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PhD Fellowship in Psychology/Epidemiology

We are delighted to announce a PhD Fellowship as part of the newly funded “Big Baby 2 UP” (BB2UP) Study. The fellowship is available for a PhD to start October/November 2022.

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 is a generous amount of additional annual funding of up to £8000 for travel and 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 child development or developmental psychology and research methodology to gain experience in clinical and large data longitudinal research and in working as part of a multidisciplinary team.

The fellow will conduct research on the effects of alternative obstetric approaches to dealing with big babies (anticipated birth weight >4500g) and the consequences on their development using experimental research (randomized controlled trial) and longitudinal studies conducted using data from birth cohorts and population based registries. Specifically, the fellow will work on the BB2UP project and on other related longitudinal studies investigating the effects of delivering big babies a few weeks early. This will be studied by following up children who were enrolled in the BIGBaby clinical trial ( when they reach 2 years of age to assess their development and the impact on maternal health. The Ph.D. fellow will be involved in assisting with data collection and conducting data analysis. The fellow will also undertake longitudinal research utilising existing cohort studies and large registry data using data from population based registries in Finland and possibly other Scandinavian countries. The research will answer the question as to whether induced birth near to full term carries any risks for bigger babies. That is, whether inducing deliveries a few weeks early has advantages in reducing the risk of birth complications (such as shoulder dystocia or intrapartum asphyxia) whilst not increasing the risk of cognitive, language or sleep problems among infants and health problems among mothers.

The Ph.D. fellow will have the opportunity to work with a multidisciplinary team of experts in developmental psychology and perinatal and paediatric epidemiology. The fellow will be supervised by Professor Dieter Wolke in the Department of Psychology and co-supervised by members of the BIGBaby study team in the Medical School (i.e. Professor S Quenby and J. Cardosi), including statisticians and health economists. The fellow will also receive guidance from external experts in the analysis of registry data from Prof. E. Kajantie, THL Helsinki.

Candidates should have a strong interest in research in developmental psychology including cognitive or emotional development. 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, 31 August 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 or epidemiology. Experience with data analysis including longitudinal analysis and high statistical competence are essential and good communication skills dealing with parents and 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 Big Baby - Closing date: 31 August 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, 31 August 2022