Queen Margaret University – PhD Bursary Competition

Each year Queen Margaret University invites applications from individuals with a strong academic record for funded QMU PhD studentships. We are currently accepting bursary applications for commencing September 2020.

The topic is: “Emotion perception, empathy and UK politics: The role of conservatism, social dominance orientation and the behavioural immune system.” Deadline for research proposals is 13th March 2020.

For details see:


PhD Opportunities in Brunel University

Brunel University has a number of ESRC-funded MSc+PhD or PhD-only studentships available on the broad topic of health and wellbeing. Students with an interest in the cultural evolution of medicine / health behaviour are encouraged to contact Micheal de Barra or Matthias Gobel to discuss co-developing an application. We particularly interested in supervising projects examining health behaviour across cultures using theories from cognitive anthropology / cultural evolution. Methods may include laboratory studies, field work, transmission chain experiments, or natural language processing of health texts/corpuses. Illustrative topics include:
– How intuitions about biological processes shape health-related information sharing. (de Barra)
– How public trust in health care systems influences the cultural evolution of vaccine narratives. (de Barra)
– Health and well-being in organisational settings across cultures (Gobel)

Successful applicants would join the Institute of Environment, Health and Societies and the Centre for Culture and Evolution (CCE). The CCE is an expanding group with expertise in cross-cultural psychology, evolutionary psychology, and cultural evolution. Centre members explore the psychology and evolution of religion, ritual, dance, leadership, relationships, as well as health/medicine: https://www.brunel.ac.uk/research/Centres/Centre-for-Culture-and-Evolution

Some practicalities:

– This scheme is competitive and applicants without a first class degree and a strong skillset or relevant experience are unlikely to be successful.
– Candidates are required to be UK residents, but there are exceptions if the students have advanced quantitative methods and data skills.
– The deadline for Brunel applications is likely to be in mid January and candidates are encouraged to contact Micheal de Barra (micheal.debarra@brunel.ac.uk) or Matthias Gobel (matthias.gobel@brunel.ac.uk) by mid December for an informal discussion about the applications.

Psychology Doctoral Studentship – funding available from the University of Essex

The Department of Psychology at the University of Essex is looking for research students to apply for one funded opportunity leading to a PhD.

The award is a full Home/EU fee waiver, or equivalent fee discount for overseas students, living costs of £14,777 per year, a departmental allowance of approximately £500 per year to support your studies, and a total of £2,500 to invest in training including conferences and travel. Funding will be paid each year for three years of study.


To apply for PhD funding (for three years of study), you will need:

  • a high 2.1 or first-class undergraduate degree, or an MSc Psychology, or a related discipline, and
  • hold an offer of a PhD supervised by a member of staff in our Department of Psychology starting October 2019.

Application process and deadlines

To begin, get in touch with a potential supervisor to discuss your application. Once you have agreement from a supervisor, make a formal application for PhD study online:

The deadline for applying for PhD study is 15 January 2019.

In addition, to apply for funding, complete our online form online:

Applications for the University of Essex Psychology Doctoral Scholarship close on 4 February 2019.

More information » here.

PhD Studentships in behaviour informatics at Newcastle University

Are you interested in developing novel approaches to understanding, predicting or changing behaviour?

Newcastle University is offering five, 4-year PhD studentships in the field of behaviour informatics. Behaviour informatics brings together the study of behaviour in all its guises, from economics to psychology and from behavioural ecology to animal welfare, with new methods from computational science and engineering to address challenging questions in human and/or animal behaviour.

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Oxford–Calleva Graduate Scholarships

Applications are invited for two fully-funded Oxford–Calleva Graduate Scholarships, supported by the University of Oxford and the Calleva Research Centre at Magdalen College, Oxford. The successful applicants will be part of an interdisciplinary team working on a 4-year project funded by the Calleva Research Centre at Magdalen College, to begin in October 2018.

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PhD position: Could Skype/FaceTime combat loneliness in the elderly?

Funded PhD with Tom Pollet at Northumbria University

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.

Two post-doctoral positions and PhD studentship to work on the Cultural Evolution and Ecology of Institutions

Applications are invited for two 3-year post-doctoral positions and 1 PhD student to work with Dr. Thomas Currie at the Human Biological and Cultural Evolution group, Centre for Ecology & Conservation, Department of Biosciences at the Penryn Campus of the University of Exeter on his ERC-funded project, The Cultural Evolution and Ecology of Institutions.

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PhD Student Position – UNSW Sydney: Economic inequality as a driver of sexual competition and gendered traits

This is a highly competitive scheme, with excellent support, open to students from any country. Interested students must express interest by 21 July (20 July in the Western hemisphere due to time differences). To learn more and to express interest visit:


Up to 2 students will be asked to submit full applications in August.

There is also a lot more about the scheme at http://www.2025.unsw.edu.au/apply/

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Two fully funded PhD studentships on the cultural evolution of human social behaviour

Closing date: 15th June 2017

School of Psychology, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand
Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany

Applications are invited for two 3-year PhD studentships based at the Language, Culture and Cognition Lab in the School of Psychology at the University of Auckland, and jointly supported by the University of Auckland and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. The studentships will begin in 2017 or 2018 and will be supervised by Dr Quentin Atkinson.

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