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PhD Studentship to study family complexity and children’s outcomes in the UK


Research Field
Formal sciences
Natural sciences
Professions and applied sciences
Social sciences
Funding Type
Career Stage
European Research Programme
Not funded by an EU programme


Title of project: PhD Studentship to study family complexity and children’s outcomes in the UK

Type of Funding: ESRC 1+3/ +3

Supervisor(s): Dr Julia Mikolai and Dr Nissa Finney (see

Project Description:

We invite applications from qualified and highly motivated students for an ESRC-funded 3-year PhD Studentship to study the consequences of family complexity for children’s outcomes in the UK. The PhD studentship is based at the University of St Andrews and is funded by the ESRC Scottish Graduate School of Social Science within the Health, Families, Relationships and Demographic Change pathway. The successful applicant will investigate the consequences of family complexity for children’s health, wellbeing, and behavioural outcomes in the UK using advanced longitudinal methods such as multi-process models and multi-channel sequence analysis. For applicants just completing their undergraduate degree there is also funding for a one-year master’s course in research methodology followed by a three-year PhD (1+3 funding).

The ESRC scholarship covers tuition fees, a yearly stipend of £15,285 per year (in the 2020/21 academic year, subject to increase annually), and a research training support grant (RTSG) of £750 per year.

The studentship starts in October 2020.

Deadline for Application: 6th May 2020

Entry Requirements:

Applicants must meet the following eligibility criteria: 1) A first class or an upper secondary undergraduate or master’s degree in any area of social science (including statistics and applied mathematics); 2) Have a good grounding and/or interest in quantitative methods; and 3) Have an interest in studying complex family trajectories and their consequences. Coding skills are an advantage (e.g., in R, Stata or SAS), but not required.

How to apply:

Candidates must register on GradHub ( and complete and submit an online application by 6th April 2020 at the following link: Please specify your interest in studying family complexity and its implications for children’s outcomes and in applying advanced quantitative methods in social science research in the personal statement section of the application form. Please also indicate whether you apply for a +3 (a three-year PhD) or a 1+3 studentship (a one-year master’s course in research methodology followed by a three-year PhD). There will be a variety of opportunities to take training in advanced quantitative methods during the PhD; some training will be offered in St Andrews, some elsewhere in the UK.

Selection Process:

Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed in the week commencing 4th May 2020; Skype interviews are possible.


Please address enquiries to Dr Julia Mikolai ( or Dr Nissa Finney ( Please include ‘ESRC SGSSS PhD studentship’ in the subject line of your email.


The scholarship is open to UK and EU students. EU students who do not fulfil the ESRC’s residence eligibility criteria will be entitled to a Fees Only award (please check the ESRC’s residential guidelines which can be accessed at However, the University of St Andrews provides, on a competitive basis, maintenance stipends at the Research Council rate for EU PhD students who have been awarded a Research Council fees-only scholarship (and who start their degree in the academic year 2020/21).



Organisation name
University of St Andrews
Organisation Country
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