St Andrews–Max Planck PhD Studentship in Population, Health and Data Science

We invite applications from qualified and highly motivated students for a 3.5-year St Andrews–Max Planck PhD studentship in Population, Health and Data Science. The PhD studentship is funded by the University of St Andrews and the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR). The PhD student will be working on topics at the intersection of human fertility and population health. The project will investigate how the timing of menopause i) differs across generations and social groups (by socioeconomic or migrant status), and ii) relates to menarche, reproductive history as well as post-reproductive health. The project will involve analysis of individual-level data from high-income countries (including the UK), where low fertility and population ageing create challenges for population health associated with the timing of menopause. The project will be part of the International Max Planck Research School for Population, Health and Data Science (IMPRS- PHDS) (link), the Centre for Population Change & Connecting Generations (link), and the ERC-funded project “Untangling biologic and social causes of low fertility in modern societies” (BIOSFER; link) . The studentship is available from 27th January 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter.

In the first 21 months, the successful applicant will be working in the Laboratory of Population Health at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany, one of the leading centres for demographic research in the world. Please follow this link.

For the remainder of the studentship, they will be working at the University of St Andrews. They will become a member of the Population and Health Research Group at the School of Geography and Sustainable Development (SGSD), which combines expertise in advanced techniques of demographic, longitudinal and spatial analysis. For further details about the research group, please follow this link. The student is expected to use the opportunity of preparing a PhD thesis as a collection of research articles according to the PGR regulations of the University of St Andrews.

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 St Andrews Max Planck PhD studentship will cover: 1) A maintenance grant of £18,622 per year (in the 2023/24 academic year, subject to increase annually according to the ESRC rules and regulations); 2) A research training support grant (RTSG) of £750 per year; and 3) Full tuition fee waiver.

This is an excellent opportunity for a highly motivated PhD student to join an international team of researchers applying advanced quantitative methods and statistical modelling to a cutting-edge population and health science topic. Students with an excellent master’s degree (distinction or merit in the UK) or the equivalent national qualification in any area of social and health sciences including statistics and applied mathematics who are interested in this opportunity must submit their application by 17th November, 2023. Please see the advice on applying for research degree programmes here. Please apply to the programme “PhD Geography (Science)”. Please include a cover letter outlining your interest in applying advanced quantitative methods to studying populations. Please also upload an academic writing sample (normally a chapter of a Masters dissertation) to your online application. Shortlisted applicants will be interviewed in late November. The University of St Andrews and the Max Planck Society strive for equal opportunities. Applications of any background are welcome.

For informal inquiries, please contact Dr. Susie Lee (, Dr. Chia Liu (, Prof. Mikko Myrskylä (office and Prof. Hill Kulu ( For informal enquires about the application process please contact Helen Olaez at: Please include ‘St Andrews–Max Planck PhD studentship’ in the subject line of your email.

Browse postings

Issue 6 – Spotlight

Contributed by Angelina Sung, MS The Society for Affective Science Student Committee (SASSC) is dedicated to...

Share This