Friday, 17 December 2021

Applications open for two funded PhD studentships with the Centre for Social Issues Research

The Centre for Social Issues Research (CSI-R) 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 access world-class academic supervision. As such, it is an opportunity to become part of a highly motivated and expert team. This is an open competition. Candidates will be shortlisted on the basis of excellent academic profile in their Bachelors or Masters programme. Start dates are flexible; it is anticipated that the start date will be between the April 1st – Sept 1st, but no later than the Autumn semester of 2022.

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

Project 1: Group Intervention for Trauma and Physiological Stress Responses

This PhD will focus on how groups and related social identity processes, can be harnessed as a treatment for trauma. This work will involve assessing the efficacy of group-based treatments, and related social identity processes that influence psychological outcomes in people accessing support and treatment for their trauma. This work will also assess biometric responses to stress (training provided), and how social identity processes can influence biomarkers of health. The PhD candidate will be expected to contribute to the recruitment and data collection of observational and experimental studies using state-of-the-art biometric testing equipment.  Applicants should have a strong background in research methods, and a keen interest in social psychology.

Project 2:  Social Resources and Child and Family Health

The social cure phenomena suggests that social groups can support health in adults and developmental psychology indicates that social contexts are important to child development.  This project will explore whether the social groups can support family systems and structures. This will involve empirical work and working with large datasets to investigate how group processes that support family systems and structures can support the development of psychological well-being. Applicants should have a strong background in psychology/research methods, and a keen interest in social psychology.


Application procedure:

Applicants for both scholarships will be shortlisted on the basis of the following selection criteria:

  1. Academic performance in undergraduate and postgraduate psychology courses,
  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 psychology.

Please demonstrate evidence of, or experience, of these criteria in your cover letter and CV. Please specify in your cover letter which project you are applying for, if you want to be considered for both positions, please only submit one application and specify this in your application. A postgraduate qualification is desirable, but not essential.

These are funded positions. 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). More information about our research group can be found at: Informal inquiries to

Applicants should include the following:

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


Closing date for applications is 5pm, 1st February 2022.

Interviews will take place during the week of the 14th of February 2022.