ESRC PhD Studentship at SSHM: Connecting policy with the personal: UK pension reforms and individual financial decision making

Studentship: 3 year, full time, fully funded PhD studentship

Award: £19,000 p.a. tax free stipend, plus full fees (EU/Home rates) and a training grant worth at least £750 p.a.

Deadline: 5pm on Tuesday 2nd June 2015

Interviews: Friday 12th June 2015

This is a great opportunity for a fully funded 3-year ESRC PhD studentship in a unique collaboration between the Institute of Gerontology (IOG) at King’s College London, and leading independent research institute, the Pensions Policy Institute (PPI).  Supervised by Dr. Debora Price and Professor Karen Glaser, the study will examine employee responses to recent pension reforms in the UK.  It aims to (1) elucidate the institutional, social and personal contexts that frame and influence individuals’ financial decision making, and (2) assess what this means for social and financial inequalities, and for policy. The research will inform our understanding of real-life financial decision making in an increasingly individualised system where people are expected to take high levels of responsibility for their own financial welfare in later life. Based at the IOG and with close links to the PPI, this collaboration offers exceptional insight into how the work of researchers feeds into policymaking and policy impact, including how evidence is utilised by key actors such as Members of Parliament, government officials and other stakeholders.

Students from any relevant discipline will be considered including (but not limited to) gerontology, sociology, social policy, psychology, economics, geography, anthropology, management, business studies or human resources. An excellent academic record (first class or high merit achieved or expected at Masters level) and clear motivation to study for a PhD are required. A demonstrable interest in social inequalities, lifecourse research, financial welfare, pensions or behavioural responses to policy is desirable.

Each year the student will receive the full ESRC stipend plus £3,000 p.a. (worth £19,000 tax free in 2015/16), as well as a research training grant of at least £750 per annum and full fees paid at Home/EU rates.  Students must be eligible for ESRC studentship funding: you must have settled status in the UK and been ordinarily resident in the UK for 3 years prior to the grant, and – if not an EU or UK national – this residence must not have been for the purposes of full-time education. For full details of eligibility requirements, please see

The Institute of Gerontology is situated in the Department for Social Science, Health and Medicine at King’s College London and is one of the leading gerontological research and teaching centres worldwide. You will be joining a vibrant and dynamic group of PhD students across the Department focusing on the social, political, economic, legal and ethical factors shaping our lives.  For more information about the Department, please see

The studentship will begin in September 2015, Full Time for 3 years.

To apply please send (1) a CV (including degree classification for any prior degrees) of no more than 3 pages; (2) a supporting statement of between 1 and 2 pages setting out how your skills, experience, attributes and interests equip you for this PhD; and (3) a short covering letter including contact details for two academic referees; by email to Poppy Goddard: no later than 5pm on Tuesday 2nd June 2015.  Please include “ESRC PhD studentship at the Institute of Gerontology” in the subject line.

Interviews will be held on Friday 12th June 2015.  You will be notified by Friday 5th June whether you have been short-listed for interview.

For further information or an informal discussion, contact Dr. Debora Price on

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