Postdoctoral Research

The department does not directly fund post-doctoral programmes, we do however support a number of postdoctoral fellowship schemes and work with a range of funding bodies. Details of some of the major schemes for postdoctoral research funding are given below. All applications for funding need to have received the support of the Department and the Univeristy before being sent to the funder so please check the funders’ guidelines and eligibility criteria before contacting a potential mentor in the Department or the Research Grants and Projects Officer.

Other post-doctoral positions may arise, normally funded by research project grants held by members of the Department. These will be advertised on the Department’s vacancies page, on the University's vacancies pages and on

British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellowship

This scheme provides full funding for a three-year full-time fellowship. Applicants must be within three years of the award of their doctorate and they must be a UK or EEA national, or have completed a doctorate at a UK university, or have a strong prior association with the UK academic community. The primary emphasis is on completion of a significant piece of publishable research.

This is a two-stage application process. For more information read the British Academy funding guidelines.

ESRC New Investigator Grants

This is for researchers who have a maximum of 4 years post-doctoral experience and who may be based outside the UK, but who wish to come to Oxford for the period of the grant. The scheme is specifically aimed at supporting those looking to make the transition to an independent researcher through managing their first major research project. These grants replace the Future Research Leaders scheme and have been made an open call now. Applications from those who have not yet submitted their PhD or are within 24 months of its submission will be particularly welcomed in the call. Those who have not yet submitted their PhD must have done so by the start date of the award.

For more information read the ESRC New Investigator Grants.

Newton International Fellowship

This fellowship scheme accepts applications from post-doctoral researchers across all disciplines of physical, natural and social sciences, and the humanities from around the world. The long-term aim of the scheme is to build a global pool of research leaders and encourage long-term international collaboration with the UK. Applicants should be working outside the UK and should not hold UK citizenship at the time of application. The scheme is jointly run by the British Academy, the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Society. Currently there is one round per year which opens in January.

For more information read the Newton International Fellowship guidelines

Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowships

The Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions (MSCA) provide grants for all stages of researchers' careers - be they doctoral candidates or highly experienced researchers - and encourage transnational, intersectoral and interdisciplinary mobility. The MSCA enable research-focused organisations (universities, research centres, and companies) to host talented foreign researchers and to create strategic partnerships with leading institutions worldwide. Individual Fellowships support the mobility of researchers within and beyond Europe - as well as helping to attract the best foreign researchers to work in the EU. The grant usually covers two years' salary, a mobility allowance, research costs and overheads for the host institution. Individual researchers submit proposals for funding in liaison with their planned host organisation. Proposals are judged on their research quality, the researcher's future career prospects, and the support offered by the host organisation. Fellows can also spend part of the fellowship elsewhere in Europe if this would boost impact, and those restarting their career in Europe benefit from special eligibility conditions.

Applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity in the UK for more than 12 months in the 3 years prior to the deadline. There are no restrictions on nationality.

For more information read Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions Individual Fellowship.

Wellcome Trust Research Fellowships in Humanities and Social Science

This scheme supports humanities and social science scholars at all stages of their career but not in an established academic post, who wish to undertake a period of research in any area of human and animal health. Strong preference is given to applicants with a good prospect of achieving an academic career in the field. The maximum duration is three years full-time equivalent. The awards are full-time but may be awarded on a part-time basis if a case can be made that personal circumstances require this. Fellowships provide research expenses and a salary, plus appropriate employer's contributions.

This is a two-stage application process: the next deadline for outline applications will be 11th January 2018 (full application by 29th March 2018). For more information read the Wellcome Trust guidelines.

Other external funding

Doctoral students who are interested in applying for other external funding schemes need the support of their supervisor, who should write a case for support of the student and the application. If a student is proposing to work in an area that is not close to the supervisor's research area, the endorsement of another full member of the Department working in that area is needed.

Doctoral students who are interested in making an external funding application should talk with their supervisor and/or other academic in the relevant area in the Department, and investigate the scheme .When well prepared, prospective applicants should contact the Department's Research Grants and Project Officer with at least two month's notice before the deadline to discuss their proposal.*

* Internal deadlines or application schemes vary depending on the sponsor and the scheme.


The Department of Sociology maintains as a long-term strategy the combination of rigorous research methods and analytical theory. Permeability with other disciplines is also an advantage of the environment which the Department wants to emphasize. Oxford sociologists pioneered both the collection and analysis of survey data in Britain and analytical sociological theory. Theory-based survey research, also extended to a comparative setting, is a central approach for the Department, but theory-based ethnographic and archival/historical research have also a central role. We have several notable Research Centres.


Research in the Department is supported in various ways, including grants and funding from various bodies and companies.

When the new round of research funding begins, we will announce full details of organisations supporting the department's research into Sociology.

Postdoctoral Research

The department does not directly fund post-doctoral programmes, we do however support a number of postdoctoral fellowship schemes and work with a range of funding bodies.

