PhD studentship: fully funded by the EPSRC

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Website BristolUni University of Bristol

Closing date: 15th June

PhD studentship: fully funded by the EPSRC

Project Details

A fully funded (stipend and fees) EPSRC PhD studentship for UK/EU students (Conditions may apply to non-UK students) is available in the area of Relationship Science.

In many contemporary societies such as the United Kingdom, young adults increasingly report feelings of social isolation. Such feelings are particularly high in ardent social media users, but the origin and directionality of this link remains unclear. The current project therefore aims to adopt an experimental approach to scrutinize the psychological impact of social media use. Drawing on contemporary models of social impression formation and attachment theory, in particular, it aims to investigate how high (vs. low) exposure to overly positive relationship displays as common on social media affects young adults’ own relationship ideals, satisfaction, and investment.

The project will rely on experimental techniques from behavioural science in order to clarify how social media can benefit (or hinder) close relationship formation and maintenance. It may, for example, involve quantitative studies that expose young adults to different types of relationship displays as commonly found on social media platforms (e.g., on Instagram) in order to investigate their psychological effects on the viewers’ own relationship goals.

Applications are invited for a fully funded 3-year EPSRC PhD studentship (fees and stipend) in the lab of Dr Susanne Quadflieg, in collaboration with Dr Angela Rowe, at the University of Bristol, UK. The successful candidate will be based at the School of Psychological Science at the University of Bristol. The School is one of the strongest in the UK. In the 2014 research excellence framework, it was one of the UK’s top ten universities for its world-leading research in psychology, psychiatry, and neuroscience. The supervisory team has an international reputation for their work in social psychology, with particular strengths in person perception and adult attachment.

Person Criteria

The project is ideal for a person who is interested in receiving advanced training in experimental and social psychology. The person would ideally have an undergraduate or Master’s degree in a relevant discipline such as Psychology or Computer Science. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of this work, applicants with a different scientific background but a strong interest in the topic will also be considered. Prior experience with statistical computing software (e.g., SPSS, R), behavioural presentation software (e.g., PsychoPy), and/or image processing software (e.g., Adobe Photoshop) would be desirable.

How to Apply

 Please make an online application for this project at Please select <PhD Psychology> on the Programme Choice page. You will be prompted to enter details of this EPSRC-studentship in the Funding and Research Details sections of the form. Please ensure that in this section you write “I would like to be considered for the EPSRC funding award in the School of Psychological Science” and specify the name of the supervisor: Susanne Quadflieg. Interested candidates should apply as soon as possible.

Contact Details

Informal enquires about this post are very welcome, please contact Dr. Susanne Quadflieg, email:

To apply for this job please visit

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