2 x PhD studentships: Child behaviour, mental health, and preventive intervention in primary education

The University of Manchester

Interview date for shortlisted applicants: Tuesday 13th December 2016

Project Description

These three-year PhD studentships, starting in September 2017, are fully funded (academic fees covered, plus annual taxable income of £19,000 per annum). Additional paid positions as full-time research assistants are available for six months before the commencement of the PhD programme. Thus, we are seeking suitably qualified and experienced candidates to join us from 1st March 2017.

The successful applicants will join our team working on the Good Behaviour Game (GBG) project, funded jointly by the Education Endowment Foundation and the National Institute for Health Research. This is a major randomised trial involving nearly 80 schools and over 3,000 children. The primary aim of the trial is to examine the impact of the GBG on educational and health-related outcomes for children. Additionally, we are interested in differential intervention effects among boys with elevated behavioural problems, the moderating effects of implementation variability, maintenance of intervention effects, temporal relations between educational and health-related outcomes, and the extent to which the GBG represents value for money. Further information about the GBG intervention can be accessed here. The trial protocol can be accessed here. The successful applicants will contribute primarily to the fulfilment of research objective B (health-related outcomes - see protocol); however, their PhD theses may utilise data from any aspect of the study.

The studentships

We are looking for candidates with proven quantitative research skills who also have experience of working in and around schools and a keen interest in child behaviour and mental health. The successful applicants will be involved in a variety of data generation and analysis tasks throughout their tenure and will complete their PhDs using data derived from the GBG trial (although the research questions underpinning their theses need not necessarily relate to the project itself). For an informal discussion, please contact Professor Neil Humphrey, who is the project lead at MIE and will also act as the successful candidates’ PhD supervisor.

Person specification

Essential knowledge, skills, experience and attributes

  • Bachelors degree equivalent to a First Class or Upper Second Class Honours UK degree in psychology, education or a related field
  • Master’s degree at Merit (60% or above) or Distinction (70% or above) level in psychology, education or a related field
  • Proven research skills – quantitative data generation and analysis
  • Sound knowledge of child behaviour and mental health
  • Substantial experience of working in schools as a research or practitioner
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively
  • 2 satisfactory references, at least one of which to be academic
  • Satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (previously CRB) clearance at the Enhanced Disclosure level
  • IELTS score of 7.0 or above for candidates speaking English as an additional language
  • Candidates must satisfy the ESRC's academic and residential eligibility requirements and be UK (full award) or EU citizens (fees only). Find out more about eligibility here

Financial support

This studentship covers academic fees (see above note about residential eligibility) and provides an annual taxable income of £19,000 per annum. As noted above, paid positions as full-time research assistants are available for six months before the commencement of the PhD programme.

Further information

Enquiries about the vacancy should be directed to: Professor Neil Humphrey

The successful applicant will be required to submit a full application for a PhD in Education, University of Manchester.

Interviews will take place in Manchester on Tuesday 13th December 2016.

Candidates invited for interview are expected to cover their own travel expenses.


Apply by Sunday 4th December 2016 by emailing the following to Professor Neil Humphrey with the subject line “Child behaviour and mental health PhD application”

  • A full academic CV: including two named referees (one of whom should be your most recent academic tutor/supervisor)
    A copy of your first degree and Master’s degree transcripts (or anticipated grade if Master’s is on-going)
    A letter of application (not exceeding two pages) outlining your suitability for the studentship
    A short proposal (not exceeding two pages) outlining your initial ideas for your PhD thesis

References will be sought after shortlisting.

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