PhD positions in Social Science Genetics in European universities - ESSGN (MSCA)

Categories: News | opportunities

Tags: PhD | social sciences | Genetics

Applications are invited for 13 PhD studentships in Social Science Genetics across eight European Universities that constitute the European Social Science Genetics Network (ESSGN). The Doctoral Network is funded by the EU Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) and includes: Erasmus University Rotterdam (NL), University of Bologna (IT), University of Bielefeld (DE), University of Bristol (UK), University of Oslo (NO), University of Oxford (UK), University of Uppsala (SE), and VU University Amsterdam (NL). We invite applications from eligible students for studentships that commence in September/October 2023.

ESSGN brings together eight Universities with a shared interest in social science genetics, i.e., in incorporating genetic information to improve our understanding of age-old questions in the social sciences, such as the origins of inequality, the ‘nature versus nurture’ debate, and the extent to which the interplay between environments and genes is important in shaping life chances. The consortium consists of an interdisciplinary group of academics, spanning demography, economics, epidemiology, genetics, political science, psychology, sociology, and statistics, as well as seven non-academic partners experienced in and committed to using data science to better understand inequalities in life chances. The partners include government bodies (GO Science UK), the World Health Organization - International Agency for Research on Cancer (WHO-IARC), policy research institutes (RAND Europe, Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute [NIDI]), charities (the Health Foundation), data infrastructure networks (CentERdata-ODISSEI) as well as economics consulting (Prometeia).

The PhD projects will jointly contribute to answering a key research question that has occupied social scientists for decades: To what extent do inequalities in life chances arise from genetic variation, environmental factors, and their interplay, and what can we do about it?

The PhD projects will go beyond the state-of-the-art by (i) using Europe’s largest and most comprehensive multi-generation databases to separate direct genetic effects from parental genetic and socio-economic factors that shape the rearing environment; and (ii) by exploiting the large toolbox of causal inference methods used in econometrics and statistics to estimate how environmental contexts causally protect individuals with genetic risk.

What? Benefits

  • Monthly living allowance (gross) € 3,400: this amount is adjusted through the application of a country correction coefficient to the living allowance of the country in which the researcher is recruited. This is to ensure equal treatment and purchasing power parity for all researchers. The country correction coefficients are indicated in Table 1 (p.109) of the MSCA Work Programme
  • Monthly mobility allowance: € 600
  • Monthly family allowance (if applicable, depending on family situation): € 495

Who? Eligibility criteria

Fellows will be recruited through an international open call that aims at being “open, efficient, transparent and supportive” as stated in the European Code of Conduct for Recruitment. The process will seek merit-based selection while guaranteeing gender balance, equality, inclusion and transparency in line with the European Charter for Researchers

If you want to apply for one of our grants you must:

  • Comply with the mobility rule, meaning that you must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the recruiting beneficiary for more than 12 months in the 36 months immediately before the recruitment date (see below (*) for exceptions to this rule).
  • Comply with the doctoral candidate criteria, meaning that at the time of recruitment by the hosting institution they have not been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • Fulfil the requirements to be enrolled in a doctoral programme at the hosting institution/country, and, if applicable, the specific eligibility requirements at the hosting institutions.
  • Submit a complete application within the submission deadline.
  • Meet the English language requirements of the University you are applying to.

* When checking compliance with the mobility rule, the refugee procedure will not be considered as a period of residence in the country where the candidate is applying. When all scores and evaluation criteria are equal, preference will be given to candidates from under-represented groups, for example women, and candidates with disabilities or those from refugee backgrounds.

more information here

Recruitment calendar:

  • Call opening: 28 October 2022
  • Q&A session: 29 November 2022
  • Deadline for expressions of interest: 7 December 2022
  • Shortlisting of expressions of interest: 12 December 2022
  • Deadline for formal applications (to each University): 8 January 2022
  • Formal (online) interviews: week of 23 January (to be confirmed)
  • Notification to candidates: February/March 2023
  • Start date of the fellowship: September/October 2023