2 PhD Studentships on Survey Design And Analysing Public Opinion

Royal Holloway, University of London - Department of Politics and IR


The Department of Politics and International Relations at Royal Holloway, University of London, together with Survation, are offering two fully-funded PhD scholarships for three years from September 2018.

Successful candidates will be supervised by Professor Chris Hanretty and Professor Oliver Heath.

These scholarships are being offered as part of a three year partnership with the polling and market research firm Survation. The aim of the partnership is to find ways of improving our analysis of public opinion, and to ensure that industry can benefit from academic progress in this area.

We welcome applications from students interested in any aspect of survey design and the analysis of public opinion. In particular, we are interested in proposals with a focus on the analysis of local variations in public opinion, how best these can be measured, and which constituency (or local level) variables structure public opinion.

One such way of doing this is known as small area estimation (SAE), which is a way of producing estimates of local opinion using large national samples. The most common type of SAE is called multilevel regression and post-stratification (MRP), which was pioneered in the British context by Professor Hanretty. Successful applicants will be expected to develop expertise in these methods.

Applicants should have a good grounding in quantitative methods and an appetite to develop their skills.


Applicants should have completed a Masters degree (or equivalent from a university outside the United Kingdom) in a relevant subject (including but not limited to: politics, sociology, geography, statistics) by the start date.

Funding details:

Starts September 2018

Three-year award

HEU fee waiver worth £4,195 and maintenance of £16,553 p.a.

Access to departmental research and training allowance

How to apply:

To apply for this studentship please follow the steps outlined below.

  1. Apply for a PhD in Politics to the University as described here:


When prompted, you should provide details of the funding you are applying for, quoting ‘Survation Scholarship’.

  1. Send a separate email to Chris Hanretty (chris.hanretty@rhul.ac.uk) and Oliver Heath

       (oliver.heath@rhul.ac.uk), including:

  • (a) A brief cover letter outlining why you are applying for the Studentship. This cover letter should describe the existing training you have received in statistics, and in particular your familiarity with different statistical environments (R [preferred], Stata, SPSS), and why you would be suitable to work on this project.
  • (b) A curriculum vitae.
  • (c) Contact details (email and postal addresses) for two academic referees. Please provide your referees with a copy of your cover letter so that they are able to comment specifically on your suitability to pursue the course of study you have described. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed.

Further Enquiries:

Chris Hanretty (chris.hanretty@rhul.ac.uk).

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