PhD Studentship: (Social networks, Personality and Social Support in Goats)

University of Roehampton - Department of Life Sciences

Start date: 1 January 2018

Lead Supervisor

Dr Alan McElligott (Life Sciences)

Project detail

Dr McElligott’s research group is focussed on developing goats as a model species for comparative cognition and welfare studies. Traditionally, animal welfare research has focussed on identifying and preventing poor welfare. However, preventing poor welfare is not the same as providing animals with opportunities to experience positive welfare. Therefore gaining a better understanding of the cognitive abilities of goats and other livestock is critical for progress. This research will investigate the links between social networks, personality, social support and prosocial behaviour in goats.

The project will include behavioural observations, as well as cognitive and playback experiments. All data collection will be carried at an animal sanctuary, using a large number of habituated animals.


The successful candidate will need to be able to work independently, and as part of a team. They will receive appropriate training for the research, e.g. bioacoustics and other technology for studying behaviour and physiology (e.g. heart rates). It is extremely important that the successful candidate can maintain our excellent working relationship with the host animal sanctuary.

Applicants should have at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Zoology, Psychology or a related subject and a relevant Master’s degree. International students are required to provide evidence of their proficiency in English language skills.


This PhD is fully-funded by Roehampton University Dept. of Life Sciences and covers Home/EU fees, as well as an annual stipend at current Research Council rates.   NB  International applicants would need to be able to pay the difference between Home/EU and Overseas fees for the duration of the programme.

How to Apply

Interested applicants should visit the Roehampton Graduate School website by clicking the 'apply' button below, for details of the application process and for further details including references and contact information.

Closing Date: Midday on September 1, 2017

Interviews are expected to be held in the week commencing September 18, 2017

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