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PhD Position in Sociology:
TeenPath: Social Environment, Health and Well-Being Among Adolescents in Ireland


Post specification

Post Title:

PhD Researcher in Sociology for the TeenPath Project

Post Status:

48 months, Full-time

Starting Date:

September 2020 (ideal start, but with degree of flexibility)


Department of Sociology, School of Social Sciences and Philosophy

Reports to:

Prof. Richard Layte


Trinity College Dublin (Dublin, Ireland)


PhD Researcher. Full fees (EU/non-EU); stipend of 20,000 Euro per annum;

Closing Date:

15th of May 2020, 1pm (Irish time)


Post Summary

Doctoral Researcher in Sociology

The Department of Sociology at Trinity College Dublin is seeking to appoint a highly motivated, qualified and outstanding doctoral researcher for a period of 4 full years (48 months). The successful candidate will work as part of the TeenPath Project to understand how family, neighbourhood environment and family social and economic circumstances interact with individual characteristics such as sex, personality and temperament to shape mental health, health behaviours and educational outcomes at the end of secondary schooling and the cusp of adulthood. The project will be based on the statistical analysis of the Growing Up in Ireland Study, a nationally representative, longitudinal study of two cohorts of children from the Republic of Ireland (

Activities conducted by the PhD candidate will include (1) getting close familiarity with the main theoretical debates by engaging in a systematic reading and writing of a state-of the-art literature review for the project; (2) developing the skills to work with large databases with  repeated observations of cases (a longitudinal design); (3) conducting advanced statistical analyses to test alternative theory-derived hypotheses; (4) writing academic journal articles based on analyses of the existing literature and the empirical research; (5) present work in front of different audiences at the local, national and international levels in leading conferences or networks in the field.         

We are looking for an enthusiastic, motivated PhD candidate who wishes to receive a high-level training in quantitative research. Informal enquiries are welcome and can be made directly to Professor Richard Layte, Department of Sociology (, Trinity College Dublin.

Standard duties of the post

  • Compiling longitudinal datasets from the Growing Up in Ireland cohorts;
  • critical, systematic and analytical review of relevant literature for the project;
  • writing academic pieces (articles/dissertation chapters) in English;
  • planning and conducting quantitative analysis of panel and quasi-panel data using advanced methods of data analysis;
  • actively writing and submitting research papers for publication and contributing to joint projects or related submissions with the PhD supervisor/s;
  • organising and attending meetings, workshops and conferences;
  • disseminating academic work to specialised and general audiences;
  • 4 hours of teaching a week during the statutory term (facilitating undergraduate tutorials);


Person Specification


  • MA, MSc or MPhil in Sociology, Population Studies, Economics, Psychology, Social Policy, Education or in any cognate fields (thesis should be either defended or submitted)

Essential Research skills

  • excellent analytical skills;
  • advanced knowledge of quantitative methods in the social sciences;
  • basic (preferable solid) knowledge of the literatures on child well-being, poverty and social inequality;
  • experience in the management and analysis of micro-level quantitative data (preferably longitudinal data);
  • advanced technical skills in Stata or comparable statistical packages or willingness and competence to acquire such skills in a short amount of time;
  • solid statistical training or knowledge in advanced multivariate statistical methods, and preferably high competence in longitudinal research design

Other essential skills

  • excellent written and verbal communication skills in English;
  • willingness to contribute proactively to the development of the project;
  • strong motivation to publish in academic journals;
  • good organisational skills;
  • ability to work effectively in a team.
  • interpersonal and relational skills

Desirable skills

  • interest in or basic knowledge of cross-country comparative research
  • an interdisciplinary approach
  • interest in pursuing an academic or teaching career