Find out more

QM Materials

Materials from past workshops on Quantitative Methods teaching

Find out more

Working Papers

The Department of Sociology publishes a working paper series.

All papers


Books, chapters and journal articles from our staff and students.

All papers

Departmental Reports

Manor RoadHead of Department’s report 2010/2011
The year has finished on a very positive note, as Oxford Sociology was placed at No 3 in the QS 2011 World University rankings for Sociology, ahead of all other UK departments and institutions, and behind only Harvard University and the University of California (Berkeley). 

This is a significant positioning and encouragement for a young department which is keen to consolidate a reputation as a world leader in sociology.

Download the Departmental report for 2010/11


Family Sociology

This encompasses the domestic division of labour, decision-making and bargaining within marriage, inequalities within households, work-life balance, single motherhood, and mate selection.

Members of the Department engaged in sociology of the family:

Current research projects

Funded by the ESRC, this project focuses on the interdependence between fertility and labour careers in different institutional contexts with different cultural and family arrangements in Europe. By making use of longitudinal data, it will compare selected countries to explore dynamically and simultaneously the decisions to give birth and to increase/reduce employment participation. It will empirically Test whether uncertainty in employment relationships influences childbirth decisions and if this is the same by gender and across countries, whether employment participation and the decision to give birth are interrelated and how mens' and womens' decisions to participate in employment are interdependent with their joint fertility choices.

Research Team: Dr Tiziana Nazio (Principal Investigator)

This project uses a large dataset of Japanese marriage agency clients (n=51,000) with detailed information on their personal characteristics (verified by the agencies), their expressed desired characteristics of a prospective marriage partner as well as information on their attitudes towards family life and their successes and failures in partner search. In total the dataset contains 280 variables summarizing each client’s characteristics and expressed desires of a potential marriage partner, documents all their dating successes and failures for the past year and identifies couples who actually succeeded in getting married.

The level of detail of the data offers a rare opportunity to test many of the hypotheses theoretically posited for human mate selection. The project will start with an investigation of the way singles try to strike the delicate balance between their ideal preferred traits and whom they realistically can hope to attract, as well as the steps they take to attract the best possible mate. It will then proceed to test the applicability of two specific explanatory approaches to communication on the mating market, namely the full disclosure principle and signalling theory.

Research Team:Dr. Ekaterina Hertog

This project aims to investigate changes in work schedules and family-life patterns in Britain and France between the 1960s and 2000s. It will examine the impacts of (de)synchronized work-time schedules of partners on their time spent together, domestic division of labour and childcare strategies, using data from various years of UK and French time use surveys. Previous studies usually analysed “stylised” time use data at the individual level and focused on the aggregate level of time use. In contrast, this project will employ high-quality time-diary data at the couple level, and study the sequential dimension of daily activities. Substantive areas of inquiry include:

  • How have patterns of working time schedules changed over the years? How are these patterns (e.g., 9-5 schedules, shift work hours, long workweeks, and irregular hours) related to demographic characteristics of workers?
  • What is the relationship between synchronicity in family time and (de)synchronicity in their market work schedules?
  • Do husbands and wives nowadays spend less time together than in the past? What are the impacts of synchronicity in partners’ time use on marital satisfaction, stability of marriage and other dimensions of the family’s well-being?
  • Are workweek schedules associated with the distribution of household work between partners?
  • How much time do parents spend with their children? Are their childcare strategies associated with their workweek schedules?
  • How do social policies affect (de)synchronicity in partners’ work time and family time?

This project is funded by the British Academy through its postdoctoral fellowship scheme and the British Academy/CNRS Joint Project Grant.

Project Team : Man Yee Kan, Department of Sociology, University of Oxford, UK and Laurent Lesnard, CNRS/Sciences Po, France

Husbands’ and wives’ class identities and political behaviour.

Analytical sociology is a strategy for understanding the social world. It is concerned with explaining important social facts such as network structures, patterns of residential segregation, typical beliefs, cultural tastes, and common ways of acting. It explains such facts not merely by relating them to other social facts, but by detailing in clear and precise ways the mechanisms through which the social facts were brought about. Parts of analytical sociology focus on action and interaction as the cogs and wheels of social processes, while others consider the dynamic social processes that these actions and interactions bring about.

  • Prof Diego Gambetta
  • Prof Peter Hedström
  • Dr Michael Biggs
  • Yunsong Chen, 'Identifying the Causal Effects of Social Capital in Labour Markets: Estimation Strategies and Empirical Evidence' (DPhil)
  • Jon Fahlander, 'The Social Production of Happiness: A Behavioural Approach' (DPhil)
  • Thomas Grund , 'Networks, Diffusion, and the Performance of Teams: Macro-Implications of Micro-Dynamics' (DPhil)
  • Pavan Mamidi, 'Strategic Manipulation of Caste Identity Signals' (DPhil)
  • Rebeca Ibarra Olivares (PRS)