Postgraduate research opportunities Economics of Crime and Offender Rehabilitation


Key facts

  • Opens: Thursday 16 March 2023
  • Deadline: Thursday 13 April 2023
  • Number of places: 1
  • Duration: 3 years (for PhD), 1+3 years (for MSc and PhD)
  • Funding: Home fee, Stipend


We are looking to hire either a graduate student (with a strong MSc in Economics) for a 3-year PhD in Economics, or an undergraduate student (with a strong Honours degree in Economics) for a 1-year MSc followed by a 3-year PhD Economics. The candidate will do applied empirical research using large datasets in the economics of crime and criminal justice space, with a particular focus on offender rehabilitation.
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Candidates are required to have:

  • Either: An excellent undergraduate degree (with Honours) in Economics (or related field) if applying for 1+3 funding (i.e. MSc and PhD funding). In this case you will obtain an MSc providing ESRC accredited doctoral training by the Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics (SGPE). While the University of Strathclyde is a full member and contributes to the teaching of the MSc programme, it will take place at the University of Edinburgh; the subsequent 3-year PhD will take place at the University of Strathclyde
  • Or: An excellent Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Economics if applying for +3 funding (i.e. PhD funding only). This MSc has to be at a recognised, ESRC-accredited doctoral training MSc. Programme, such as (but not limited to) the Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics (SGPE).
  • Experience in programming (especially proficiency in Stata) is highly desirable
  • If English is not your first language you will also be required to provide a recent UKVI recognised secure English language test qualification (minimum overall band score of 6.5 with no individual test score below 5.5) or a university degree completed in a recognized English speaking country.
THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner
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Project Details

We are looking for a high-quality student for a fully-funded SGSSS-ESRC PhD-studentship in Economics (where the candidate does not already have appropriate MSc training they will first complete the Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics (SGPE) MSc in Economics as part of 1+3 funding).

The candidate will conduct quantitative research on the economics of crime. A particular focus will be on the effects of offender rehabilitation policies on recidivism and labour market outcomes. The research programme will seek to quantitatively evaluate the effects of these policies using modern econometric techniques. The successful applicant will be able to a large administrative dataset provided by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) that allows them to track offenders’ court appearances, prison spells, and probationary periods over more than ten years.

Offender rehabilitation is a major policy issue. There are about 11 million people in the UK with a criminal record. Prior convictions in most cases have to be revealed to a potential employer and might thus dampen labour market prospects. This has adverse effects on both economic growth and employment, and might also lead to higher social and welfare spending as well as higher recidivism rates. Yet, we know very little about the effects of rehabilitation efforts on crime and recidivism. The goal of this project is shed light on factors that determine recidivism and update stylised facts on reoffending patterns in the UK.

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Funding details

If the successful candidate has already undertaken (or will shortly complete) an approved course of MSc study in economics, the scholarship will cover 3 years of PhD tuition fees student, plus a tax-free stipend at UKRI rate

If the successful candidate has not already completed an approved MSc course in Economics, the funding will cover 4 years of study (including full fees plus stipend at UKRI rate) including a one-year MSc in Economics followed by a 3 year period of the same funding for a PhD.

Students will also have access to funds for research training support and to attend workshops and conferences.

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Dr Markus Gehrsitz


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Dr Stuart McIntyre


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Applicants for MSc entry should contact Dr Markus Gehrsitz ( or Prof Stuart McIntyre ( for information on applying.

Number of places: 1

There will be a shortlisting and interview process.

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Programme: Economics

Start date: Oct 2023 - Sep 2024

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Contact us

Please direct informal enquiries about this project to Dr Markus Gehrsitz ( or Prof Stuart McIntyre (