Skip to main content

PhD Studentship with the British Election Study and the Hansard Society: Investigating the Representation Gap

The British Election Study Team

We are recruiting an outstanding student to undertake PhD research with the British Election Study (Professors Jane Green and Edward Fieldhouse) and the Hansard Society (Dr Ruth Fox), to analyse the factors governing the perceived problem of representation in politics. The student will use British Election Study data and the Audit of Political Engagement (as well as other sources, as appropriate), and will have the opportunity to gain first-hand experience working with the Hansard Society including on the development and dissemination of future iterations of the Audit and supporting a range of briefings and other events in Parliament.  The studentship will be based at The University of Manchester.

The PhD will explore the factors that explain perceived problems of representation for voters (and non-voters), considering the individual-level factors, the geographic contextual factors, and the national-level political factors which may all play a role, as well as over-time changes in representation in British politics, with an additional focus on Britain in comparative context.

The applicant must have good foundational quantitative methods training and a masters degree in politics or a closely related subject. They should have an excellent academic record and references, good inter-personal skills and motivation, and exhibit demonstrable interest and awareness about British politics. It is desirable for the applicant to have training in statistical modelling and to have undertaken election survey research. Advanced quantitative training will be available in Manchester.

The student will be expected to contribute to the setting of research questions, approaches, etc. in combination with the supervisors (Professors Green, Fieldhouse and Dr Fox) although an indicative (and only preliminary) set of questions and stages of research is available on request.

The British Election Study is one of the longest running election studies world-wide and the longest running social science survey in the UK. It has made a major contribution to the understanding of political attitudes and behaviour over nearly sixty years. Surveys have taken place immediately after every general election since 1964. The first study conducted by David Butler and Donald Stokes in 1964, transformed the study of electoral behaviour in the UK. Since then the BES has provided data to help researchers understand changing patterns of party support and election outcomes.

Entry Requirements: Applicants must hold a Bachelors First Class or Upper Second Class Honours UK degree in a relevant Social Science discipline and a UK Master’s degree at Merit level or above, with a minimum overall average of 60%, including 60% in dissertation and no mark below 50%.

Funding minimum: Payment of tuition fees at the standard RCUK rate. Maintenance stipend (£14,057 in 2015/16 – rate subject to confirmation from the RCUK for 2016/17)

Additional funding information: Additional stipend of £4,000 per annum to cover travel to London and participation in the work of the Hansard Society. Access to Research Training Support (RTSG) for eligible research expenses. Opportunity to apply for additional funding towards overseas institutional visits and internships.

Enquiries should be directed to [email protected]

Applicants should email Sue Bailey ([email protected]) with a full CV, covering letter explaining your skills and interest in the project and an official transcript of marks.

Deadline: 9 February 2016

Interviews: 17 February 2016