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PhD research

Leadership plays a significant role in both development and security processes and outcomes. Our Leadership Studies with reference to Security & Development PhD offers the opportunity to delve into the interaction between the leadership and security-development nexus, with a focus on developing countries. 

This MPhil/PhD programme provides the academic space, support and training to interrogate leadership, security and development, particularly at the conceptual level.

Duration 3-4 years f/t or 6-7 years p/t

Study Leadership Studies with reference to Security & Development PhD, in the African Leadership Centre in the Faculty of Social Science & Public Policy at King's College London. For the Joint PhD Leadership Studies with reference to Security & Development, with the University of Pretoria, there is a current 'Call for Expressions of Interest' with deadline 23:59 (GMT) 31 July 2019.

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Why study with us?

The African Leadership Centre is at the forefront of leadership, security and development research.

Our scholars are engaged in active and dynamic research and gain access to an authentic end-user community. They have the opportunity to interact with academics, practitioners and policy makers within our vibrant network.

Graduates from our programme are well-suited for academic employment, in addition to private sector consulting organisations, NGOs and government employment in the UK, Africa and internationally.

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How to apply for your PhD

Before you apply online here, we encourage you to email through your draft proposal and CV. If you have any questions or would like to submit an expression of interest, please also email us.

Preparing your application

Before applying, find out more about our research interests and ensure your research topic falls within one of these areas.

Find an academic supervisor

The heart of your application is your research proposal. The ability to identify and propose a viable research project is a major indicator of your potential for doctoral study.

This proposal should be a document of no more than four to five pages in which you explain in some detail precisely the field of study that you want to contribute to and current research gaps, what you want to do and how you propose to do it.

A good research proposal typically includes the following components:

* A clear statement of the proposed research question.

* An explanation of the importance and originality of the proposed topic. This may include a section on the lack or shortcomings of existing academic work in your proposed area.

* A section describing not only your proposed methodology but also an explanation of why this methodology is the most appropriate for the proposed topic. A prospective chapter outline of the proposed thesis.

* A timetable showing a realistic plan, including critical milestones, for the completion of your research and writing within three years.

* A concluding section showing why this research should be conducted specifically here, within the ALC at King’s College London, rather than anywhere else.

In addition to the research proposal, applicants should submit a personal statement outlining their reasons for pursuing further research.


Current research areas and topics

  • Leadership and Peacebuilding: Conceptual relationships; and the role of outliers
  • The political economy of peacebuilding in Africa
  • Reframing narratives of peace and statebuilding in Africa: The role of political settlements [case studies: Ethiopia, Rwanda, Cote d’Ivoire, Kenya, Sierra Leone]
  • China’s Role in African Development: transforming development lessons into development catalysts
  • The practice of leadership: Analysing practitioners’ reflections on peacebuilding – Action research project with leading peacemakers in African conflicts
  • Leadership and Security in Nigeria
  • Resilience Innovation: Studying resilience to violence and insecurity in Africa

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