University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Gatsby Foundation PhD Studentship (Fixed Term)

The Gatsby Foundation proposes to fund an outstanding candidate to undertake a PhD using data science methods to understand the role of technical skills in the labour market and in particular the nature of employer demand. Candidates will have a background in economics, social statistics or data science with a strong interest in education issues.

We invite outstanding applications for a fully funded PhD studentship, supported by the Gatsby Foundation, commencing in October 2018. Funds will cover UK/EU fees, an annual living stipend, and some research expenses.

Gatsby is a foundation set up by Lord David Sainsbury and is committed to strengthening science and engineering skills in the UK. Our efforts in education are broadly concentrated around four focus areas: science and maths in schools; good career guidance; STEM skills in the workforce; and technical education reform.

Whilst the supply of, and demand for, graduates has been studied extensively, our understanding of employer demand for different technical skills is more limited. The Gatsby Foundation proposes to fund an outstanding candidate to undertake a PhD that will further our understanding of the role of these skills in the labour market and in particular the nature of employer demand. It is envisaged that the PhD will require extensive use of large scale data, such as vacancy information, as well as more structured data such as the Individual Learner Record (a data set containing information on enrolment and achievement in Further Education). The successful candidate will be located in the Faculty of Education but will be a member of the University of Cambridge Big Data doctoral training centre and will benefit from a wide range of training in data science methods, as well as other research methods.

Applicants should have the equivalent of a very good undergraduate degree as well as a Masters degree. A distinction at MSc level is desirable but not required. Some undergraduate or postgraduate training in labour economics is required, as well as a good grounding in statistics or econometrics. Knowledge of and/or experience with the post-compulsory education system in England would be an advantage. Applicants should meet University requirements for English language proficiency. language-requirement

Potential students are asked to submit a brief (maximum 2,000 words inc. references) research proposal outlining their key research ideas in the area of technical skills in the labour market, with reference to the academic literature. Applicants should also give an indication of the research design considerations that may be relevant. Please write 'Gatsby Foundation PhD studentship' at the top of your research proposal.

All applicants for the Gatsby Foundation scholarship will need to apply to the University via the usual route as outlined on the Graduate Admissions website.

If you wish to be considered for other sources of funding if your Gatsby Foundation application is unsuccessful, please ensure you tick all appropriate boxes on the GRADSAF.

Fixed-term: The funds for this studentship are available for 3 years.

We will only be able to consider applications completed by 6 December 2017. We expect to hold interviews in late January 2018.

Please quote reference JR13730 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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