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International Sociological Association
ISA XIVth International Laboratory
for Ph.D. Students in Sociology
Theme: Power, Violence and Justice
April 1-8, 2016
Birmingham, United Kingdom

List of previous ISA Laboratories
photo by bodythongs     

The International Sociological Association (ISA) invites applications from PhD students in sociology or interdisciplinary programs (with a strong sociology component) to attend the Fourteenth ISA International Laboratory for PhD Students in Sociology to be organised jointly by the ISA and the British Sociological Association, 1-8 April 2016. It will be coordinated by Professor John Holmwood, Member of the ISA Executive Committee.

The theme of this year’s ISA Laboratory is Power, Violence and Justice and it looks forward to the, XIX ISA World Congress in 2018 to be held in Toronto, Canada, on this theme. The PhD Laboratory will help participants plan for this Congress (and other conferences) and develop their research skills to include the dissemination and presentation of their research. To this end, the Laboratory will coincide with the British Sociological Association Annual Conference that will take place at Aston University, Birmingham, from 6-8th April, 2016 on the theme of Global Societies: Fragmenting and Connecting. ISA Laboratory members will participate in the BSA conference as well as have common sessions with UK-based PhD students at their pre-conference meeting on 5th April.

The theme of Power, Violence and Justice encourages reflections on the responses and responsibilities of sociologists in the face of suffering and injustice.  These involve poverty, disparities in wealth and income within and across societies, the unequal consequences of climate and environmental change as well as geo-political problems of dispossession and displacement.

As well as lectures by distinguished sociologists (including ISA President, Margaret Abraham) and participation in the BSA Conference, the core of the programme will be presentations by the students of their own work and subsequent discussion by the group of participants. The theme is conceived in broad terms, and students’ research may focus on or be related in a variety of ways to one or more of its emphases and concerns.

The working language of the workshop will be English. Participants in the workshop should be able to understand and speak English very well. The students who apply must be at an advanced stage of their doctoral studies; they should have made some progress with the collection of data and have commenced with writing their dissertations. The Laboratory is meant to contribute to the quality of research project and the final thesis and thus nearly completed PhD are not eligible to participate.

Because of limitations on places, participants in any previous ISA Laboratory for doctoral students should abstain from applying.

Each interested candidate is requested to submit the following documentation in a pdf format:

    1. An application letter (in English) specifying the topic of her/his research and the expected date of degree completion, and the application form
    2. A two-page curriculum vitae (in English).
    3. A two-page abstract (maximum 1,000 words) of the applicant’s research project (in English), including information about the main theoretical approach(es) and the main methodological approach(es) that are used in the research
    4. Two letters of recommendation (in English, French or Spanish):
                (a) one from the student’s dissertation adviser or a dissertation committee member that comments on the research project (including the stage of the research), theoretical and methodological approach(es) as well as the anticipated date of completion, and
                (b) the other from the Department Chair or another professor that can comment about the applicant’s academic merits (in comparison with other students in the same programme) and about the candidate’s potential leadership in the social sciences.

The email addresses of both referees should be included in the student’s letter of application.

Applications and supporting documentation must be sent in a pdf format file by e-mail to International Sociological Association at not later than December 10, 2015.

Late applications will only be considered if places remain available.  

Selection criteria include: excellence of research, diversity of theoretical approaches, gender and geographic diversity of the candidates. Selection results will be announced by end January 2016.

Travel and lodging expenses (including meals at the Laboratory) of the participants will be covered by the British Sociological Association, and the International Sociological Association.


International Sociological Association