Research Fellowships

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship

Department of Psychology


The Department of Psychology at the University of Essex provides a stimulating and vibrant research environment in the spirit of the founding vision of Essex's first Vice-Chancellor, Sir Albert Sloman. Our research aims at tackling contemporary global challenges by understanding how they influence the thoughts, feelings, and actions of affected individuals as well as developing new strategies to tackle these challenges for everybody to thrive. We have successfully designed our research environment to encourage and support individuals to cross conventional disciplinary boundaries, to foster collaboration, and to facilitate scientific creativity. In this way, we seek to create the perfect conditions for our research to have a positive societal impact.

The Department would like to invite Expressions of Interest from postdoctoral researchers of any nationality (at any career stage) to apply for a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship to contribute to the research agenda of the Department in any of the global challenges currently focused on:

  • The educated society supports more knowledgeable and more highly-skilled work force, greater innovation (e.g., in teaching) and improved long-term economic growth. Educated societies also promote a richer appreciation of sports, arts and culture and a better-informed and better-understood political debates.
  • The informed society benefits from shared life-hacks, improved collective decision making, better functioning democracy and accountability, improved health, greater appreciation of culture and diversity, and improved social cohesion. Work at Essex explores how this can be achieved. 
  • The healthy society aims to provide residents with access to a quality education, safe and healthy homes, adequate employment, transportation, physical activity, nutrition, and health care. Working together with EEPRU, the department provides psychological research addressing these points. 
  • The caring society is one that values compassion, empathy, and mutual support among its members. It is a society that strives to ensure the well-being of all its members, regardless of their age, income, or social status. What can psychological research tell us to ensure better individual and community health, communities with enhanced civic engagement and lower crime rates, enhanced sense of purpose and resilience, as well as reduced prejudice and discrimination?
  • The fair and environmentally aware society strives for justice, tolerance, and solidarity towards those in need. It is a place where people can benefit from equal opportunities to improve their wellbeing while social disadvantage is minimised. Living in an environmentally aware society means that we can all benefit from becoming conscious of our emotional and cognitive biases that prevent us mitigating and adapting to climate and nature change.

We are looking to support a small number of high-quality applications under the 2024 call and would welcome expressions of interest from interested researchers who have a passion to work on issues that help us "understand our place in the world".

Description of the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship Programme

The purpose of the Individual Fellowship is to support the career development and training of researchers through international mobility. The scheme allows researchers to move around, into or within EU Member States and Associated Countries and, in some cases, spend time outside Europe. The grant provides researchers with up to two years' salary, a mobility allowance, family allowance (if required) as well as funding for research, training and networking. 

Full details of the scheme are available on the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions website.

Eligibility and Requirements 

Candidates should hold a doctoral degree – or have at least four years of full-time research experience - in psychology, cognitive or social neuroscience, or other relevant discipline. Candidates are also expected to have good problem solving, troubleshooting, and analytical skills, be fluent in English, have good interpersonal and written and oral communication skills, and be able to work independently as well as within an international team.

Candidates should have a strong methodological skills set. At the time of the call deadline (11 September 2024), researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (e.g. work, studies etc.) in the UK for more than 12 months in the last 3 years.

Submitting an Expression of Interest 

Interested applicants should submit a one-page CV, an outline of the proposed research (maximum 1,000 words) and a cover letter highlighting why you believe this area of work will be suited to the Department of Psychology (maximum 500 words). Please submit these in Word format to by 23 April 2024 to Karen Johnson, Research Administrator, at

If you would like to discuss your proposal further, please contact Prof Silke Paulmann, Head of Department, at, or Prof. Sheina Orbell, Research Director and Co-Director of EEPRU, at

An expression of interest is not a promise of funding or position. It is an expression of interest in making a future application with the University of Essex as your host. Review of expressions of interest will start after the deadline. Proposals will be evaluated based on research quality, the applicant's future career prospects and the availability of appropriate supervision. The best proposals will be chosen for submission to the MSCA-IF competition. The applicants will be notified the outcome of their applications by the 10 May 2024. The successful applicant[s] will be supported in completing their application by 3 September 2024.