Friday, June 26, 2020

Brief note for prospective Phd students

I will taking over the role of head of the Department of Psychological and Behavioural Science at LSE from September 1st. Details of the Department are available on the links on the side-bar. Below are some points that might be helpful for prospective PhD students who want to work with me in the next few years.

i) The PhD programme at PBS is a PhD in Psychological and Behavioural Science. It will be suited to people with a range of backgrounds in psychology, economics, and cognate disciplines. I am open to supervising students from September 2021.

ii) When researching a PhD, it is important to examine a range of funding opportunities. For LSE, both Departmental funding and wider funding through bodies such as the ESRC are important to explore.

iii) When considering a PhD, it is important to find a supervisor who is working and publishing in an area that you are very interested in pursuing for a 3-4 period. The main areas that I can potentially supervise are below. Obviously I am not restricted to supervision on these questions and have supervised students on a range of topics but it is always worth trying to find a match between your own areas of interest and where your supervisor is working. It is also worth looking carefully at other members of the faculty to see if there are other potential members of your supervisory panel. Having three panel members that can support different aspects of your work is the best way to make sure that you have full support during the course of your PhD. It may also be possible to have a panel that includes other faculty members across LSE and it is worth looking across the School if you have interests that might benefit from interdisciplinary panels. In some circumstances, it might be possible to have a panel member from another institution.

a) I am happy to speak to students about the broad area of well-being and public policy, including such questions as the determinants of well-being and mental health, and the extent to which mental health is an important component in understanding how to design general public policy in areas such as regulation and public service design.

b) As can be seen from a number of the recent posts on the blog, I have been working a lot in the last year on the development of behavioural public policy as a discipline, including ethical issues in public policy and trust in behavioural science and behavioural scientists. I am happy to speak to students who are interested in the ethical issues in employing behavioural science and in trust in behavioural science, in particular students who are interested in studying these questions from an empirical perspective. A recent post on this blog provides an extensive reading list on this area, including details of my recent work on the topic. I would be happy to speak to students interested in how such work might be studied in relation to questions such as public trust in behavioural science. I am heavily involved in a large project on the trust in expertise called PERITIA and have given a brief description of this project here. There will be various opportunities to work on this project as PhD students or researchers over the next few years and I recommend anyone interested in working with me on these topics to examine that website.

c) Along with several colleagues, I have been working on the use of diary methods and related naturalistic monitoring tools as a method for evaluating behavioural public policies. A recent review paper I wrote with Leonhard Lades and Lucie Martin "Informing behavioural policies with data from everyday life" published in Behavioural Public Policy is a useful one to read to get some background to this area of research.

iv) I hope to develop this blog further to help people who are interested in working with me on various projects to get a very good sense of the type of projects and areas that I could supervise either as a primary supervisor or part of a PhD panel. I will add material to this post over the year to help people do background research on potential opportunities.

No comments: