PhD opportunity at Northumbria

Could Skype/FaceTime combat loneliness in the elderly?

Deadline for applications: 20 January 2017
Start Date: 2 October 2017

Loneliness contributes to health problems in the elderly. Conversely, one’s social network buffers against health problems. However, research derived from the Social Brain Hypothesis shows that people’s social networks are not amorphous structures, but rather consist of a series of hierarchical layers varying in emotional closeness. The innermost layers have been labeled ‘support groups’ and ‘sympathy groups’. Support groups consist of individuals from whom one would seek support in times of severe emotional or financial distress: they have an average size of 5 members. Sympathy groups consist of individuals whose sudden death would be greatly upsetting: they have an average size of 12–15 members, including support group members. For elderly populations, it is currently unknown whether contact with individuals from certain social network layers matters more or whether any social contact matters. Moreover, it is currently unknown whether the medium of social contact matters: Is face-to-face contact more beneficial than contact via the phone? Is contact via a medium such as Skype or FaceTime similar to face-to-face contact or not? Previous research with a student population suggests that computer-mediated communication with a face-to-face component (e.g., Skype/FaceTime) is on a par with actual face-to-face contact in terms of positive affect. However, it is currently unknown whether similar effects exist for elderly populations. In this project, you will examine the composition of egocentric social networks of elderly people and its relation to loneliness and health.

Continue reading “PhD opportunity at Northumbria”

Funded PhD studentships at the Universities of Southampton, Brighton and Portsmouth

Funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership will be awarding 36 studentships per year to social scientists carrying out PhD studies, or Masters + PhD studies at its three partner institutions, including the Centre for Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology at the University of Portsmouth. Our first intake of funded students will be in the 2017/18 Academic Year.

In addition to covering the cost of all programme fees, those in receipt of a South Coast DTP studentship award will also receive an annual maintenance grant of £14,482 (2017/18 RCUK rate). South Coast DTP PhD students will also have access to additional funds for carrying out fieldwork, purchasing essential equipment and attending relevant conferences.
More information at:

Graduate fellowships in Evolution of Human Cognition at Indiana University

The Cognitive Science Program at Indiana University Bloomington has multiple five-year graduate student fellowships available to study the evolution of human cognition.  Research areas include cognitive aspects of human technological and behavioral evolution, evolution of expertise, evolution of the human brain, language evolution, and how evolved minds create and navigate cultural spaces.  Training opportunities include experimental archaeology and fieldwork, brain imaging and fMRI, computational modeling and simulation, and other aspects of cognitive science.  An interdisciplinary seminar with frequent visiting experts and international workshops and outreach are also part of this initiative.  Applications are due by December 1, 2016.  To apply, go to .

Continue reading “Graduate fellowships in Evolution of Human Cognition at Indiana University”

PhD Studentships in Visual Culture at Durham

Please get in touch with Lynda Boothroyd (, who is the final year of a Leverhulme DTC on visual culture and is very keen to secure one of these studentships for a project on visual culture and body/face ideals.  There would be options to do work in the UK or potentially something fieldwork based in their Nicaraguan fieldsite exploring the link between TV access and ideals further.  Applicants must have UK/EU nationality and hold or be taking a Masters degree.  Applications due 20 January 2017 for an October 2017 start.

PHD studentship in Macropsychology at Warwick, UK

The Bridges Programme at the University of Warwick is offering a Ph.D. studentship. The Bridges Programme aims to provide PhD students with deep knowledge of contemporary research questions in the social sciences, and rigorous training in the mathematical and computational approaches needed to answer them. This programme is open to students interested in any area of the social sciences (e.g., Economics, Psychology, Political Science, or Sociology) or mathematical sciences (e.g., Statistics, Complex Systems, or Computer Science), and who are interested in bridging the boundaries between these domains. The Trust has a particular interest in supporting UK or EU students.

Continue reading “PHD studentship in Macropsychology at Warwick, UK”

PhD Studentships: Psychology of Inequality

The Centre for Culture & Evolution at Brunel University London is offering three linked PhD funded studentships as part of a network that will bring together Evolutionary and Cross-Cultural Psychologists to investigate individuals’ responses to, and attitudes towards, various forms of inequality that people encounter in their lives.

Continue reading “PhD Studentships: Psychology of Inequality”

PhD Bursaries – University of Portsmouth

The University of Portsmouth (UK) Department of Psychology is offering bursaries linked to the following research areas:

Successful applicants will be awarded a University Bursary Stipend of £14,057 p.a. (for 16/17) for up to 4 years. Full Home/EU fees will be paid by the University. Holders of University Bursaries are expected to contribute up to 6 hours a week, including teaching, to support their department.

Continue reading “PhD Bursaries – University of Portsmouth”

Max Planck Institute: Two grants for PhD students in Cultural Evolution

The Minds and Traditions research group (“the Mint”), an Independent Max Planck Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena (Germany) is offering two grants for two doctoral projects focusing on “cognitive science and cultural evolution of visual culture and graphic codes“. Funding is available for four years (three years renewable twice for six months), starting in September 2016. The PhD students will be expected to take part in a research project devoted to the cognitive science and cultural evolution of graphic codes. If interested, please send a motivation letter (maximum two pages) to the group’s principal investigator, Olivier Morin ( by March the 21st, 2016.

The complete call in pdf format can be found here:

PhD position on Human Collective Behaviour. Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin

Starting date: The position is available from May 2016 onwards, but later start dates are possible.

Description: The PhD project will investigate the role of individual differences in human and animal collective behaviours, including group formation, group coordination and conflict resolution. It will involve experiments with human crowds using GPS tracking devices & video tracking, virtual interactive platforms and simulations. Limited work on animal groups (e.g., fish) is also possible. We seek a PhD student with a strong empirical background and excellent skills in (spatial) data analysis. Programming skills are a bonus.

The Center for Adaptive Rationality at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development ( is a highly interdisciplinary and international research group where English is the working language. We offer an excellent infrastructure including support staff and equipment for conducting experiments (e.g., behavioural laboratory, GPS tracking and supercomputers).

The predoctoral contract is for three years. Applications (consisting of a cover letter describing your research interests, a CV, up to two publications, and two letters of recommendation) should be sent as a single PDF file, with your name as the file name, to Monika Oppong (; Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin).

Applications will be considered until the position is filled. Application review will begin on February 1, 2016 but applications after this date will be considered equally. For further inquiries about the position, please contact Ralf Kurvers (

More information: