Philip Leifeld
Philip Leifeld

Job Opportunities and Supervision of PhD Theses and Postdocs

I am seeking to supervise strong PhD students and postdocs at the University of Essex - either candidates from Essex or external candidates who wish to study with me at Essex - and collaborate through research visits.

Current Job Opening

*** I am currently looking for a postdoc or MSc holder with network science experience and a data science profile, ideally with some experience with graph databases and/or statistical modelling of networks. The deadline is 6 January 2021. Details and the application form can be found here. The candidate will be supervised by me and my colleague Dr Lina Barakat from the School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering at Essex for a duration of 33 months. The candidate will be affiliated with the Department of Government at the University of Essex. However, the place of work will be the headquarters of Preqin, a leading finance intelligence firm based in central London. Preqin will provide joint supervision. The project is a knowledge transfer partnership (KTP) and is funded jointly by Innovate UK and Preqin. Preqin maintains a large database of managers, firms, and deals in the alternative assets industry (primarily hedge funds). The data scientist we are recruiting will analyse this dataset using network science tools (exploratory and statistical/inferential network analysis) and related techniques. Joint peer-reviewed publications with the academic supervisors are planned. This position is great for an academic who wants to gain some industry experience, possibly with a view to work in the private sector later, for somebody who already has industry experience, or for somebody who wants to stay in academia but would like to work on an interesting network science dataset. Please email me with any questions you may have. ***


In particular, I am interested in supervising theses or collaborating on projects related to social or political networks, computational social science, discourse networks, quantitative methods, the policy process, inferential network analysis, environmental or social policy, or similar topics. See my research profile for more details on the topics I am interested in.

Funding for prospective PhD students

Various scholarship opportunities are available to fund your PhD studies or postdoc at Essex.

For PhD funding opportunities, see the Research degree scholarships and funding page of the University of Essex.

The PhD programme starts in autumn. Scholarship applications usually need to be prepared in the year before, usually in autumn. If you are interested in pursuing a PhD under my supervision, please take a look at the scholarship opportunities mentioned above and get in touch to discuss your project.

It may be possible to start a PhD after obtaining either a bachelor's or a master's degree, and funding options are available for both.

Funding for prospective postdocs

If you would like to do a postdoctoral project at the University of Essex to collaborate with me, several options are available. It is either possible to apply for a fellowship together with me as the academic host (for example SeNSS, Marie Curie, Wellcome Trust, Leverhulme Trust, British Academy, ProFellow etc), or we can apply for a research grant together (for example ESRC, ERC etc) and allocate time for a postdoctoral project in the grant application. Either way takes some time to prepare. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss possibilities.

Opportunities for visiting PhD students and researchers

If you are already a PhD student elsewhere but would still like to collaborate, distance supervision is often difficult to do and provides few incentives for the supervisor in terms of institutional recognition. However, it may be possible to schedule an academic visit for a few weeks or months. Get in touch if you would like to discuss this possibility. I usually collaborate with visitors on a paper or method to make it worthwhile for both parties. However, it is usually necessary to bring your own funding for the duration of the stay.

If you are a researcher with a PhD (early-career or senior level) and would like to visit me, the University of Essex offers an international visiting fellowship programme as well as opportunities through the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship programme.