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Applications Open for PhD Studentships with the Centre for Social Issues Research

Tue, 02 Mar 2021

The Centre for Social Issues Research at the Department of Psychology at the University of Limerick are seeking to recruit two PhD student to work as part of a team on the Social Identity Model of Trauma and Identity Change (SIMTIC) project.  This is a prestigious ERC funded project that will allow the successful candidate to and access world-class academic supervision.  As such, it is an opportunity to become part of a highly motivated and expert team.

The overarching SIMTIC study is designed to capture the physiological, clinical and socio-political consequences of stress and trauma that result from changes in the nature, extent and quality of our social identities. Two projects are currently available.

Project 1: Trauma, social identity and objective indices of stress

This specific role will focus on how trauma and social identity affect objective indices of stress. In particular, it will assess how cardiovascular and cortisol responses are impacted by the social identification and group engagement of individuals with and without a prior history of trauma. The PhD candidate will be expected to contribute to the recruitment and data collection of observational and/or experimental studies using state-of-the-art biometric testing equipment.  Applicants should have a strong background in psychology and/or health, with a keen interest in biological psychology/psychophysiology. 

Project 2: Trauma and Social Identity Change

This specific role will work to develop research at the intersection of social psychology and psychiatry.   There are twin ideas to explore: first, that PTG results from the enhancement of the nature, extent or quality of social identities; and second, that PTG can be a collective phenomenon.  Given the exploratory nature of these ideas, the first phases of the empirical work to be undertaken will employ qualitative methodology.  The second phase of the work will work to develop a new Social Identity measure of Post Traumatic Growth, which will be tested using survey studies.


Application procedure:

Applicants for both scholarships will be shortlisted on the basis of

  1.  Academic performance in undergraduate and taught postgraduate psychology,
  2. High levels of achievement in research design and methods,
  3. Exceptional written and oral communication skills
  4. A keen interest and aptitude for social and health or clinical psychology.

The studentship covers the costs of all fees for students with European Union (EU) citizenship (€4,882 per annum for full time study) and will include a stipend of a total €18500 each year for 4 years subject to satisfactory progression (Total value of studentship: €94000).

Applications should be made via email to (with ‘SIMTIC PhD application’ the subject line of the email).  Informal inquiries to

Applicants should include the following:

  1. A CV: within this, applicants should clearly demonstrate how they meet the selection criteria, and give an indication of their areas of research interest relevant to one of the projects listed above.
  2. A supporting statement of no more than one A4 page (font size 12) outlining their academic and professional experience relevant to this programme of work.
  3. Contact details of two academic referees (or one academic and one professional referee).


Closing date for applications is March 31 2021

Interviews will take place during the week of April 10th.