PhD Studentship - Understanding Beneficiary Responses to Affirmative Action

University of Sheffield

Fully Funded PhD Scholarship in Psychology at the University of Sheffield

This is one of many projects in competition for the current funding opportunities available within the Department of Psychology

Project title: Understanding beneficiary responses to affirmative action

Primary supervisor: Dr Aarti Iyer

Project description: Organisations seek to increase the representation of disadvantaged groups (e.g., women, ethnic minority groups) by implementing affirmative action programs, which include policies and procedures to help reduce bias and provide additional opportunities for target groups. The presence of such programs can elicit a stereotype of beneficiary incompetence, such that people believe that beneficiary groups cannot succeed on their own merit. However, little is known about how members of beneficiary groups themselves might negotiate such stereotypes: when will they be undermined by an affirmative action program (e.g., feeling anxious or insulted by the implication that they need help) and when will they be bolstered by it (e.g., appreciating the help being offered)?

This project will investigate a range of factors (e.g., individual differences, group processes, organisational characteristics) that shape beneficiary responses to affirmative action programs. It will also consider the implications of these responses for beneficiaries’ career aspirations and broader workplace attitudes (e.g., job satisfaction).

Start date: 1 October 2018

Requirements: Applicants must have a minimum of a first class or high upper second-class undergraduate honours degree and a distinction or high merit at Masters level in psychology or a related discipline.

Funding: Tuition fees £4194 per year Living Expenses £14,500.00

Science Graduate School

As a PhD student in one of the science departments at the University of Sheffield, you'll be part of the Science Graduate School. You'll get access to training opportunities designed to support your career development by helping you gain professional skills that are essential in all areas of science. You'll be able to learn how to recognise good research and research behaviour, improve your communication abilities and experience the breadth of technologies that are used in academia, industry and many related careers. Visit to learn more.

For further details and the application process please visit:

Closing date for applications is 5pm Wednesday 24 January 2018

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Northern England