PhD Studentship: Examining the role of youth educators as learners and teachers in informal STEM learning sites

Goldsmiths, University of London - Department of Psychology

Applications are invited for a Wellcome Trust/ESRC 4 year fixed-term PhD studentship, on the research project: Examining the role of youth educators as learners and teachers in informal STEM learning sites. The studentship will be supervised by Professor Adam Rutland in the Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Dr. Mark Winterbottom in the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. The studentship will be based in London and will start in October 2018.

The successful PhD student will work with other researchers on a large multi-site UK-US collaborative longitudinal project evaluating youth educator programs in informal science learning sites (museums, science centers) funded in the UK by the Wellcome Trust/ESRC. This study involves collaborating with colleagues at the University of South Carolina, USA, who are funded by the National Science Foundation. The PhD research will focus specifically on interactions involving youth educators and visitors in informal science settings, and the psychological impact of these interactions on the science learning, engagement and attitudes of the visitors. During the project the student will be expected to collect and code observational data and conduct surveys with children, adolescents and adults.

This project will be well suited to students with a background in psychology or education, together with an interest in developmental psychology and science education in informal settings. Previous experience with both quantitative and qualitative methods is desirable, training in relevant data coding and analysis will be provided. The student will be encouraged and supported to present their findings at academic and practitioner conferences and to write up their findings for publication. The student will also be encouraged to develop his or her own research ideas during the PhD, and will be expected to contribute fully to the research group and wider research community.

This award provides annual funding to cover UK/EU tuition fees and stipend. For students who pay UK/EU tuition fees the award will cover the tuition fees in full plus stipend (starting at £22,278 per annum in the first year). Students who pay international tuition fees are eligible to apply, but the applicant must make appropriate arrangements to cover the difference between the overseas and UK tuition fee.

It is essential that the applicant has experience in conducting psychological or educational research, data analysis, and academic writing. It is desirable that the applicant has successfully completed a Masters degree in Psychology or Education, or is enrolled on such a Masters degree that will be awarded  prior to October 2018. The applicant's academic excellence, and other indicators of motivation for a research career, will be strongly considered.

Applications must be received by be received by 5PM (UK time) on 17th January 2018 and should be clearly marked ‘Rutland Wellcome/ESRC Studentship 2018’. Please ensure you include a CV, personal statement and references; applications without these elements will not be considered. Interviews will be held in late January 2018, and the successful applicant will be informed as soon as possible thereafter.

Enquiries should be directed to Professor Adam Rutland (email:

To apply, please visit:

For help with application procedures, please visit:

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