Leeds launches LGBT-focused PhD scholarships

‘Pride’ scholarships aim to make university a world leader in research field

July 4, 2023
University of Leeds
Source: University of Leeds

A UK university has announced plans to create 25 “Pride” PhD scholarships, focused on global issues facing the LGBT community.

The University of Leeds said the scholarships would support evidence-based research into societal issues faced by LGBT people in the UK and around the world.

Paul Johnson, executive dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, said that the initiative represented a “comprehensive investment” designed to make Leeds a world leader in LGBT research.

“If we want to address discrimination against LGBT people we need evidence-based understanding of the problems, the challenges and the solutions,” Professor Johnson said. “That has to come with high-quality research.” 

Leeds already has researchers studying topics related to LGBT issues such as hate crime, human rights and access to marriage equality, while Professor Johnson’s own research played a key role in bringing about “Turing’s law” in the UK, which led to the posthumous pardoning of gay and bisexual men formerly convicted of having consensual sex with other men. 

Professor Johnson, a professor of sociology, said that the investment – to be paid for via a five-year fundraising initiative – would deliver a “step change” on Leeds’ existing activities.

“My hope for these Pride scholarships is that they will have produced the comprehensive understanding that we need on a wide range of issues to change people’s lives, but what they will have also done is to have created 25 new global leaders in this field. We will have tangible change and the leaders of tomorrow,” Professor Johnson said.

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