EMJD-LP - Erasmus Mundus Joint Doctorate Programme in Legal Psychology

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  • Duration: 36 months


Threats to security are a leading and increasing societal, political, governmental concern across Europe. Therefore, it is no surprise that virtually all national and international funding agencies include security as a priority research area. Such calls generate individual research initiatives but do not ensure the training of experts with the knowledge to address challenging security issues in a robust, scientific and ethical manner. Knowledge deficiencies in this domain lead to failures to detect criminal activity, and to miscarriages of justice.

The proposed doctoral programme provides training and research on the causes, detection and prevention of security threats and other criminal activity. This doctoral programme draws together world-leading expertise across Europe in the areas of suspect detection and identification, investigative interviewing of suspects and witnesses, and comparative legal decision-making. The result is a complementary and synergistic approach to security research that is currently unavailable in Europe or, in fact, anywhere else worldwide.The consortium, based in Maastricht (The Netherlands), Gothenburg (Sweden) and Portsmouth (U.K.), is uniquely qualified to deliver the proposed doctoral programme. The consortium research environment is impeccable. The members have published over 1500 articles, book chapters and books - much of this work has appeared in the highest ranked journals and is often cited. Their activities have led to important policy and procedural improvements in the forensic domain (e.g. enhanced investigative interviewing techniques). Consortium members have successfully supervised 57 doctoral students and all institutions embody a rich PhD research culture. In terms of training content, students will attend theoretical courses in the psychology of evidence, memory, deception, (counter) terrorism, suspect and witness vulnerability and forensic psychiatric evaluation. They will also attend practical courses in scientific and Expert Witness report writing, experimental design, advanced statistics, presentation and science communications skills.

Emphasis will also be placed on career development (e.g. workshops on data presentation, preparation of research proposals and scientific reports, grant and fellowship applications). All students will conduct at least four empirical studies which will be submitted to peer-reviewed journals and presented at international conferences. Students will enrol at one of the three institutions but will engage in research visits and attend courses in at least one other institution. These activities will be delivered by a combination of the applicants and members of associated organisations such as government research agencies, public prosecution services, police forces and defence agencies. This dual-strand approach ensures that students are fully engaged with both the theoretical and practical elements of issues in security and other crime domains.



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