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PhD Scholarship Opportunity

7 Mar 2024

The Youth Climate Justice project will analyse the growing trend of child and youth climate action, and particularly how children are claiming and asserting their own rights under the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child

The project analyses in particular how legal action involving children and youth is transforming perceptions of children, and therefore the discipline of children’s rights. It is funded by the European Research Council. It is highly ambitious and cutting edge, and the PhD researcher will join a team of international, interdisciplinary researchers.

The project involves talking to children and youth around the world who are taking climate cases, as well as those taking more local action. Legal analysis will be conducted; as well as analysis through other disciplines such as political science and psychology to interrogate questions relating to the climate action of children and youth.

This PhD candidate will engage in academic analysis of litigation and other action taken by children to achieve climate justice. Previous experience in  legal analysis is essential. Experience of children’s rights, environmental rights and/or first-hand field research is very desirable.

PhD position: The student will be registered at the School of Law, University College Cork, Ireland. They will be expected to base themselves in Cork. The studentship comprises an annual stipend for four years and full fees at the EU level (currently €5,770 per year). The current stipend is €22,000 per annum (tax free). The stipend amount is under review in Ireland at present, and it is possible that Irish stipends will rise in line with a level recommended by Government. Paid teaching opportunities during the Ph.D. will also be very likely.

The project is funded for 48 months, with a start date of  June-Sep 2024. The language of the project is English.

Principal Investigator: Prof Aoife Daly (UCC)


  • To conduct high quality research under the supervision and direction of the Principal Investigator. 
  • To apply approaches from Indigenous studies to data gathered in the course of the project. 
  • To work as part of an interdisciplinary team. 
  • To work with other partners/collaborators in achieving the research goals of the project. 
  • To present research progress and project outcomes at project meetings and national and international conferences. 
  • To contribute and produce a literature review and research articles. 
  • To conduct fieldwork in relation to youth climate justice.

Selection Criteria 

  • Primary degree in law to at least 2.1 level, and ideally a Masters also to minimum 2.1 level. 
  • Highly motivated individual with experience in legal or other research. 
  • Experience of legal analysis.
  • Previous work/volunteering with a community group (e.g. an environmental or youth group) necessary.  
  • Experience of either child/youth rights and/or environmental rights very desirable. 
  • Have the ability to work effectively as part of a team to achieve results within the time frame of the project. 
  • Candidates must meet UCC's Postgraduate English Language Entry Requirements 

To Apply: 

Send application (as a single PDF) to include 1. a cover letter, 2. a detailed CV, 3. THREE referees' names and contacts, 4. a sample of academic writing.

Applications should be sent by email only to Prof Aoife Daly: Please cite the unique position reference “ YCJ2023-ind ” only in the subject of all emails related to the PhD.

Applications will be accepted until Tuesday 2nd April 12 noon (GMT).


University College Cork is an Equal Opportunities Employer 

School of Law

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