The UCD School of Psychology is pleased to invite applications for a fully-funded PhD scholarship, to commence in September 2019. The successful candidate will complete a structured four-year programme of PhD studies under the supervision of Dr Cliódhna O’Connor.

The student will be expected to develop an original and independent research project that coheres with Dr O’Connor’s research programme exploring the social and psychological implications of psychiatric diagnosis. There is considerable scope to shape the project according to the interest and expertise of the student. Possible projects may involve topics such as:

  • Diagnostic transitions in child or adult mental healthcare
  • The lived experience of receiving a psychiatric diagnosis
  • Issues in the comorbid diagnosis of ASD and mental health difficulties
  • Health professionals’ attitudes and approaches to diagnosis of mental health conditions
  • Public understanding of and attitudes towards psychiatric diagnosis
  • Biological essentialism of mental health disorders.

The scholarship is generously funded by the UCD ADVANCE PhD scheme. The award includes a full fee waiver, a stipend of €15,000 per annum, a computer/laptop, and research/travel expenses of €2,725 per annum. Applications are open to both EU and non-EU students. The candidate will benefit from a supportive working environment, tailored training in generic and project-specific research skills, and opportunities for travel to international conferences and networking events.

Applicants should hold an excellent academic record that includes an undergraduate degree in Psychology or a related discipline. Applicants with relevant postgraduate qualifications will be preferred. Knowledge and experience of both quantitative and qualitative research techniques is essential. The position would suit a highly motivated student who possesses the ability to work both independently and collaboratively.

Applications should be submitted by email to Dr Cliódhna O’Connor ( by 12pm on the 20th May 2019. Application packages should include:

  • Cover letter (max 1 page)
  • CV (including contact details for two academic references)
  • Academic transcripts (showing all grades received to date)
  • 1500-word project proposal (please note that this need not definitely be the project you will conduct if successful, but should demonstrate your ability to identify a compelling research rationale, feasible research question, and credible and appropriate methodological approach).

Shortlisted applicants will be called to interview in June. After the successful candidate has been identified, they will be required to apply for formal admission to UCD’s structured PhD programme and demonstrate they meet the University’s minimum admissions criteria, including English language proficiency where relevant. International applicants are welcome.

Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Cliódhna O’Connor at