PhD Studentship The impact of media and ecology on beauty ideals in Nicaragua


  • Reference Code: IN064


Closing Date: 23rd September 2013



Name of the supervisors


Dr M Tovee, Institute of Neuroscience (ION)


Dr L Boothroyd, Department of Psychology, Durham University


Sponsor Leverhulme Trust


Duration of the award 36 months

Project description


The successful PhD student will work both independently and with two post-doctoral researchers to collect data documenting the impact of television and nutritional status on the body preferences of the Miskitu of Nicaragua. The field site will be located amongst villages in the Mosquito Coast, where residents speak a mixture of Miksitu and Caribbean English. The post will involve a period of 18 months in the field (with two breaks in that time) including traditional holiday seasons, and the PhD student must have the ability to work independently and show initiative.


The student is required to have an undergraduate level degree in Psychology, Biological Anthropology, or a related discipline. Previous experience of working with non-Western populations, familiarity with Caribbean English, and speaking Spanish will all be viewed as advantages but are not essential.


Value of the award and eligibility

Due to funding restrictions the award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and an annual stipend in line with the Research Council rate, which is £13,726 (2013/14).

Person specification


  • First degree in Psychology, Anthropology or related discipline (E)
  • Master’s degree in Psychology, Anthropology or related discipline (E)
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  • Experience of quantitative and/or experimental research paradigms (E)
  • Familiarity with current literature on body size preferences and/or facial attraction (D)
  • Experience of cross cultural research (D)
  • Experience of living/working in basic conditions (D)

Skills and Competencies


  • Ability to work independently for extended periods of time (E)


  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills (E)
  • Good working knowledge of statistical software such as SPSS (E)
  • Experience in preparing research results for reports/publications (D)

Key for criteria
(E)ssential or (D)esirable criteria.


How to apply


You must apply through the University’€™s online postgraduate application form, via the €˜Apply€™ button below, selecting  €˜PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences â€Neuroscience as the programme of study. Once you have selected the programme, please insert the studentship/partnership reference number IN064. Only mandatory fields need to be completed (no personal statement required) and a covering letter, CV and (if English is not your first language) a copy of your English language qualifications must be attached. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote the reference number IN064 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project.


Further information


For further details, please contact:
Dr Martin Tovee
Telephone: 0191 222 8616


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