Advanced quantitative methods in social science and health

The Advanced Quantitative Methods (AQM) pathway of the South West Doctoral Training Centre is based at the University of Bristol. The competition for ESRC-funded +3 PhD studentships for academic year 2014/15 is open now until Thursday 13th February 2014. All applications must be made online. For informal inquiries please email Dr David Manley. Applications from those able to obtain funding from other sources are also welcome.

What is it?

The AQM pathway offers +3 postgraduate research training in the application of advanced quantitative methods in the social sciences and health. The ESRC has designated AQM as a priority area, and the purpose of the pathway is to provide training and supervision that emphasizes quantitative methods to a higher level than is usually offered. Training includes a structured programme of core AQM courses and a fortnightly research and reading group.

Who is it for?

The AQM pathway is for social scientists who wish to learn advanced quantitative methods for secondary-data analysis, and apply these methods appropriately to answer particular substantive questions from their disciplines. This group includes social scientists interested in inter-disciplinary research involving the application of quantitative methods from one discipline (e.g. geography) to problems in another (e.g. economics).

The AQM pathway is also for statistically trained researchers whose interests are more methodological. Projects may involve applying statistical methods used in other disciplines to social science problems, or developing novel statistical methods for analysing social-science data. Applications are welcome from those with backgrounds in statistics or other related disciplines.

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What are the prerequisites?

AQM is offered as an ESRC +3 pathway and so applicants should have masters level training in a social science discipline, public health or statistics. As students will have followed different disciplinary pathways in their masters years of doctoral training, the only prerequisite for AQM is a familiarity with intermediate-level quantitative techniques. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that they are familiar with multiple regression. Students will be selected on the basis of performance in previous quantitative methods courses (e.g. at undergraduate and masters levels). Students will have to provide a reference letter from a tutor who can assess their quantitative skills.

It is also important that students have a solid grounding in the substantive discipline to which they wish to apply advanced quantitative methods. It is expected that this will be provided by the masters '+1' phase of their postgraduate training.

When does it start?

Students will be expected to start on 23rd September 2014.

Can international students apply?

All applicants from outside the UK are eligible for studentships including fees and stipends because the ESRC has relaxed its rules on eligibility in strategic areas like Advanced Quantitative Methods. However, applicants should check that they satisfy the University of Bristol's English language entry requirements policy.

How many studentships are there?

We can award up to four ESRC-funded +3 studentships per year

How do I apply?


What does an ESRC studentship cover?

An ESRC studentship covers University tuition fees plus an annual maintenance stipend to contribute towards living expenses. See the ESRC website for more information. In addition, AQM students qualify for the ESRC AQM stipend of £3,000 per year. Each studentship also includes a Research Support Grant of £750 per year to encourage students to attend conferences and additional courses external to the University.

Priority areas

We are particularly keen to attract: