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Dr. Gavin Sullivan, Reader in Identities and Resilience in Communities and Organisations

View Gavin's profile

Contact Gavin for an informal discussion about this studentship

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Group-based and collective emotion

Eligibility: UK/EU/International

Award Details: Bursary plus tuition fees - UK/EU/International

Duration: Full time - 3 years 6 months fixed term. (Maximum study period to completion is 4 years) or Part-Time – 5 - 6 years (maximum study period to completion is 6 years)

Application deadline: May 2nd (5pm)

For informal enquiries about this studentship, please contact Dr. Gavin Sullivan.

Congratulations on taking your first steps toward a Research Degree at Coventry University. As an ambitious and innovative University, we’re investing an initial £100m into our new research strategy, ‘Excellence with Impact’. Through original approaches from world-leading experts, we’re aiming for our research to make a tangible difference to the way we live. As a research student you are an integral part of Coventry’s lively and diverse research community and contribute to our reputation for excellence. With our exceptional facilities and superb support mechanisms you are afforded every opportunity for academic success.

The Project

Research on the emotions of groups such as crowds, teams and people in organisations emphasises the role of social identity but still relies on problematic explanatory mechanisms such as emotional contagion or the “circulation” of affect. In this PhD topic, you will work with the supervision team to develop new experimental, quantitative, survey and/or qualitative empirical studies of the details of people’s experiences, expressions and widely shared forms of behaviour and/or action with regard to group-based and coordinated, collective emotions such as pride, anger, or shame. A particular emphasis in this research is on events that achieve national or international significance (e.g., protests, commemorative or celebratory occasions, etc.) and on the use of novel methods (including combinations of methods such as self-report measures, first-person technologies, facial action coding software and/or 4K video analysis) to better understand how particular emotions occur, “spread” and come to be normatively regulated within and between groups.

About the Centre/Department

The Centre for Research in Psychology, Behaviour and Achievement focuses on the development and evaluation of theoretically-rooted, evidence-based psychological interventions across a range of areas: children's literacy and developmental disorders, violence and interpersonal aggression, identity and resilience in communities and organisations, cognition, neuropsychology and psychopharmacology. Related to this aim is the need to develop theoretical models that map the environmental and personal factors that impact successful intervention. We work in partnership with key stakeholders to identify key challenges, develop resources, evaluate initiatives and theoretical models, and to create sustainable approaches to impact.

Successful Applicants

Successful Applicants will have:

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in Psychology with a minimum 60% mark in the Project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average.
  • In the event of a first degree classification of less than 2:1, a Masters Degree in Psychology will be considered as an equivalent. The Masters must have been attained with overall minimum marks at merit level (60%). In addition, the dissertation or equivalent element in the Masters must also have been attained with a minimum mark at merit level (60%).
  • The potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a three-year period of study
  • A minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)


  • knowledge and/or experience in the subject.

Eligibility & Application procedure

Application Procedure:

Application information can be found in our how to apply section. Before completing the application please contact Dr. Gavin Sullivan for an initial informal discussion about the opportunity.


All UK/EU/International students are eligible to apply that meet the academic requirements, the eligibility criteria can be found making an application page.