The Department of Sociology

Sociology is a member of the School of Social Sciences and Philosophy, one of 24 Schools within Trinity College. The Department’s principal research clusters are: Employment, education and stratification; Migration, integration and identities; Power, conflict and resistance; Social network analysis and digitalisation. The Department shows a great variety of international sociologists with a high profile, becoming increasingly international, and combining the use of advanced quantitative methods applied to real-world data with the use of sophisticated and diverse qualitative methodologies. Our research links to several College priority research themes: 'International Integration' centred within Trinity Research in Social Science (TRISS), 'Identities in Transformation', within the Trinity Long Room Hub (TLRH), and 'Inclusive Society'. The Department has a long-standing collaboration with one of Ireland’s premier research institutes, the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI). Members of the Department have successfully obtained NORFACE or H2020 funding.

The Department has an active postgraduate programme. It is home to an MSc in Comparative Social Change, delivered jointly with University College Dublin, as well as an MPhil in Race, Ethnicity, Conflict. It has a structured PhD programme combining advanced methodological training with transferable skills workshops. There are over 20 PhD students and our doctoral graduates have positions in academic institutions, non-governmental organisations and the private sector.

Further information on the Department of Sociology is available at:


School of Social Sciences and Philosophy

The School of Social Sciences and Philosophy was formed in 2005 and comprises the Departments of Economics, Philosophy, Political Science and Sociology, together with the Policy Institute. With over 45 full-time academic staff, the School has an international reputation in research and is committed to the dissemination of its knowledge and expertise to the benefit of the wider community, with the Policy Institute providing an important channel for policy analysis and evaluation. The School is home to the unique undergraduate degree in PPES (Philosophy, Political Science, Economics and Sociology). It also contributes to undergraduate degrees in Business, Economic and Social Studies (this includes Political Science and Sociology), Philosophy, History and Political Science, Philosophy and Political Science, Law and Political Science, Geography and Political Science, Sociology and Social Policy, European Studies and to the TSM programmes in Economics, Philosophy and Sociology. Over 100 graduate students are conducting research across the four disciplines.

Further information on the School is available at:


Trinity College Dublin

Founded in 1592, Trinity College is at the nexus of tradition and innovation, offering undergraduate and postgraduate programmes across 24 schools and three faculties: arts, humanities, and social sciences; engineering, maths and science; and health sciences. Spread across 47 acres in Dublin’s city centre, Trinity’s 17,000-strong student body comes from all 32 counties of Ireland, and 16% of students come from outside the country. Of those, 40% are from outside the European Union, making Trinity’s campus cosmopolitan and bustling, with a focus on diversity.

As Ireland’s leading university, the pursuit of academic excellence through research and scholarship is at the heart of the Trinity education. Trinity is known for intellectual rigour, excellence, interdisciplinary approach, and research-led teaching. Home to Nobel prize-winners such as scientist Ernest Walton and writer Samuel Beckett, Trinity draws visitors from across the world to its historic campus each year, including to the Book of Kells and Science Gallery which capture the university’s connection to both old and new. Trinity accounts for one-fifth of all spin-out companies from Irish higher education institutions, helping to turn Ireland into an innovation-intensive, high-productivity economy. That culture of innovation and entrepreneurship is a defining characteristic of our campus as we help shape the next generation of job creators.


Equal Opportunities Policy

Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin is an equal opportunities employer and is committed to the employment policies, procedures and practices which do not discriminate on grounds such as gender, civil status, family status, age, disability, race, religious belief, sexual orientation or membership of the travelling community.


Application Procedure

Candidates should submit:

  • a motivation letter clearly indicating how the applicant’s profile and skills fit the requirements of the job position  (max. 2 pages);
  • a full curriculum vitae
  • the names and contact details of 2 or 3 referees (with email addresses included);
  • at least one example of a written piece (expected in English) that shows the analytical and writing skills of the candidate in a social science discipline. 
  • via email to 
  • with CC to Prof. Richard Layte (
  • by latest on the Friday the 15th of May 2020, 1pm (Irish time).
  • indicating exactly “PhD Application – TeenPath Project” in the subject line.