University of Manchester – Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research PhD Studentship in Social Statistics

We are pleased to invite applications to a 3.5-year University of Manchester doctoral studentship in Social Statistics. The studentship is jointly funded by the Social Statistics Department, University of Manchester, UK, and the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR), Germany, one of the world-leading research centres in population sciences. The studentship will be part of the International Max Planck Research School for Population, Health and Data Science (IMPRS-PHDS)

In many countries, migration has become a key driver of population change. However, traditional data on migration often lack precision, are biased or are reported with large delays. Digital traces and big data often contain information on human mobility but new methods are required to use and integrate these new forms of data with data derived from traditional sources. This is an excellent opportunity for highly-motivated and qualified candidates to work with an international team on developing cutting-edge novel statistical and computational methods in estimating and forecasting human migration with the use of traditional and new forms of data. 

This is a Split-Site Studentship and the successful candidate will spend the first 21 months at the Social Statistics Department, University of Manchester. They will be working in a vibrant community of PhD students in Social Statistics, Social Data Analytics and Biosocial Research. They will participate in research activities of the Department, such as seminars and research away-days, and will have an opportunity to teach as a Graduate Teaching Assistants. The remaining 21 months of the studentship will be spent at the MPIDR in the Department of Digital and Computational Demography.

The studentship will commence September 2023 and will cover tuition fees for the full 3.5 years of study. 

During the period in Germany, the PhD student will be paid according to the MPIDR rules and regulations. This includes:

  1. A contract currently amounting to a gross salary of about €34,295 per year, including a Christmas bonus (Weihnachtsgeld); and
  2. Financial support for travel, research training, and data acquisition.

During the period in the UK, the University of Manchester–Max Planck PhD studentship will cover:

  1. A maintenance grant of £17,668 per year (in the 2022/23 academic year, subject to increase annually according to the ESRC rules and regulations);
  2. A research training support grant (RTSG) of £750 per year.

It is expected that the PhD student will prepare a thesis as a collection of research articles according to the postgraduate research policies of the University of Manchester. 

Eligibility Criteria

1. Academic

Applicants must have minimum qualifications of a good Upper Second-Class honours Bachelor's degree with a minimum grade average of 65% (or international equivalent) in a relevant discipline, and an excellent Master's degree at Merit level in a relevant discipline with a minimum grade average of 65% in taught modules and a minimum mark of 65% in the dissertation/research element, no mark below 55%.

Due to variations in the grading structures of international institutions, higher results may be required than stated here. 

2. English language

Applicants whose first language is not English require one of the following:

Application procedure

The application deadline will be Midnight (GMT) on 14 May 2023. All supporting documents must be received by the deadline and sent as a zip file to, using ‘PhD Social Statistics Studentship - Arkadiusz Wiśniowski’ as the email subject.

The application must include:

Further information

For informal enquiries please contact

Equality, diversity and inclusion are fundamental to the success of the University of Manchester and the Max Planck Society and are at the heart of all of our activities. As equal opportunities institutions, we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.

Published: 04/17/2023