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PhD Fellowship in Psychology/Life Course Research

We are delighted to announce a PhD Fellowship as part of the newly funded UKRI Research Frontier grant (ERC-AdG reviewed) to Professor Dieter Wolke and entitled “PRETERM-LIFECOURSE: Born Very Preterm: A Natural Experiment of How Early Adversity and Social Environment affect Life Course Development”. The fellowship is available for a PhD to start 2 January 2023 or soon after.

This Fellowship pays tuition fees at the ‘Home’ (UK) rate of £4,596** for 2022/23 and a maintenance grant of £16,062** per annum for three years and 6 months. There are additional funds for travel and short visits abroad for access to databases. International students are welcome to apply, but tuition fees will only be covered to the ‘Home’ rate.

This fellowship provides an exciting opportunity for an individual with interest in Life course development, child development, parenting, research methodology and developmental or evolutionary theories to gain experience in longitudinal research and in working as part of a multidisciplinary team.

The fellow will conduct research on the effects of early adversity defined as being born very early on parenting, parental investment and effects on sexual selection (partnering), reproductive success and quality of the offspring – thus the focus is on parents (Generation 1), the preterm or full term children (generation 2) and the offspring of this generation (generation 3). This will be investigated using a focused longitudinal study over 35 years, other cohort or panel studies and working with registry data in Finland and beyond. The PhD fellow will be supervised by Prof. Wolke with co-supervision of team members on statistical aspects and Prof. Eero Kajantie regarding register data in Finland. The analysis of the longitudinal data will be complex and will allow for the testing of alternative developmental and evolutionary models of sexual selection. Much of the work will focus on using data already collected or available. There may be the opportunity for a mixed method approach and a qualitative study of lived experience for generation 2. The expectation will be for 3 manuscripts published or submitted for publication and successful Ph.D. viva with supervision and team support.

The Ph.D. fellow will have the opportunity to work within a multidisciplinary team of experts in developmental psychology and Life course research.

Candidates should have a strong interest in research in life course development including parenting, parental investment, impact of biological risk and effects on social development and forming romantic relationships and reproductive success. An interest in evolutionary developmental models would be a bonus. This fellowship may require short stays in Finland for data access and analysis of registry data.

PhD applicants: Apply hereLink opens in a new window
Deadline: 23:59 BST, 15 October 2022
How to apply

Applicants should, as a minimum, have an Upper Second-Class undergraduate degree in Psychology or a related field, but preferably a First-Class undergraduate degree or a Master’s distinction in Psychology, Cognitive Science, Social Science, epidemiology or health sciences. Experience with data analysis including longitudinal analysis and high statistical competence are essential and good communication skills dealing with colleagues will be an asset. International qualifications that are equivalent to UK qualifications are acceptable. In addition to the academic entry requirements, successful International applicants are also required to satisfy the English language entry requirements ( Please note that Psychology is a Band B subject.

Applicants without an existing PhD application with us should apply online through the Doctoral College online form:

Each applicant should submit only ONE application.

Please specify in the “Finance and Funding” section of the form that you wish to be considered for a PhD Fellowship and also specify your proposed supervisor Professor Dieter Wolke. Please provide your CV (2 pages maximum, including references) and a cover document (3 pages maximum) detailing why you are a suitable candidate, any relevant background or research experience.

About the Department of Psychology and Warwick University:

Warwick University is a world-leading university with the highest academic and research standards. For further information about the University of Warwick, please read our University Further Particulars.

The Department of Psychology at Warwick was founded in 1974. The Department’s mission is to undertake cutting-edge, impactful research and to educate our students in the scientific study of the human mind, brain and behaviour. Our particular strengths lie in behavioural science, lifespan health and wellbeing, and language and learning. Further details about Warwick postgraduate degrees in Psychology can be found at If you have further questions, please email Professor Dieter Wolke directly. If you have a general question about the application process, please email the Departmental Postgraduate Admissions Tutor (

We are committed to supporting all staff and students in reaching their potential and we welcome applications from candidates from diverse and underrepresented groups. Warwick Psychology holds an Athena SWAN Silver Award for gender equality advancement. These awards and the Departmental policy on equality, diversity and inclusion represent our commitment to our diverse student population and to the advancement of all our staff.
We are supportive of staff and students with caring responsibilities including a generous maternity/paternity/adoption/parental leave policy and onsite childcare facilities. Warwick also has a generous sick leave policy for PhD students. Warwick Psychology is strongly committed to fostering excellence through diversity and enthusiastically welcomes applications from members of groups that have been, and continue to be, underrepresented in academia. The University of Warwick provides an inclusive working and learning environment, recognising and respecting every individual’s differences. We welcome applications from individuals who identify with any of the protected characteristics defined by the Equality Act 2010.

  • Opportunities to enrol on or audit postgraduate taught modules in Psychology and other departments
  • Opportunities to teach within the Department
  • 60 hours of skills development from the Universities PGR Professional Development Framework
  • Access to Warwick Skills Forge
  • Opportunities to present at Internal Seminars and attend Departmental Research Seminars
  • Workshops and seminars on careers development
  • Mentor in addition to academic supervisors
  • Generous maternity/paternity/adoption/parental leave policy and onsite childcare facilities
  • Paid sick leave policy for PhD students

PhD Fellowship in Psychology/Life Course Research - Closing date: 15 October 2022

**Home UK PGR tuition fees and stipend awards for 2022-23 onwards are subject to UKRI funding rate changes and are therefore not yet confirmed. Fees and stipends are expected to increase and the inflation rate applied by UKRI is generally expected to be in line with RPI.

Deadline: 23:59 GMT, 15 October 2022