Network of three linked funded PhD studentships: Psychology of Inequality

Published: Tuesday 14 June 2016

The Centre for Culture & Evolution at Brunel University London is offering three linked PhD funded studentships as part of network that will bring together Evolutionary and Cross-Cultural Psychologists to investigate individuals’ responses to, and attitudes towards, various forms of inequality that people encounter in their lives.

Based in the College of Health and Life Sciences, all three studentships will be funded by Brunel University London. Each studentship will offer an annual London rate stipend of £16,296 plus Home/EU tuition fees, for a maximum of 36 months. Start date is 1st October 2016.


The extent to which resources, opportunities, and power are distributed equitably among people is an issue of great concern to individuals in their daily lives, and also a key focus of various political movements and policy initiatives. Whether it’s attitudes towards the distribution of wealth among members of a society, or about decision making power and responsibilities within personal relationships – people hold strong and polarised opinions on these issues.

Funded PhD Studentship 1 – “Psychological responses to inequality” will involve using both epidemiological methods and laboratory experiments to examine, from an evolutionary perspective, the psychological and behavioural consequences of socioeconomic inequality, and will explore links between this form of inequity and inequality in access to mating opportunities. A particular focus will be links between inequality and male violence.

The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Nicholas Pound, Dr Andrew Clark and Dr Stanley Gaines in the Dept. of Life Sciences. For informal discussions about this studentship, please contact Dr Nicholas Pound (

Funded PhD Studentship 2 – “Cultural influences on gender inequality within relationships” will involve using cultural priming techniques, longitudinal diary methods, and cross-sectional surveys to examine cultural influences on attitudes towards inequality at the interpersonal level. Specifically, it will focus on inequality in roles and responsibilities within close romantic relationships.

The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Tara Marshall, Dr Toshie Imada and Dr Achim Schützwohl in the Dept. of Life Sciences. For informal discussions about this studentship, please contact Dr Toshie Imada (

Funded PhD Studentship 3 – “Religiosity as a response to inequality” will involve using cross-cultural surveys, priming techniques and experimental interventions to examine associations between inequality and religiosity – specifically how religiosity and fatalism may emerge as psychological responses to experiences associated with socioeconomic inequality (e.g. as a “coping mechanism” in the relatively deprived, or to justify advantage in the wealthy).

The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Michael Price, Dr Isabel Scott and Dr Jacques Launay in the Dept. of Life Sciences. For informal discussions about this studentship, please contact Dr Michael Price (

Each student may be required to contribute towards the teaching and learning related activities of the Department in each academic year of registration.


Candidates should have a good undergraduate degree (first or upper second class) or equivalent qualification in Psychology, Biological Anthropology or a related Life or Social Science discipline. A Masters qualification in a relevant area would be desirable. Experience in conducting quantitative psychological/behavioural research and data analysis is essential. Any non-native speaker who has not been awarded a degree by a University in the UK will be expected to demonstrate English language skills to IELTS 7.0 (minimum 6.0 in any section).

How to Apply

If you wish to apply, please e-mail the following to by Noon 8th July 2016:

· An up-to-date CV.

· A single-page A4 single-spaced personal statement stating the name of one of the three projects above and setting out why you are a suitable candidate (i.e. outlining your qualifications and skills).

· One example of your academic writing (e.g. an essay, a section from an undergraduate or Masters dissertation).

· A summary of your teaching experience or the teaching activities you feel you could support.

· Names and contact details for two academic referees.

· A copy of your highest degree certificate and transcript.

· A copy of your English language qualification, where applicable.

Short-listed applicants will be required to attend an interview. Applicants chosen for interview will be instructed to submit a formal online application via Admissions.

For further information about how to apply, please contact the College of Health and Life Sciences Postgraduate Research Student Office on



Page last updated: Tuesday 14 June 2016