PhD studentship on mental health and discrimination in the UK


This PhD project will understand how experiences of discrimination have changed over time in the UK and examine the impact that discrimination has on mental health. Furthermore, by utilising a range of data sources the project will examine whether discrimination is more common and more damaging among those living in social disadvantage and explore the psychological processes linking discrimination to poorer mental health outcomes.

This PhD is suitable for an exceptional candidate with a strong background and interest in quantitative statistics. Experience of conducting longitudinal data analyses is desirable, as the project will involve analysing quantitative data from large cohort studies (e.g. The UK Household Longitudinal Study). To be eligible to apply, a first class honours degree in Psychology is required, in addition to a Distinction at Master’s level (Psychology or similar quantitative data based Master’s degree).

A unique aspect of this PhD studentship is that it will involve working closely with a non-academic partner. Working closely with the Samaritans of Liverpool and Merseyside (charity sector partner) will benefit the present project and the long-term charitable goals of the Samaritans of Liverpool and Merseyside. The Samaritans of Liverpool and Merseyside is a standalone charity registered in England (1171022) and a recognised branch of the Samaritans. The branch is home to over 100 volunteers and staff, a dedicated fundraising team and outreach team. The Samaritan’s vision is that fewer people will die by suicide. As an organisation, the Samaritans aim to give people ways to cope ensure that there’s someone there for any one who needs someone through their unique 24-hour listening and support service, email, letter and face-to-face services. The PhD student will spend time with the Samaritans of Liverpool and Merseyside to help evaluate the benefit their service provides in the local community.

The PhD commences in October 2021 and is fully funded for 3 years (fees and research costs covered), in addition to a minimum £15,285 tax free stipend per year. Based on qualifications an enhanced stipend (additional £3,000 per year) may be available due to the quantitative methodologies used in the PhD project.

Eligibility requirements:

UK national – Due to funding requirements, we are unable to accept applications from non-UK candidates.

Qualifications - a 1st class Psychology undergraduate degree and a Distinction at Master’s level – We are unable to accept applications from candidates with an undergraduate degree that is not in psychology. We are unable to accept applications from candidates with a lower degree classification than a 1st class honours. In exceptional circumstances, a predicted Distinction (as opposed to having been awarded a Distinction) at Master’s level can be considered. (can currently be studying for a Masters)

Applications are by CV and covering letter to Dr Eric Robinson () or Dr Laura Goodwin () by 3rd March 2021. You should detail your interest in the studentship and outline your relevant experience, training and suitability for the position.


Open to UK applicants

Funding information

Funded studentship

Funded by the ESRC North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership CASE studentship competition.