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Fully-Funded Full-Time PhD Studentship - The Psychology of Problem Gambling: A Mixed Methods Approach

Aston University - Department of Psychology

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Aston
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £14,777
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 26th February 2019
Closes: 30th April 2019

School of Life and Health Sciences

Main Supervisor: Professor Richard Tunney; Associate Supervisor: Dr Michael Larkin

Background: The Harms Paradox: When matched for levels of alcohol consumption people from deprived communities suffer greater ill-health than people from more affluent communities (Mackenbach et al, 2015). The purpose of this research is to investigate whether the same phenomenon is also true for gambling behaviour. Does gambling behaviour cluster like other public health priorities? How is socio-economic status a risk factor in the transition from recreational to problem gamblers.

Activities: The first phase will involve work with recreational gamblers to identify indicators of gambling related harm. The second phase will look for the incidence and frequency of these indicators in the general population using survey data including the Health Survey for England (2012) data Health Survey for England (2015, to be published February 2017) from the UK data archive. A potential third phase could involve the development and of a psychometric instrument to predict individuals who are susceptible to transitioning from recreational to problem gambling. We know from the literature on alcohol related harm that intrinsic and extrinsic pressures are predictive of the degree of harm that result from the behaviour. The aim here is to determine which ones, and in which combination, are most likely to trigger this transition.

Aston University was ranked 5th out of 94 UK Higher Education Institutions for research in Allied Health Professions (REF 2014) and was ranked 1st for research environment. Additional information about research in the School can be found at Informal enquiries can be made to Prof. Richard Tunney at: The successful applicant will be based in the Department of Psychology at Aston University.

Financial Support:

The studentship is open to Home/EU students only and comprises of a tax-free stipend at the 2018/19 RCUK rate of £14,777 per annum and payment of Home/EU tuition fees only. The studentship is available for three years, subject to satisfactory progress review at the end of the first year, with an expected registration of July 2019.

Application Requirements:

  • Eligible Applicants should hold at least a Bachelor (Hons.) Degree of either 1st Class/ 2.1 or MSc/MRes in a relevant subject.
  • EU Applicants will need to demonstrate adequate proficiency in English Language skills, with a minimum overall score of 93 (Internet Based) (with a minimum score in each section of: R: 18, W: 23, L: 19 and S: 19) in TOEFL or IELTS with minimum marks of 6.0 in each section and an overall band of 6.5.
  • Informal enquiries should be addressed to Prof Richard Tunney at:; tel: 0121 204 3685.
  • To apply, please complete the on-line application form at:, choosing Research Full-time Health Sciences – July 2019. Please quote Reference: ‘PhD_Tunney or Larkin’ on your application.

  • The closing date for applications is: 30th April 2019

Please note that only candidates who have been selected for interview will be contacted.  If you have not received an invitation to attend an interview within two/three weeks of the closing date, you may assume that your application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.

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