January 22, 2014, by Jules Holroyd

Leverhulme Funded PhD

Our project comes with a funded PhD studentship attached. We’re recruiting now. Details below!

Project title: Bias and Blame: Do Moral Interactions Modulate the Expression of Implicit Biases? 

The Department of Philosophy, The University of Nottingham, is offering a funded PhD place ( £13,726 maintenance per year over 3 years FT, including payment of the £3,900 fees) as part of the 3 year Leverhulme research project on Bias and Blame. The interdisciplinary project studies whether moral interactions are effective means of regulating the expression of implicit bias (the project abstract is appended below).


  • Full-time only
  • Can have a fee status of either UK, EU or OS. If OS, to note that only the UK/EU fee of £3900 will be paid against the higher OS fee rate.
  • Must hold an offer of a place to study in the Department of Philosophy


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The successful PhD candidate will be supervised by the research project principle investigator (Dr Jules Holroyd, Nottingham) and co-investigator (Dr Tom Stafford, Sheffield). The PhD candidate will be strongly encouraged to participate fully in the research activities associated with the project (regular project meetings with PI, CoI and research assistant, Dr Robin Scaife) in order to contribute to the development of the project. It is expected that they will work on co-authored papers as part of the project, and participate in workshops or conferences associated with the project.

The project starts in February 2014, and the PhD is expected to commence on 1st April 2014 and at the latest by 1st September 2014.

Project abstract:
This project will investigate whether moral interactions are useful tool for regulating implicit bias. Studies have shown that implicit biases – automatic associations which operate without reflective control – can lead to unintentionally differential or unfair treatment of stigmatised individuals. Such biases are widespread, resistant to deliberate moderation, and have a significant role in influencing judgement and action. Strategies for regulating implicit bias have been developed, tested and evaluated by psychologists and philosophers. But neither have explored whether holding individuals responsible for implicit biases may help or hinder their regulation. This is what our project addresses.
Indicative themes that the PhD candidate might explore include:

• what does an empirically informed model of relations of responsibility look like?
• what cognitive architecture underpins implicit attitudes?
• what model of agency is able to accommodate the relationship between implicit and explicit cognition?
• how should we think about the function of blame in relation to findings about implicit

Applicants are invited from students with an undergraduate degree in Philosophy or Psychology (2.1 or above), and have completed, or be near to completing, an MA in Philosophy (merit or above). The PhD candidate will be based at the University of Nottingham, and have access to the full range of research activities available there (including research seminars, research training, library facilities, desk space).

Download an Application Form MS Word Iconand Reference Form MS Word Icon. Please email the application form and references to Amanda Samuels.

The closing date for receipt of applications is Friday 28th February at noon. Interviews will be held at the University of Nottingham or via skype in the week commencing Monday 10th March 2014.

Informal enquiries may be made to Jules Holroyd.


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