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Psychology Leverhulme PhD Studentship - Does identity rhetoric boost online political messages?

University of Kent - School of Psychology

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Canterbury
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: £4,500 per annum in 2021-22) and additionally provides you with a stipend (£15,609 per annum in 2021-22) for maintenance
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 4th October 2021
Closes: 1st November 2021

Applications are invited for a 3-year PhD studentship in the School of Psychology at the University of Kent, funded by the Leverhulme Trust (Principal Investigator: Dr Aleksandra Cichocka; Co-Investigators: Dr Jay Van Bavel, Dr Michal Kosinski, Dr Aleksandra Cislak). The studentship commences in January 2022.

The closing date for completed applications is 1 November 2021.


This studentship is suitable for applicants who have or will have a Master’s degree or equivalent at merit or distinction level in Psychology or another relevant subject area by October 2021.

The studentship award covers your tuition fees at the Home rate (£4,500 per annum in 2021-22) and additionally provides you with a stipend (£15,609 per annum in 2021-22) for maintenance.

Research Project

The studentship, starting in January 2022, will be part of the Leverhulme-funded grant project titled “Does identity rhetoric boost online political messages?” which aims to:

(1) create a dictionary of linguistic indices of different forms of national identity,

(2) test whether the presence of identity language in political messages increases their popularity and diffusion online, and impacts political outcomes,

(3) examine whether these messages are especially effective when targeted at individuals with particular political orientations or psychological predispositions.

The studentship will primarily focus on the last two aims: testing the causal effects of identity rhetoric with experimental studies. It will require (a) designing experimental studies, (b) collecting data in laboratory and on-line settings, (c) analysing data, and (d) supporting the project investigators and the project’s post-doctoral research assistant in dictionary development. Furthermore, the successful applicant for the studentship—consecutively referred to as the student—will be involved in the dissemination of the project findings (conference presentations, publications).

The student will work closely with and be supervised by Dr Aleksandra Cichocka throughout the research process (developing methods, data collection, analysis) and will work in close collaboration with all Co-Investigators and Post-Doc working on the project.

The student will be part of the Political Psychology Lab at the School of Psychology located on the Canterbury campus of the University of Kent. For more information, see the School’s website.

For eligibility criteria and details on how to apply, please see the full advertisement.

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