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Fully funded PhD Studentship – Social Science or Humanities approaches to Science and Religion in Society

Fully funded PhD Studentship – Social Science or Humanities approaches to Science and Religion in Society

Call for Applications for Home/EU Studentship to commence 1 February 2016
Applications are invited for one fully-funded PhD Studentship for three years (full-time) for UK or EU students within the Centre for Science, Knowledge, and Belief in Society, at Newman University. CSKBS is a multidisciplinary Research Centre whose work spans a diverse range of disciplines including social sciences, history, philosophy, and psychology. The Studentship includes a subsistence grant in line with the recommendations of the UK research Councils (currently £14,057 p.a. for 2015-16) with all fees paid.
The successful candidate will also be eligible for an hourly paid research assistant role within the broader multidisciplinary Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum project team. This will be designed to allow the successful candidate to develop a range of research skills. This work is paid over and above the subsistence grant.
In addition, dependent on the successful submission of a PhD thesis within three years of commencement, the university will offer a one-year postdoctoral follow-on research position to the successful PhD candidate. This is designed to enable successful PhD students to be retained and develop further as an early career professional in this field of research. This is therefore 3+1 year PhD-to-post-doctoral role.
We welcome applications with proposals for PhD research projects in distinct and multidisciplinary areas related to the wider project’s research themes. We will be happy to discuss project ideas that focus on contemporary debates surrounding ‘science and religion’, particularly in the following areas:

  1. Social Sciences and/or Humanities approaches to media, social media and public space discourse surrounding evolutionary science and religion, spirituality or belief. This could among other areas focus on specific organisations, groups or communities or be undertaken at a broader societal level. The candidate should have a background in a relevant area of social sciences or humanities including the social studies of science, and/or of religion, science technology studies, science communication, media studies, anthropology or a field related to sociology.
  1. Quantitative or mixed methods approaches to public perceptions and attitudes concerning the relationship between science and faith. This studentship will link into a strand of research with a focus on developing and commissioning a representative quantitative polling of public attitudes to provide a more in-depth understanding of public perceptions of the relationship between evolutionary science and belief in Canada and the The candidate should have a background in a relevant discipline, e.g. social science or human geography, with good quantitative data analysis skills.

Science and Religion: Exploring the Spectrum project:

This innovative and unique research project currently employs 15 people working across four intersecting approaches: qualitative social science field research; oral history, historical and media discourse analysis; social psychology experimental research; and a large scale quantitative survey of public perceptions, attitudes and identity formation in the UK and Canada. Newman University lead this 3-year research project funded by the Templeton Religion Trust in partnership with York University (Canada) and National Life Stories at the British Library and British Science Association. The research team is led by Principal Investigators Dr Fern Elsdon-Baker (Newman) and Prof. Bernard Lightman (York, Canada), and Co-Investigator Dr Carola Leicht (University of Kent).
More details about the project and the research team can be found here:
Research project related questions can be directed to Dr Fern Elsdon-Baker
Applicants are expected to possess a Master’s Degree with Distinction, or with Merit including a Distinction in the Dissertation, from a UK University, or an equivalent qualification.
Alongside the standard application form candidates for this PhD Studentship are asked in the first instance to submit a research project proposal (between 3000-4000 words) highlighting how their PhD project will contribute through an open minded approach to the wider understanding of a perceived clash between science and religion.
The key criteria for selection and appointment will be:

  • Record of academic excellence of the candidate;
  • Availability of supervisory expertise and capacity;
  • Quality of project proposal;
  • Research skills and training;

Further information and the application form are available on:
Newman University supports world-leading and internationally recognised research across a broad range of disciplines. Please note that Newman University offers its PhDs in partnership with Liverpool Hope University (who are the awarding institution), by whose regulations successful applicants will be bound:


  • Deadline for applications: Friday 23 October 2015
  • Interviews: week commencing Monday 2 November 2015
  • Commencement of Studentship: Monday 1 February 2016

Apply here: