PhD Studentship - Self-affirmation: mechanisms and impacts

University of Sussex - School of Psychology

PhD studentship available for September 2017

Project title: Self-affirmation: mechanisms and impacts

Supervisor: Prof Peter Harris and Dr Donna Jessop (School of Psychology, University of Sussex)

The last 15 years have seen a rapid growth in research into self-affirmation (thinking about important sources of positive self-regard, such as core values, personal strengths and attributes, or significant social relationships). Nevertheless, many questions remain to be resolved. These include (a) understanding the mechanisms by which self-affirmation promotes open-mindedness, (b) developing our understanding of the natural or “spontaneous” use of self-affirmation in response to threats, and (c) expanding our understanding of the role that self-affirmation may play in promoting behaviour change and fostering well-being. Candidates are sought for a PhD project to address such questions, under the supervision of Professor Peter Harris and Dr Donna Jessop. The successful candidate will be a member of the University’s Self-Affirmation Research Group, which works to develop the scientific understanding of self-affirmation and its practical application.

Applications should be made by Tuesday 10th January 2017. The award of the studentship will be based on a competitive process. If awarded, it would be a full-time studentship (funded for a duration of three years) covering tuition fee, and a maintenance allowance. The maintenance allowance is currently £14,296 per annum.

Eligibility requirements for potential candidates:

  • This award will only pay fees at the Home/EU rate ( Candidates may not be eligible for the full award if they do not meet UK residency requirements. For full details of eligibility, please check the ESRC guidelines.
  • Candidates must have, or expect to obtain, a First or a high Upper Second Class Honours undergraduate degree, or equivalent qualification, and/or a Master's degree in Psychology or a related discipline.

Guidance for applicants:

  • Application procedures can be found here.
  • Please submit an online application for the ‘PhD in Psychology’ programme, for September 2017 entry through this link.
  • State in the ‘Funding information’ section of your online application that you are applying for this studentship, giving the title of the project as above and mention the supervisors, Professor Peter Harris and Dr Donna Jessop, in the ‘Supervisor suggested by applicant’ section.
  • The proposed source of funding should be specified as 'ESRC or School of Psychology’.

Candidates should provide:

  • A research statement that briefly outlines your current state of knowledge, hypotheses that could be addressed, and an outline of potential methods. Your answer should not exceed 2 pages including references, be set at minimum 10 font type with margins a minimum of 1cm.
  • An up-to-date CV.
  • A current degree transcript(s) with full details of performance on all completed courses.
  • Two academic references.

For queries with respect to the application process please send an email for the attention of 'Postgraduate Coordinator' to:

To discuss the details of this PhD project further, please contact Prof Peter Harris:

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