PHD SCHOLARSHIP: Contemporary Irish Literature and Publishing, University College Dublin

The School of English, Drama and Film at University College Dublin is pleased to announce a doctoral scholarship to work as part of a funded project under the supervision of Dr Tim Groenland with co-supervisor Professor Margaret Kelleher. The award includes a stipend of €19,000 per annum (for a maximum of four years, renewable each year subject to satisfactory progress), and a contribution to fees, including non-EU fees, up to a maximum of €5,750 per annum. A budget for conference travel and necessary equipment is also available. For more information about the School, please go to: You can find Dr Groenland’s research profile here:

Project Description: The project, “The Publishing Infrastructures of Contemporary Anglophone Literature,” has been funded by a Science Foundation Ireland/Irish Research Council Pathway Award. It will conduct a comparative study of publishing infrastructures across three different Anglophone territories – Ireland, the US, and Britain – to identify how those infrastructures shape contemporary literature. The project will use a range of methodologies including literary scholarship, author and other stakeholder interviews, and cultural analytics to analyse the infrastructures mediating literary culture today. Drawing on the recent turn towards literary sociology and the study of literary institutions, it will identify and analyse the key forces mediating and shaping contemporary literary publishing. By focusing on case studies and using social network analysis to map the networks through which books are created and sold, the project will discern patterns of influence, affiliation, and circulation, producing important insights into how literary works move through national and global circuits of production and communication.

Scholarship Description: The doctoral student will study the Irish literary field in detail, using the tools of cultural analytics to focus on specific case studies in Irish publishing and creating datasets to generate new information and insights into the composition and functioning of the Irish literary field. The student will work with the Supervisor and supervisory committee to develop an independent PhD thesis on this topic, with the provisional title “A Study of the Irish Publishing Industry through Social Network Analysis, 2008-2023.” The student will be embedded in UCD’s Centre for Cultural Analytics, which will provide all necessary training and professional development with regards to digital methodologies. The student will join a vibrant interdisciplinary research community, with regular seminars, workshops, and symposia. Support will be provided for necessary equipment, international conference participation, and an international research visit.

Essential Criteria

  • MA in English Literature or subject equivalent (high MA result of 2:1-1:1 or GPA above 3.2; academic transcripts will be requested from shortlisted candidates)
  • Evidence of a strong interest in contemporary Irish literature, primarily prose fiction
  • An interest in developing a high degree of proficiency in cultural analytics methodologies
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • IELTS score of 8, if English is not your first language

Application In order to apply, please send the following by 5pm (GMT) on 23 October to Dr Groenland (

  • CV;
  • Personal statement outlining why you are interested in this field of research, a short paragraph about proposed individual research under the theme of the project, your motivation in applying for this particular scholarship, long term career goals, and any other information you think is relevant (max. 1000 words);
  • proof of English-language proficiency if English is not your first language (minimum of 8 IELTS);
  • writing sample (e.g. an essay or section of MA dissertation) (max. 5,000 words);
  • the names of two academic references. Referees of shortlisted candidates will be contacted for references prior to interview.

A shortlist of candidates will be invited for interview by video conferencing in the week beginning 06 November. The selected candidate will be required to submit a formal application to UCD School of English, Drama and Film subsequent to the interview. All awards will commence in January 2023 and it is a requirement that applicants have been awarded a master’s degree before commencing the PhD studentship.