ILCS is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD on the topic of ‘Transnationalism, Culture and Race in the Modern Foreign Languages Secondary Classroom’, to begin full- or part-time in October 2023.

This project examines how researcher- and teacher-led initiatives that foreground questions of race, cultural representation and colonialism in relation to language learning can be brought together to transform the study of Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) in secondary schools.

A collaboration between the UK languages teachers’ professional body, the Association for Language Learning (ALL), and the Institute of Languages, Cultures and Societies (ILCS), the project will allow a doctoral researcher to work at the intersection between language teachers and researchers to strengthen the development of more culturally inclusive and critical approaches to language learning and teaching. In doing so, the project seeks to foreground the transformative potential of a languages education.

The principal aims of the research are to:

•    analyse current approaches and resources for fostering criticality and addressing transnationalism, cultural representation and race in MFL classrooms;
•    explore how transnational and decolonising research and theories can support the ALL’s Decolonise Secondary MFL Special Interest Group’s work to equip language teachers to meet the academic, emotional, spiritual, moral, social and aesthetic needs of all of their young learners;
•    develop a model for Modern Languages researchers to work collaboratively with educational practitioners to foster more critical and inclusive approaches among secondary MFL teachers and pupils.

This is a Collaborative Doctoral Award (funded by the AHRC’s London Arts and Humanities Partnership, LAHP) and the successful candidate will work as part of a supervisory team from the ILCS and the ALL’s ‘Decolonise Secondary MFL’ Special Interest Group. 

Primary academic supervisor: Joseph Ford (SAS)
Secondary academic supervisor: Naomi Wells (SAS)
Collaborative Partner lead contact: Lisa Panford (Association for Language Learning)
Collaborative Partner secondary supervisor: Melina Irvine (Association for Language Learning)

The studentship includes a stipend at the Research Council UK Home/ EU rate (£19,668 per annum – 2022/23 rate) plus fees for three and a half years. The awarded candidate will also be entitled to a £550 per annum stipend top-up. Studentships can be either full or part-time. As a LAHP student, the successful candidate will have full access to the LAHP Doctoral Training Partnership development activities and networking opportunities, joining a cohort of about 90 students per year.

Applicants will require knowledge of one of the main languages taught in the English Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) curriculum (preferably French and/or Spanish). While applicants would normally be expected to hold a Masters degree, we also encourage those with alternative qualifications (such as PGCE) and/or other relevant experience in a Modern Languages classroom. 

Black and Global Majority candidates are particularly encouraged to apply

The deadline for applications with LAHP is: 5pm on Friday, 27 January 2023.  

To apply and for more information, please see here.

Please note, candidates will first have to submit an application for a PhD place to the ILCS prior to submitting their CDA application to LAHP.*

*We encourage potential applicants to contact the supervisors before submitting their application for further guidance on the process. If you are interested in applying, please write to and .