PhD Studentship in Economics: Economic and Social Impact of Universal Credit

University of Strathclyde

Project Summary

We are looking for a high-quality student for a fully-funded ESRC PhD-studentship in Economics (where the candidate does not already have appropriate MSc training they will first complete the Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics (SGPE) MSc in Economics as part of 1+3 funding). The candidate will conduct quantitative research addressing one of the most contentious and important issues in UK public policy: the ‘Universal Credit’ welfare reform.

Number of places: 1

Funding: Home fee plus Stipend for candidates that meet the ESRC residential eligibility criteria. For candidates that do not meet the residential eligibility criteria home/international fee plus stipend may be available subject to ESRC quota requirements and fee waiver agreements.

Deadline: 30 April 2018

Duration: 3 years from 1st October 2018 (or 4 years if MSc + PhD from the start of the SGPE MSc in Economics)


Candidates are required to have:

  • An excellent undergraduate degree (with Honours) in Economics (or related field) if applying for 1+3 funding.
  • An excellent Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Economics if applying for +3 funding
  • Experience in programming (especially proficiency in Stata) is highly desirable
  • Candidates who are not native English speakers will be required to provide evidence of their English skills

Project Details

This PhD, fully funded by the ESRC in collaboration with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, will address one of the most contentious and high profile policy issues in the UK: the roll-out of Universal Credit. The research programme will seek to quantitatively evaluate the impact of this programme using modern econometric methods. The successful applicant will utilise a range of datasets to understand the impact of Universal Credit rollout on labour market and wider social/economic outcomes. In considering how Universal Credit is affecting labour market opportunities and experiences, this PhD will consider the poverty experience of those ‘in work’ as well as those ‘out of work’.

This PhD is offered in collaboration with the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, a leading organisation working on addressing the root causes of poverty and deprivation in the UK. This opens up opportunities for the successful candidate to become involved in and contribute to Joseph Rowntree Foundation activities and benefit from their expert knowledge and insight into this topic.

Please see additional information on the University of Strathclyde’s Economics Doctoral Programme here

Funding Details

If the successful candidate has already undertaken (or will shortly complete) an approved course of MSc study in economics, the scholarship will cover 3 years of PhD tuition fees student, plus a tax free stipend of over £14,000 per year. Otherwise, the funding will cover 4 years of study (including full fees plus stipend of over £14,000 per year) including a one year MSc in Economics followed by a 3 year period for a PhD.


This project will be supervised by Dr Stuart McIntyre, Prof Julia Darby, and Dr Markus Gehrsitz.

Contact Us

Please direct informal enquiries about this project to Dr Stuart McIntyre ( or Dr Markus Gehrsitz (

How to Apply

Apply now by uploading your application documents here

Please make sure to read the full add and follow the application instructions provided.

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