School of Psychology

World-leading research and teaching

Leverhulme Trust Funded 3-Year PhD Studentship

Development of childhood perfectionism: Early indicators and parental factors

Applications are invited for a 3-year PhD studentship in the School of Psychology at the University of Kent, funded by a grant from the Leverhulme Trust (Principal Investigator: Professor Joachim Stoeber; Co-Investigators: Dr Michael Forrester, Professor David Williams). The studentship commences in mid-end September 2018 at the start of the academic year 2018/19.


This studentship is suitable for applicants who have or will have a Master's degree or equivalent at merit or distinction level in Psychology or another relevant subject area by July 2018.

The studentship award covers your university fees (see University Fees section below) and additionally provides you with a stipend of £14,777 per annum for maintenance.

Research Project

The studentship will be part of the Leverhulme-funded grant project titled "Development of childhood perfectionism: Early indicators and parental factors" which aims to answer the following questions:

(1) What are early indicators of perfectionism in young children?

(2) What role do parents play in the development of young children's perfectionism?

(3) How can we predict which children will develop perfectionism over time?

The studentship will focus on the development of a comprehensive coding scheme for parent-child interactions that predict developmental trajectories of perfectionism in young children.

Integrated in the project's research activities, the studentship will require (a) recruiting participants (parents and their five- to seven-year-old children), (b) collecting data (videos, interaction ratings, questionnaires) and (c) supporting the project investigators and the project's post-doctoral research assistant in analysing and coding the video-based data. Furthermore, the successful applicant for the studentship—consecutively referred to as the student—will be involved in the dissemination of the project findings (conference presentations, publications).

The student will work closely with and be co-supervised by Professor Stoeber and Dr Forrester throughout the research process (developing methods, data collection, analysis) and with Professor Williams included particularly in the later stages (disseminating findings in various formats).

The student will work in association with the Kent Child Development Unit (KCDU) at the School of Psychology located on the Canterbury campus of the University of Kent. For more information about the School of Psychology and the KCDU, please go to and

Entry Requirements


Applicants must have, or will have by the start of the studentship, a Master's degree or equivalent at merit or distinction level in Psychology or another relevant subject area.

Applicants should have experience of, and be confident in, recruiting and testing young children and parents in a lab or natural setting.

Because the research involves working with children, the successful applicant will require a DBS certificate allowing such research.


Applicants should have experience with research in developmental psychology with children including ideally behavioural observations, video recording of children's behaviour or parent-child interactions and/or ratings of such behaviours or interactions.

Applicants should have knowledge or, or an interest in, the perfectionism research literature.

General Note

Those with prior experience of doing observational work with young children are particularly encouraged to apply.

University Fees

The Leverhulme Trust will cover the university fees if you are a Home or EU fee-paying student. If you are a non-EU overseas fee-paying student (OS student), the Trust will not to cover the higher OS student fees. We will ask the University of Kent to cover the difference between EU/Home and OS student fees, but if they decline, you will have to cover the difference.

How to Apply

Please send your expression of interest email to as early as possible. This should include your full name and the title of the studentship.

All completed applications received by 5pm (UK time) on 31 July 2018 will be considered.

Completed applications must comprise all of the following:

  • Submission of a KentVision application for a Psychology PhD place in the School of Psychology at the University of Kent include:
    • A transcript of degree undergraduate and postgraduate marks to date and certificate, if completed, in PDF format.
    • The names and email addresses of two academic referees. References must also be received by 5pm (UK time) on 31 July 2018. Please leave a suitable amount of time for your referees to respond to the reference request which is sent automatically upon submission of the PhD application in KentVision. If an alternative submission method is needed, referees can send their letter of recommendation directly to via their professional email account.
    • A current CV in PDF format (comprising a maximum of 2 pages).
  • Submission of a 1-page covering letter which explains why the applicant should be considered for this scholarship. This form can either be uploaded to the KentVision PhD application or sent directly to

Deadline for completed applications (including references) is 5pm (UK time) on 31 July 2018. The shortlisting process will start from 1 August, and the interviews are planned for the week commencing Monday 13 August 2018. Unfortunately we are unable to cover overseas travel costs, but will arrange telephone/Skype interviews where appropriate.



School of Psychology - Keynes College, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NP

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Last Updated: 25/06/2018