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­­PhD Position in Sociology:
Child Development, Digital Inequalities and Longitudinal Data                             


Post Specification

Post Title:

PhD Position in Sociology

Post Status:

48 months, Full-time

Starting Date:

Between March 1st and August 1st, 2021


Department of Sociology, School of Social Sciences and Philosophy

Reports to:

Dr Pablo Gracia


Trinity College Dublin (Dublin, Ireland)


20,000€ net payment per annum  

Closing Date:

6th of February 2021, 1pm (Irish time)

Post Summary

The Department of Sociology at Trinity College Dublin (TCD) seeks to appoint an outstanding and highly motivated PhD candidate with excellent qualifications and strong potential to write a PhD dissertation in the social sciences. The successful candidate will conduct an innovative PhD thesis on how children’s digital engagement impacts their well-being across life-course stages. Candidates with a strong interest in life-course research, digitalisation, inequalities, and child development, an MA, MSc or MPhil in Sociology, Demography, Economics, Psychology, Social Research, Social Policy, Education, Public Health or related fields, and high-level training in advanced social science methodologies and quantitative methods, are particularly encouraged to apply.

The successful applicant will join the DIGYMATEX project, a €3.5 million project funded by the European Commission (Horizon 2020) which seeks to understand and promote children’s well-being in the context of their digital engagement. DIGYMATEX is an international and multi-disciplinary consortium of 12 EU partners, including psychologists, sociologists, economists, business scholars, health researchers, and data analysts. You will be part of the Irish team (led by Dr Pablo Gracia) and contribute to provide new understandings of how the usage of digital devices influences children’s daily routines, development, and well-being across the life course. By using advanced methodologies, your PhD thesis will contribute to answering key questions on how digitalisation affects child development, such as (1) how does children’s digital engagement affect their daily routines? and (2) how does mobile phone access and usage impact child well-being across life-course stages?    

We are looking for a highly enthusiastic PhD candidate who wishes to work as part of a team of researchers. You will receive advanced methodological training in the social sciences, particularly in quantitative and longitudinal techniques. The successful applicant will be embedded into a stimulating scientific community at the Department of Sociology and School of Social Sciences and Philosophy at TCD, with junior and senior social scientists who apply innovative theories and methodologies to investigate important real-world topics, including child well-being, digitalisation, inequalities, population dynamics, family and gender, health, race and ethnicity, and migration. The successful candidate is expected to contribute to undergraduate teaching at Sociology TCD (limited hours per year).

There are no restrictions of nationality, age, and citizenship for this PhD position.

Informal enquiries from interested applicants, referees and organisations are most than welcome and can be made directly to Dr Pablo Gracia (Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, TCD;

Person Specification


  • MA, MSc or MPhil in Sociology, Demography, Economics, Social Research, Psychology, Social Policy, Education or cognate fields;
  • Evidence of strong training in Research Design, Advanced Methods in Social Sciences, and Quantitative Methods.

Expected Skills

  • An analytical, independent and systematic approach to social science research;
  • Ability to adopt an interdisciplinary approach;
  • High-level training in advanced methodologies in the social sciences;
  • Advanced skills in quantitative data analysis and management;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills using English language;
  • Advanced technical skills in Stata, R or comparable statistical packages;
  • Good organisational skills and ability to engage in team work;
  • Interpersonal and relational skills.

Desirable Skills

  • Experience in using large-scale survey longitudinal data;
  • Familiarity with data collection techniques (e.g., interviewing; questionnaire design).

Output Expected

  • Writing an excellent PhD dissertation in sociology;
  • Submission of articles to high-impact scientific journals;
  • Strong theory and methods training in child development, digital social sciences, family research, stratification and applied demography; 
  • Contributing to the intellectual and academic community of Sociology TCD;
  • Engaging in public dissemination of project results;
  • Contributing to prepare competitive project applications;

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: ‘Inequalities, Education and Families’; ‘Migration, Integration and Diversity’; ‘Social Networks and Digitalisation’; ‘Power, Conflict and Resistance’.

Combining advanced quantitative and qualitative methodologies to study real-world problems, our research is internationally recognised by leading several priority research themes within the Trinity Research in Social Science (TRISS); 'Identities in Transformation', within the Trinity Long Room Hub (TLRH); ‘Trinity Research in Childhood Centre’ (TRiCC); and 'Inclusive Society'. The Department has a long-standing collaboration with one of Ireland’s premier research institutes in socio-economic analysis, the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI). Sociology TCD staff has successfully obtained Horizon 2020, NORFACE, and IRC funding, amongst others top-level grants. Sociology PhD graduates at TCD obtain relevant positions in academia, non-governmental organisations, and private sector.

Further information on the Department of Sociology is available at:

The 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 50 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 Dublin 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, ethnicity, religious belief, sexual orientation, and membership of the travelling community.

Application Procedure

The deadline to submit applications is the 6th of February 2021, 1pm (Irish time)

Interviews: online interviews will most likely take place at the end of the 2nd week of February 2021 (shortlisted candidates will be contacted as soon as possible after the application’s deadline with all the interview details). 

Candidates should submit the following documentation via email (no later than February 6th  2021, 1pm) to the address, adding Dr Pablo Gracia ( in the same email (as cc) and indicating exactly “PhD Position in Sociology” in the subject line:

  1. A motivation letter clearly indicating how the applicant’s profile and skills fit the requirements of this PhD position  (max. 2 pages);
  2. A full curriculum vitae;
  3. Names, affiliation, and contact details of 2 or 3 referees (with their email addresses included);
  4. One example (at least) of a written piece –expected in English– showing the analytical, writing, and empirical skills of the candidate in a social science discipline.