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Cambridge ESRC DTP Interdisciplinary Studentship 2020: Racialized geographies of urban infrastructures: Black and Indigenous displaced populations in Colombian cities

The University of Cambridge ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership [DTP] is pleased to offer an interdisciplinary studentship available for admission in October 2020.

The studentship is open as either a one-year masters followed by three-year doctoral programme or a three-year doctoral programme and will be co-supervised by FELIPE HERNANDEZ (Department of Architecture)] and SARAH RADCLIFFE (Department of Geography).

DTP students will acquire a unique set of skills that will equip them for high-profile careers as leading social scientists, in academia or in other government, industrial, commercial and third sector organisations, either in the UK or elsewhere.

Project description
This project focuses on the socio-political intersection between race, forced displacement and urban stratification in order to establish how these three factors have configured the peripheries of Colombian cities over the past twenty years. It draws attention to the question of racial discrimination, which emerges,along with debates about marginalization, as a systemic condition of inequity that allows the perpetuation of a system of political control and economic exploitation. The fact that most displaced people in Colombia are Afro-descendants and Indigenous is striking evidence of sustained modes of systemic marginalization based on race and ethnic origin. By reproducing patterns of race-based discriminatory divisions in cities,with Black and Indigenous peripheries versus white-dominated centres, these new urban spaces of internal displacement form contested sites of political struggle. The racialized geographies of urban settlement
reflect racism and power at numerous scales.

Given Colombia’s large internally-displaced population (the world’s largest at 7.8 million) and multiracial (and hierarchical) society, the studentship will contribute to our understanding of how cities and infrastructure become exclusionary and inclusionary, as the Peace process unfolds.

This research will help assess the processes by which segregated cities are created and how policy measures might yield positive inclusionary and affirmative outcomes for marginalized populations, while building on marginal groups’ knowledges and social organisation to inform effective interventions.

Considering the need to revise current policy in order to generate inclusionary and affirmative outcomes, it is necessary to ask how racial discriminatory practices have permeated urban policy in the past, thereby perpetuating the systems of exclusion it aims to remedy. The research project will include participatory and decolonizing elements, reflecting the disparities in knowledge production shaping the fields of geography and architecture.

A full ESRC DTP studentship will cover fees and provide £15,009 p.a. in living costs (current 2019 rates). DTP students also receive a personal allowance for additional training costs, and can apply for further funding to pursue fieldwork, academic exchange, and collaboration with non-academic partner

Cambridge ESRC DTP studentships are currently open to students who meet UK or EU residential criteria and the required academic conditions. Full studentships are open only to those meeting certain residency requirements. You can find out more here:

What to do next
You can find out more about the Cambridge ESRC DTP at: and read about some of the opportunities that will be
available to you.

You can find out more about the Department of Architecture at and the Department of Geography at Please address any questions about this studentship to Felipe Hernandez at or Sarah Radcliffe at .

All Cambridge ESRC DTP applicants follow the University’s standard admission process. Applications for this studentship should be made to the Department of Architecture. Please go to our Graduate Admissions Portal to start your application and ensure you indicate that you wish to be considered for funding in the
Funding section of the online application form.

The closing date for applications will be *Friday 3 January 2020.