European Social Science Genetics Network (ESSGN)
The Economics department at the University of Bristol offers a fully-funded PhD studentships in genoeconomics / social science genetics. The position is part of the European Social Science Genetics Network (ESSGN), funded by the EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA). Descriptions for potential PhD projects are provided below.
PhD applications should be submitted as soon as possible, with a view to commencing studies in Sept/Oct 2023. Applications will be considered as they come in; the position will close when it is filled. To apply for the Bristol-based ESSGN studentships, please submit your application to the standard PhD programme, indicating your interest in ESSGN and highlighting which project(s) you are applying for:
The entry requirements are similar to the standard PhD programme, but applicants need to ensure they meet the EU mobility rule meaning they must not have resided or carried out their main activity such as work or studies in the UK for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the recruitment date.
Project 1: Dynamic complementarities in human capital
This project will investigate to what extent schooling environments exert differential effects depending on individuals’ genetic makeup. Current evidence suggests that students with low polygenic scores benefit more from teacher quality than those with high polygenic scores. We will build on this work and use the National Pupil Database to calculate school value-added measures concerning standardized tests in English, Maths, and Science. We will match these data to genotyped parent-child trios in the Millennium Cohort Study to identify the complementarity of teacher quality and genetic endowments. We will use further datasets to expand these analyses to account for the multidimensionality of teacher value-added (i.e. cognitive versus non-cognitive skills) and explore teacher effects on life chances beyond education.
Project 2: Genetics and developmental origins
This project aims to understand the extent to which individuals’ early life circumstances are creating inequalities in life chances (health, education, wealth) in older age and whether and how these effects may be moderated by one’s genetic predisposition to these outcomes. The project will use data from e.g. the UK Biobank to explore the long-term effects of early-life circumstances, such as prenatal pollution exposure, maternal breastfeeding, and maternal smoking. It will use state-of-the-art econometric techniques and quasi-experiments to deal with the endogeneity of these environments.
- All researchers will be recruited under an employment contract that includes social security coverage.
- Monthly living allowance: €3,400 per month (€40,800/year); this amount is adjusted with a country correction coefficient for the country in which the researcher is recruited. The country correction coefficients are indicated in Table 1 of the MSCA Work Programme (which can be located here).
- Monthly mobility allowance: €600 per month
- Monthly family allowance, if applicable and depending on the family situation: €495 month.
The EU studentships are funded through the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA); The UK studentships are funded through UKRI. They consist of tuition fees (if applicable), as well as a Doctoral Stipend. Additional research, travel and support funding is also available. Studentships will be 3 years full-time, with the possibility for partially funded/unfunded extensions.
- Applicants can be of any nationality and must not have a doctoral degree at the date of recruitment.
- They must not have resided or carried out their main activity (study, work, etc.) in the country of the recruiting organisation for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the recruitment date.
- Applicants must have obtained (or depending on the institution: be about to obtain), an MSc/MRes/MPhil (requirements may vary by institution) in an appropriate area of social science (e.g., demography, economics, epidemiology, political science, psychology, sociology, statistics) or medical science (e.g., genetics, epigenetics).
- We are looking for students with strong quantitative skills. Professional experience is a plus, but not a must.