PhD Studentship: Identifying Predictors of Positive Outcomes of Online Social Network Engagement

University of Sussex - School of Psychology

PhD studentship available for September 2018

Project title: Identifying predictors of positive outcomes of online social network engagement

Supervisor:   Dr Karen Long (School of Psychology, University of Sussex)

The vast majority of the advice to parents regarding young people’s online activity focuses on reduction or limiting of time online, and avoidance of specific activities know to be associated with risk.  The poor mental health of young women in particular is widely reported to be exacerbated by their use of social media, and there is some evidence to support this view. Given that online social networks are such a dominant feature of young people’s lives, strategies other than reduction or disengagement might be better received and therefore more successful.  The aim of this research project is to explore ways in which online social networks can be used in beneficial or, at least, less damaging ways using a mixed-methods approach. Applicants will have the opportunity to develop the specific research questions to be addressed and design a program of research within this overall framework.

Applications should be made by Sunday 21st January 2018

  • Studentship awards will be based on a competitive process, including interview. There are two types of awards available: +3 studentships, which fund a three-year full-time PhD, and 1+3 studentships, which fund a one-year Master’s degree followed by a three-year full-time PhD. Full-time studentship covering tuition fee, and a maintenance allowance (currently £14,553 per annum).
  • The competitive awards are funded by the School of Psychology (+3, eligibility: Home or EU residency); the ESRC (1+3 or +3, eligibility at South-East Network for Social Sciences (SeNSS); or the Chancellor’s International Research Scholarship (+3, eligibility at Chancellor's International Research Scholarship (2018).
  • 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 your application online for the ‘PhD in Psychology’ programme for September 2018 through this link
  • In the ‘Supervisor suggested by applicant’ section of your application form, please put name of supervisor
  • In the ‘Proposed source of funding’ as School of Psychology and/or SeNSS, or CIRS).

Candidates should provide:

  • A research proposal that outlines your knowledge of the research area, hypotheses that could be addressed in your PhD, 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.
  • 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 Dr Karen Long:

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South East England