Project code



Department of Psychology

Start dates

October 2021

Closing date


This project is now closed. The details below are for information purposes only. View our current projects here.

Applications are invited for a fully-funded three-year PhD or four-year Masters and PhD studentship to commence in October 2021.

The studentship is funded by the ESRC South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (SCDTP), a collaboration between the universities of Portsmouth, Southampton and Brighton.

The studentship covers tuition fees and an annual maintenance grant of £15,285 (2020/21 rate).

The supervisors are Dr Emine Gurbuz, Dr Steven Kapp and Dr Beatriz Lopez.


The work on this project will:

  • Identify barriers and facilitators in meeting the needs of autistic students at university
  • Increase awareness and reduce stigma of their non-autistic peers

This project will adopt a participatory approach to co-design and validate two survey instruments to investigate the support needs of autistic students for themselves and for their non-autistic peers. Two participatory groups will meet via video calls: 1) autistic and non-autistic academics, autistic students, and disability and health service providers (i.e. a clinical psychologist, a student mentor) and 2) autistic and non-autistic academics and non-autistic students. The instruments will include closed and open-ended questions, and therefore, produce quantitative (n = 100+ per group) and qualitative data for analysis. Both questionnaires will be online and distributed widely to universities in the UK, Europe, and internationally.

Entry requirements

All candidates must hold a good honours degree (2:1 and above) from a recognised higher education institution. Please note, students applying without a Master's qualification containing a substantial Social Sciences methods component may be required to complete such a Master's beforehand. The Master's will be fully funded by the SCDTP and will be run from the University of Southampton.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Applicants for this PhD position should have at least a completed BA or BSc honours level degree in Psychology or a related discipline from an accredited course with a minimum 2.1 award. You should have knowledge and experience of analysing qualitative and qualitative data, strong command of English. Experience with autism research and the autism community is desired.

How to apply

The first thing you will need is a University supervisor to support your SCDTP application -- so you’ll need to contact the project supervisors before you submit an application. 

The project will require you to discuss possible methods and research design as well as detailing how your skills, background, and research interests match the project. 

It is therefore very important that you discuss the project with the supervisor.  

Full instructions are given on the SCDTP application form and there are different word limits depending on whether you are applying for a 1+3 (ie Masters in Social Research Methods plus PhD) or +3 (PhD only).  

Please note: you will need to submit an online application to the University of Portsmouth plus an application for funding to the SCDTP. For more details, visit the SCDTP website

When applying to the University, please quote project code: SDTP5760121.