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ESRC PhD studentship: “Workplaces, employment and wellbeing: Analysis of the Britain’s Healthiest Workplace dataset”. (Fixed Term)

Department of Sociology

The University of Cambridge ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership [DTP] in collaboration with RAND Europe is pleased to announce a studentship available for admission in October 2018. The studentship will be supervised in the Department of Sociology.

RAND Europe is a not-for-profit research institute that helps to improve policy and decision making through research and analysis. In collaboration with Vitality, RAND Europe has been collecting data on health, health-related behaviour and working conditions from managers and employees in a number of UK workplaces since 2012.  Some findings of this survey can be seen in this report

We now invite applications for an ESRC-funded PhD studentship to use this dataset as the core of a PhD project. There is no specific steer – we are interested to hear from prospective students who can use this data to address societal challenges and to advance knowledge.

The student will be supervised by a specialist in the analysis of large datasets within the Sociology department: Dr Brendan Burchell, Dr Maria Iacovou, or Dr Mark Ramsden. (See Co-supervision will be provided by RAND (  The studentship will be based at the University of Cambridge, but students will be expected to spend part of their time based at RAND Europe’s Cambridge office (situated 2km from the Sociology Department); desk space and facilities will be provided.

The ESRC DTP is particularly keen to attract students who have cross-disciplinary interests and interest in doing research with non-academic collaborators.  The successful candidate will be part of a wider University research cluster on sustainability, prosperity and wellbeing. DTP students will acquire a unique set of skills that will equip them for high-profile careers as leading social scientists, in academia or in other government, industrial, commercial and third sector organisations either in the UK or elsewhere.

If you have sufficient prior training, e.g. a Master’s qualification and/or advanced training in social scientific and quantitative methods, you may be able to start a three-year doctoral programme straight away (3 years in total); alternatively, you may be encouraged to complete the Sociology Master’s programme first, before moving on to your doctorate (4 years in total). Whatever your level of prior training, the DTP will offer additional opportunities to enhance your methodological and professional skills base.

A full DTP studentship will cover fees and provide £14,553 p.a. in living costs (current rates). DTP students also receive a personal allowance for additional training costs, and can apply for further funding to pursue fieldwork, academic exchange, and collaboration with non-academic organisations.

DTP studentships are currently open to UK and EU citizens. Full studentships are open only to those meeting certain residency requirements.

What to do next

You can find out more about the DTP on our website, and read about some of the opportunities that will be available to you. You can also find out more about the Department of Sociology at

All DTP applicants follow the University’s standard admission process. The application should include an outline research proposal describing the main aims of the PhD research and how it will utilise the RAND dataset; this will form the basis of a discussion about the direction of the PhD.

Please go to our Graduate Admissions Portal to start your application. Please address any questions about this PhD studentship to Dr Brendan Burchell,

The closing date for applications is 6 December 2017.

A World Leader

The Department of Sociology at the University of Cambridge is a world-leading centre for teaching and research in Sociology, consistently ranked first in UK league tables by The Guardian, The Times, and the Independent.


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