Friday, December 05, 2014

PhD Scholarships

See below from Dr. Michael Pluess: 

The psychology department at Queen Mary University of London is recruiting motivated and talented candidates to compete for ESRC funded PhD studentships through the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre held jointly between Queen Mary and Goldsmiths, University of London. Candidates that want to apply for these studentships must have completed (or expect to complete by 1st Oct 2015) an ESRC-approved Masters course and meet UK residency requirements as set out by the ESRC ( We (Dr Michael Pluess and Dr Janelle Jones) offer the following research projects:

Project 1: Life Course Predictors of Psychological Well-Being: A Positive Developmental Perspective

Much of the existing research in developmental psychology has been and is being conducted from a perspective of developmental psychopathology. As a consequence, a lot is known today about the development of maladaptive outcomes, or when things “go wrong”, but it is less clear how development looks like when everything “goes right”. Yet focusing on the development of positive outcomes and competence is of great importance in order to foster and promote well-being across the life-course. This project aims at investigating positive development and predictors of psychological well-being across early childhood through to adulthood using a selection of large-scale longitudinal data sets (secondary data analysis).

Project 2: Biomarkers of Subjective Vitality

Subjective Vitality, “a state of feeling alive and alert” (Ryan & Deci, 2001) is an important aspect of eudaimonic well-being. However, its precise contribution to psychological and physical health and well-being is not well understood. The aim of the current project is to examine how subjective vitality might be implicated in these outcomes, with a particular focus on identifying biomarkers of vitality.
Using existing data from large-scale longitudinal studies (i.e., secondary data analysis), this project will examine the (bi-)directional relationship(s) between subjective vitality, biomarkers measured in the blood (e.g., C-reactive protein) and various psychological and physical health well-being indicators (e.g., emotionality, lung function).

Project 3: Social Groups, Resilience, Health & Well-being

Stress is a pervasive feature of modern life. This is particularly troubling given the negative implications of stress for mental and physical health and well-being (e.g. depression, anxiety, sleep disruption, illness, premature aging) and for decision making and behaviour (e.g. poor performance, smoking, excessive drinking). The focus of the present research is on how social connections contribute to stress management and reduction under different circumstances. We already know that people who report having many (versus only a few) social connections exhibit lower levels of depression, anxiety, and psychological distress and make fewer negative self-evaluations. This PhD project will seek to identify and test the psychological and/or biological mechanism(s) through which social connections can promote resilience, health and well-being when facing stressors.

Interested applicants must send a cover letter to Dr Pluess ( and Dr Jones ( outlining their suitability for the selected project at latest by December 20th 2014. Applicants should also include a statement of motivation and CV, which should include the contact details of at least two academic referees.

Kind regards,
Michael Pluess

No comments: