the symposium will be French and English (with simultaneous translation services provided).