The Nippon Foundation and the Fellowship Programme
Cardiff University is the largest university in Wales and is a member of the Russell Group of leading UK Universities.
The School of Social Sciences
The School of Social Sciences (SOCSI) includes within its main subject areas: Sociology; Education Studies; Criminology; Social Policy; and Social Work. It is a large School with 170 staff and a thousand undergraduate and graduate students. In line with the University's mission, SOCSI is "research-led". This means that it gives the highest priority to research and is always on the lookout for new adventurous scholars.
The Seafarers International Research Centre
The Seafarers International Research Centre (SIRC) is a constituent Centre of the Cardiff University School of Social Sciences. SIRC possesses a unique capacity to conduct professional scientific research focused on seafarers. In doing this SIRC's objectives are to:
- Produce high quality scientific analysis of the maritime sector in relation to all aspects of seafarers' lives.
- Disseminate research findings widely throughout the academic and maritime communities.
- Bring a greater understanding of seafarers and issues of maritime safety to the wider community.
- Contribute positively to the welfare of seafarers and the wider community, and to the protection of the marine and coastal environment.
SIRC currently has a number of enrolled PhD students. These students are all engaged in undertaking research on maritime related topics within a social science paradigm. They come from a range of backgrounds and include ex-seafarers and overseas students.
The Nippon Foundation and the Fellowship Programme
The Nippon Foundation is a Japanese grantmaking organisation that was founded in 1962 with the primary purpose of supporting the revitalisation of Japan’s maritime industry. Over the years the Foundation’s sphere of activity has expanded inland from the oceans and now encompasses most of the globe. The Foundation has been supporting various philanthropic activities in over 100 other countries in the world in areas such as education, health and social welfare.
While pursuing such expansion into new areas, The Nippon Foundation has also continued to initiate pioneering ventures in the maritime field. In recent years the Foundation has been focusing its support efforts on capacity building initiatives aimed at better equipping the international community to tackle the multitude of critical issues related to the oceans.
As part of their activities The Nippon Foundation has made a decision to fund students to undertake maritime-related social science research at the Seafarers International Research Centre. The objective of the programme is ultimately to create an international network of social scientists conducting research on seafarers. These students will register with Cardiff University for the Masters in Philosophy (MPhil) programme which automatically carries the possibility for students to extend their study and become eligible for the qualification of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).
Applicants are expected to hold a good honours degree (usually a 1st or 2.1) in a social science or maritime related discipline. In addition those applicants for whom English is a second language will be required to possess a certificate from IELTS with a minimum score of 7 or TOEFL certificate with a minimum score of 600. Tests of English as a foreign language must have been awarded no more than 2 years prior to the requested entry point to be deemed valid and all tests will be verified by the Academic Registry. Applications are particularly encouraged from students resident in developing countries and in Asia and Japan.
Programme of Study
Successful applicants will undertake a four year programme of study leading to a PhD. The programme will comprise:
Social Science Research Methods (leading to the interim award of a Diploma in Social Science Research Methods).
Following successful completion of the taught element of their course, students will embark upon a thesis, the topic of which will be chosen with advice from supervisors, but which will relate to the maritime sector and will be conducted within a social science theoretical framework.
Students will undergo an interim progress review in the course of their second year in accordance with the regulations of the University and the School of Social Science. This will entail submission of one chapter of their thesis and an oral examination. Students who successfully pass their oral examination will be able to progress to a third and fourth year and complete a PhD.
This programme provides for the funding of 4 years study to PhD.
Once the first student cohort has graduated, SIRC will run an annual workshop for all alumni and registered fellowship students on issues of importance relating to shipping and the human element. These workshops will take place in the UK and alumni will have their expenses paid in full to allow them to attend.
A web-based alumni association will also be created in order to provide a forum for communication, discussion and the exchange of ideas.
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