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  Sheffield Hallam University - Psychology Demonstratorships: Peer-on-peer harmful sexual behaviour: Understanding risk and behaviour to prevent harm


   Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities

   Friday, May 24, 2024  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Applications are invited for Psychology Demonstratorships in the department of Psychology, Sociology, and Politics, commencing October 2024.

The scholarship is for three and a half years full-time study (pro-rata part time) and covers PhD fees and pays an annual stipend at the living wage foundation rate of £19,722 per year in the academic year 23/24. Please be aware that the bursary will cover only the home fee. Generally, the shortfall between the Home and EU/ International fee, currently £11,673 per year, will need to be covered by the student for the duration of the studentship.

The demonstratorship scholarship scheme aims to develop highly skilled postgraduate researchers. More information can be found here. Further information on Sheffield Hallam University PhD scholarships is provided in the Conditions of Award document.

The Department of Psychology, Sociology, and Politics

Our department has a thriving research culture, with teaching and research staff, and postgraduate and undergraduate students, focused on conducting original, ethically-sound data collection and the development of new ideas and theory. Our aim is to conduct research that helps tackle social problems in the UK and around the world and develop ideas that inspire students and the wider community.

Researchers work in fields as diverse as: health and wellbeing, language and education, social policy, political theory, social inequalities, the criminal justice system, and many more areas across the scope of psychology, sociology, and politics. We work closely with other researchers from Sheffield Hallam University, and across the UK and internationally.

Central to the department’s research is the Centre for Behavioural Science and Applied Psychology, where we apply contemporary psychological theory and behavioural science to issues of wellbeing, health, social inclusion, cognition and behaviour change. CeBSAP offers consultancy services to and works alongside local government, charities, and businesses, to develop and evaluate interventions to improve health and wellbeing.

Departmental researchers also form a key part of the Sheffield Institute for Policy Studies, which serves as a space for innovative, inter-disciplinary working in the field of social policy. 

Project Title: Peer-on-peer harmful sexual behaviour: Understanding risk and behaviour to prevent harm

Peer-on-peer harmful sexual behaviour refers to any potentially harmful sexual behaviour, coercion, or exploitation that occurs within age-appropriate relationships between those aged under 18. Acknowledgement of this form of offending is still relatively new. Current understanding of this form of sexual harm is limited, with research focusing on children as victims of sexual abuse, rather than potential offenders. However, this is not congruent with prevalence rates, with police data indicating that over half of child sexual offences are committed by other children (Dodd, 2024).

This PhD will explore peer-on-peer harmful sexual behaviour to understand the offence process and actions used within these offences. This will also involve the identification of relevant risk and protective factors for the perpetration and/or victimisation. Outcomes of the project may be used to inform the educational and legal responses to this harm.

Demonstratorship scholarships are open to Home, EU and International applicants. Please be aware that the bursary will cover only the home fee. Generally, the shortfall between the Home and EU/ International fee, currently £11,673 per year, will need to be covered by the student for the duration of the studentship.

To apply for a PhD, you will need to meet our entry requirements and provide:

complete online application including:

· A research proposal. This should include an outline of the research questions/area, aim of the project, an understanding of the current knowledge/literature and context, the proposed methodology, the potential impact and contribution to knowledge of your project and referencing key background literature. The maximum word count is 1,500 words.

· A personal statement - In submitting your personal statement, you must answer these 4 questions. We recommend no more than 200 words for each question and include specific examples from your previous experiences (academic and professional). We want to learn more about you:

  1. What relevant skills and experience do you have which you feel would help you undertake this research project?
  2. How did you come up with your project proposal?
  3. What opportunities do you think the doctorate will give you?
  4. Provide an example demonstrating your approach to engaging with new experiences or ideas. This can be an example from your studies, work, or personal experiences.

· Copies of qualifications, certificates, and results transcripts (All applicants should hold a strong, relevant undergraduate degree (2.1 minimum) and/or a relevant masters qualification (merit minimum)).

· Details of two referees who can comment on your academic ability and readiness for PhD study.

· Copies of your passport and any relevant visas, for international applicants.

International Students

International students* will be required to demonstrate their English language proficiency through one of the following:

1. Recent academic IELTS demonstrating an overall score of 7.0 or above with no score below 6.5 in the other components or equivalent. Recent means that your IELTS results must have been awarded two years preceding your doctoral programme's start date.

2. Educated with a UK Master's degree level (merit minimum) within one year preceding your doctoral programme's start date.

*UKVI provide a list of countries exempt from the language entry requirements. If you are a national of one of these countries you will not need to provide evidence as listed above.

For further information regarding our entry requirements, please visit the Psychology PhD page.

Applying for a studentship

Please complete an online application form for October 2024, available here. Please enter the name of the project you are applying for in the Personal Statement section of the application form.

Applicants must live within a reasonable distance of the University, whilst in receipt of the scholarship.

Closing date for applications: 17:00 (BST) on 24th May 2024.

Interviews are to take place during the week commencing 17th June.

Late applications will not be accepted.

Please e-mail  if you have any questions.


Psychology (31) Sociology (32)

Funding Notes

The scholarship is for three and a half years full-time study (pro-rata part time) and covers PhD fees and pays an annual stipend at the living wage foundation rate of £19,722 per year in the academic year 23/24. Please be aware that the bursary will cover only the home fee. Generally, the shortfall between the Home and EU/ International fee, currently £11,673 per year, will need to be covered by the student for the duration of the studentship.

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