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PhD Studentship in Biosciences - Using models of human behavioural change to advance laboratory animal welfare

Value of award

100% of UK/EU tuition fees paid and annual living expenses of £15,285 (full award). Successful international candidates will be required to make up the difference between the UK/EU fees and international fees.

Number of awards


Start date and duration

28 September 2020 for 3 years.

Application closing date

17 June 2020.


Laboratory animal welfare is of significant concern: how animals are maintained in laboratories can be detrimental to their health and wellbeing, and impact on the reliability and reproducibility of research. Whilst there are many ways in which laboratory practices can be changed to improve animal welfare, implementing such changes can be slow. Changing the behaviour of people working with laboratory animals remains a significant challenge to improving animal welfare.

In this project, you will apply approaches from health psychology and intervention science that have been developed to understand why people do things (or not) to identify the factors that make researchers and laboratory personnel change their behaviour and adopt welfare refinements. You will develop an implementation strategy (a ‘toolkit’) that facilitates uptake of refinements and test its feasibility. The project has significant potential for global impact through advancing animal welfare.

This innovative project offers fantastic interdisciplinary training through applying psychological theory frameworks and behaviour change techniques in a novel context. You will be trained in a variety of techniques and supported to carve out your own distinctive research niche that will support your future career.


Newcastle University

Name of supervisor(s)

Professor Candy Rowe and Professor Vera Araujo-Soares.

Eligibility Criteria

You must have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree in Psychology or a related area. A further qualification such as an MSc or MRes is advantageous.

This award is available to UK/EU and international applicants. 

To study this course you need to meet the following English Language requirements:

IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all other sub-skills).

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system. To do this please ‘Create a new account’.
Only mandatory fields need to be completed. However, you will need to include the following information:

• insert the programme code 8300F* in the programme of study section
• select ‘PhD in the Faculty of Medical Sciences – Biosciences’ as the programme of study
• insert the studentship code BI026 in the studentship/partnership reference field
• attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote the studentship reference code BI026 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project
• attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications
* The online application system will only allow one application using the programme code 8300F. If you are applying for TWO or more projects using that code then you will need to email our Postgraduate Admissions Service with the following information:

your application number (from the first project application that you submitted online)
the second studentship code and its corresponding title
a two page covering letter for the second project
Our Postgraduate Admissions Service will then forward this information to the relevant selector in the Faculty of Medical Sciences.


For further information please contact: or

Eligible Courses