I’m very happy to support applications for research fellowships, for example Royal Society Newton International Fellowships, Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research Fellowships, Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Research Fellowships, FCT Post-doctoral Fellowships, etc. I’ve had success in obtaining  research fellowships for myself throughout my career, and have recently welcomed two early-career researchers to my group on such funding schemes. So do get in touch if you are interested in bringing a fellowship my research group.


I am advertising a PhD project on

Social evolution: cooperation and conflict between genes, individuals and groups

Natural selection explains the appearance of design in the living world. But at what level is this design expected to manifest – gene, individual or group – and what is its function? Social evolution provides a window on this problem, because it is in the context of social interaction that the interests of genes, individuals and groups come into conflict with each other.

I invite applications for a PhD studentship in my research group at the School of Biology, University of St Andrews, Scotland, to develop new theory on the topic of social evolution. The project will suit a Biology graduate with a strong interest in social evolution, but applications from graduates with other backgrounds are also encouraged, and although prior experience in mathematical modelling would be helpful this is certainly not required as the requisite training will be provided.

Current research in my lab involves development of general theory – using kin selection, multilevel selection, game theory and theoretical population genetics approaches – as well as more specific mathematical and computer simulation models that are tailored to the biology of particular organisms, from microbes to insects to humans. Much of our ongoing work is focused on intragenomic conflicts and associated clinical pathologies, plus the role of sex and gender in social evolution

If evolutionary biology really fascinates you, and you are a careful thinker, then you will flourish in the kind of project that I enjoy supervising. Please direct informal enquiries to Prof Andy Gardner (andy.gardner@st-andrews.ac.uk).

The deadline for applications is 3 Dec 2021. Details on how to apply are given here.


Even when I’m not explicitly advertising a position, there is the possibility of us applying for funding for your project. For example: graduates of Scottish universities who wish to undertake their PhD here at St Andrews may be eligible for Carnegie funding; St Andrews offers 30+ PhD studentships every year to Chinese nationals in conjunction with CSC; and I’ve had several Portuguese students undertake their PhD studies in my lab with the support of FCT. Also, St Andrews now offers a number of St Leonard’s PhD Scholarships for PhD students engaged in interdisciplinary work linking two Schools within the University and also for PhD students jointly enrolled at St Andrews and another European university. So there are lots of options for PhD funding.

Alternatively, there is also the possibility of pursuing a one-year research degree in my research group, in the form of a MSc(Res). Do get in touch if you think you may be interested in this option.


I offer theoretical projects for honours students, typically but not exclusively on the topic of social evolution.

School & College

I offer 4-6 week theoretical projects as part of the Nuffield Research Placements scheme.