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The socio and contextual elements affecting the expression of criminal and illegal power


   School of Law and Social Sciences

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  Dr Giovanni Travaglino  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Department of Law and Criminology at Royal Holloway is inviting students to apply for a full-time scholarship for doctoral research.

The Socio and Contextual Elements affecting the Expression of Criminal and Illegal Power

The project will address the socio-psychological, cultural and contextual correlates and determinants of people’s perceptions of and reactions to criminal power. Criminal, illegal, informal and quasi-legal groups are often able to exert authority over people, eliciting obedience from individuals and reducing communities’ cooperation with legal authorities. These groups can set norms, impose punishments, and mediate conflicts in the community. Although such instances of ‘illegal governance’ and ‘secret power’ may be very pervasive also in well-established democracies, we still know very little about how individuals’ are affected by and respond to them (see Travaglino & Abrams, 2019, in the European Review of Social Psychology). To enhance our understanding of illegal power, the project will carry out empirical quantitative research and secondary data analysis of pre-exiting datasets.

This project is linked to the European Research Council (ERC) grant awarded to Dr Giovanni Travaglino, ‘Investigating the Legitimisation of Criminal Governance: Group Comparisons and Within-Individual Dynamics’. ERC grants are prestigious awards enabling scholars to pursue ground-breaking ideas at the frontiers of science. This project is, therefore, a unique opportunity for a talented and motivated candidate to work closely with an international and interdisciplinary team of scholars including social psychologists, criminologists and political scientists from the UK, US, Italy and Japan. The candidate will also be involved in and assist with the establishment of the new Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of Crime, Power, and Society, which will provide excellent prospects for training and networking.

Proposals are invited from candidates with excellent credentials. In the proposal, candidates should outline the subset of variables they intend to focus on, or the approach the wish to employ in the context of the ERC project mentioned above. In addition, candidates are asked to demonstrate their ability to design quantitative studies by describing at least one empirical study they intend to conduct.

Examples of relevant set of variables/approaches include: social identities and their content, the role of socio-political orientations (e.g., procedural justice, social dominance, system justification), the study of (cross-)cultural factors and socio-developmental dynamics, etc. In the proposal, candidates should explain how the variables/approaches indicated connect to the overall project described above. It is expected that the research will principally (almost exclusively) employ quantitative methods (e.g., experimental approaches, cross-sectional or longitudinal designs).

The Scholarship

The School of Law and Social Sciences PhD Scholarship offers a tuition fee waiver and a maintenance award of £18,062 p.a. for 3.5 years for full-time students (or half of that amount per year for 7 years for part-time students). UK, EU and international students are eligible to apply.

Students can start in either September 2022 or January 2023.

Supervision

The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Giovanni Travaglino; additional internal or external supervisors will be involved in the project, depending on the specific direction undertaken.

The Department of Law and Criminology has an active multidisciplinary research culture. We have developed a highly regarded profile for research across outputs, impact, and funding. Staff and postgraduate students regularly publish work on a wide range of subjects spanning social psychology, forensic psychology, criminology, and sociology. The PhD student will be also affiliated with the new Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of Crime, Power, and Society and assist with the operations of the Institute.

We have a strong postgraduate community, and our students enjoy a friendly and stimulating research environment. Many of our postgraduate students are from outside the UK, which provides a forum for exchanging ideas in an international context.

Qualifications and Eligibility

Candidates must:

·      Have a first or upper-second class honours degree in psychology, criminology or equivalent

·      Have a Masters-level qualification (or be nearing completion)

·      Have excellent interpersonal communication skills

·      Have excellent quantitative research methods skills commensurate with qualification

Candidates with a background in Social Psychology or Quantitative Social Sciences are encouraged to apply for this scholarship.

Application Procedure

In order to be considered for this scholarship, please submit

·      A 1-page cover letter outlining your interest in the research project and how you meet the eligibility criteria;

·      A copy of your undergraduate and postgraduate transcripts (if the postgraduate transcript is not available, please include a status letter certifying enrolment in a MSc program; please, also include a list of modules taken during the MSc and the modules' expected grades);

·      A current CV;

·      A research proposal (up to 2,000 words, references excluded) outlining the variables/approach you intend to focus on and describing at least one empirical study. The proposal should also address how the line of inquiry connects to the overall ERC research project.

These materials will need to be submitted directly to Dr Giovanni Travaglino ([Email Address Removed]).

The closing date for applications is Friday 15 July 2022 5pm GMT. Interviews are expected to take place at the end of July-beginning of August.

Informal enquiries about the scholarship can be made to Dr Giovanni Travaglino ([Email Address Removed]).


Funding Notes

The School of Law and Social Sciences PhD Scholarship offers a tuition fee waiver and a maintenance award of £18,062 p.a. for 3.5 years for full-time students (or half of that amount per year for 7 years for part-time students). UK, EU and international students are eligible to apply.
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