Understanding and Predicting the Long-term Labour Market and Migration Trajectories of Immigrants and Their Children in the United Kingdom


This PhD project will investigate how the educational and employment trajectories of immigrants and their children in the UK evolve and interact; and, how factors related to their residential environment, early life context and critical life transitions shape these trajectories. Methodologically the project will involve the use of ESRC data, and it seeks to innovate by producing a set of indicators to measure how `well’ British cities assimilate immigrants, and developing a machine learning model to predict immigrants’ wage and occupational outcomes. Findings are expected to guide policy interventions to support successful labour market integration, and ultimately reduce inequality and improve social cohesion.

The project is fully funded for 4 years involving a 1+3 studentship: 1 year of Master’s training and 3 years of PhD programme. The successful candidate will need to complete the Geographic Data Science MSc of the University of Liverpool. During the course of this programme, the candidate will have a unique opportunity to develop relevant quantitative and computational geographical skills for the project as well as general transferable skills, such as coding and statistical data analysis.

The successful candidate will start the Geographic Data Science MSc on September 23rd, 2019. The candidate will be based at Geographic Data Science Lab (GDSLab), a world-leading research lab in spatial analysis and quantitative geography with strong publication record and international impact, which is part of the Department of Geography and Planning at the University of Liverpool in Liverpool, UK. Currently the GDSLab hosts 25 PhD students, with 6 additional students joining in September, and it provides vibrant and supporting environment for PhD students.


Applicants should ensure they meet the academic and residential eligibility requirements stated on the Studentship Application Guidance from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP) pages 3-4.

Academic eligibility

Applicants should have a first-class degree or equivalent in Human Geography, Demography, Economics, Population Studies or a related discipline from a recognised UK higher education institution or equivalent degree at an overseas institution. For non-UK qualifications, transcripts in English as well as details in the original language must be provided with the application form.

Residential eligibility

Applicants must have a relevant connection with the United Kingdom as stated in the Studentship Application Guidance.

Additionally, applications should have a good knowledge of English and an ability to express themselves clearly in both written and spoken form. The successful candidate must be strongly motivated to undertake doctoral studies, must have demonstrated the ability to work independently, and to perform critical analysis and have a strong willingness to learn quantitative methods.

To apply, please the following instructions provided on the University of Liverpool online application system website here. The application deadline is: 5pm, July 31st, 2019. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed during August 5th-9th, 2019.


Open to EU/UK applicants

Funding information

Funded studentship

The Studentship is fully funded by the ESRC and covers:

  • Payment of academic fees, at the standard UKRI rate
  • Maintenance Stipend (£15,009 in 2019)
  • Access to a Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) for reimbursement of research related expenses including - but not limited to - conference attendance, training courses and UK fieldwork
  • Opportunity to apply for additional funding towards:
    • Overseas Fieldwork (only if the need for overseas fieldwork has been detailed at the application stage)
    • Overseas Institutional Visits or Internships