Scholarships in University of Exeter UK

ESRC CASE studentship in social psychology “Dynamics of communicating climate change information”, co-funded by the Met Office

Applications are invited for a PhD CASE Studentship funded by the ESRC and the Met Office to investigate “dynamics of communicating climate change information”. This studentship is available from October 2009 and offers the opportunity to work on a collaborative project between the School of Psychology and the Met Office’s Hadley Centre. The project will involve conducting survey and experimental research into the combined influence of message content and audience motivations on cognitive and behavioural responses to climate change communications. The project will be conducted within the ESRC-funded Capacity Building Cluster in Sport, Leisure and Tourism at University of Exeter, and will focus on the influence of climate change messages on travel choices. The student will be supervised by Dr Anna Rabinovich and Dr Thomas Morton in the School of Psychology at the University of Exeter, and Dr Diogo de Gusmão from the Hadley Centre.

Main duties and responsibilities include:

- Conducting an extensive literature review
- Designing and conducting focus-groups/ surveys on audience needs for climate change information
- Designing and conducting experimental studies to investigate the impact of message and audience factors on responses to climate science communication
- Quantitative and qualitative data analysis
- Writing manuscripts for publication and reports on research progress for the Met Office
- Presenting findings orally to academic and non-academic audiences

The successful student will be expected to spend a proportion of their time at the Met Office’s Hadley Centre based in Exeter.

Applicants should have good (first, upper second class, or equivalent) degree in psychology, and should have (or be about to complete) a Masters degree in social psychology or psychological research methods (or equivalent). Candidates who have completed their master’s in an ESRC-accredited programme are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants are expected to have a good knowledge of social psychological theories of communication, persuasion and attitude/ behaviour change research, and to be familiar with qualitative and quantitative research methods, and experimental design. Additional familiarity with issues related to communication of probabilistic information and with environmental psychology is desirable, as well as awareness of current climate issues and understanding of future projected climate changes. The successful candidate will be self-motivated, able to work independently, have excellent communication skills, and prior experience of conducting independent research.

This three-year studentship covers tuition fees and a maintenance award of £14,940 per annum for UK residents. EU residents are eligible for fees only award.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr Anna Rabinovich (a.rabinovich-at-ex.ac.uk) or Dr Thomas Morton (t.morton-at-ex.ac.uk).

Applications, with a detailed CV, the names and addresses of two referees, and a covering letter explaining how your skills and experience fit the requirements, should be sent (preferably by email) to

Dr Anna Rabinovich
School of Psychology
University of Exeter
Perry Road

Closing date: 26 May 2009.

Expected interview date: 4-5 June 2009.

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