Students Staff

Seedcorn grants

We have funding available for University of Essex postgraduate research students and academic or professional services staff. We give competitive awards for research for up to £2,500 to help you develop your ideas into long-term research projects.

Seedcorn grants are designed for lab-ready projects that can be carried out by the end of the financial year. We prioritise projects that incoporate experiments and we also encourage you to use ESSEXLab Mobile as part of your project.


To apply, complete the funding application form (.doc) and email it to the Lab Manager

There will be two rounds of bidding:

  • First round (Due 14 September 2018): we will notify first round applicants of decisions in the week commencing 17 September. Unsuccessful applicants from the first round are eligible to apply for the second round.
  • Second round (Due 26 October 2018): we will notify second round applicants of decisions in the week commencing 5 November.

The application form also contains the rules for seedcorn funding.

A second round of funding will be available in the Autumn term.

Seedcorn grants this year

  • Dr Raynee Gutting (Department of Government, Essex Pathways): “The Conceptualization and Measurement of Authoritarianism.”
  • Elisabetta Leni (Department of Economics): “Affects, belief management, and prosocial behavior.”
  • Dr Dominik Duell (Department of Government): “Behavioral Effects of Descriptive Representation.”
  • Dr Tom Foulsham (Department of Psychology): “Catching the public eye: Eye-tracking political decision-making in conjoint designs.”
  • Zia Ul-Hassan Khan (Department of Economics): “Social Expectations, Norms and Tax Avoidance.”
  • Burak Sonmez (Department of Sociology): “Does Information Matter? Asymmetric Information and Sentiments towards the Policies on Asylum Seekers.”
  • Simge Andi (Department of Psychology): "Anger and Echo-Chambers: The Sharing of False Information Online"
  • Andrea Albertazzi (Department of Economics): "Cheating: lab vs field, the role of personal interactions"
  • Amanda Cole (Department of Language and Linguistics): "A Linguistic Perception Study: the Cockneyfication of Southeast England"
  • Dr Mollie Gerver (Department of Government): "Deportations, Detention and Death: What means of controlling immigration are considered morally permissible?"
  • Shaaba Lotun (Department of Psychology): "Establishing whether relationships exist when two people have never met"
  • Daniel McAleavey (Department of Psychology and ISER): "Building Better Than We Know: Testing Community Perception Using a Trust Game"
  • Dr Santiago Oliveros (Department of Economics): "Collective Hold Up in the Lab"

Previous seedcorn grants

  • 2017-18

    • Andrea Albertazzi (Department of Economics): “Cheating in the lab vs Cheating in the field”
    • Dr Dominik Duell (Department of Government): “The Recklessness of Others: How Group Identity Shapes our Perception of Risk”
    • Elisabetta Leni (Department of Economics): “Emotions, belief management and trust”
    • Dawn Liu (Department of Psychology, with Dr. Marie Juanchich): “The effect of verbal and numerical quantity formats on the framing of food information”
    • Zia-Ul-Hassan Khan (Department of Economics, with Dr. Friederike Mengel): “Moral Norms and Tax Avoidance: A Rule Utilitarian and Planned Behaviour Approach”
    • Katherine McCulloch (Department of Psychology, with Dr. Rick O’Gorman): “Disgust in Response to Harm or Incompetence in Ingroup and Outgroup members”
    • Dr Aharash Dianat (Department of Economics): “Implementing Ordinal Games in the Lab”
    • Elisabetta Leni (Department of Economics): “Affects, belief management and trust”
    • Dawn Liu (Department of Psychology, with Dr. Marie Juanchcich): “A double framing effect for words: Investigating the role of directional focus in magnifying framing effects with verbal quantifiers”
    • Dr Josue Ortega (Department of Economics, with Erel Segal-Halevi): “Strategic Behaviour in Fair Division Problems”
  • 2016-17

    • Ludovica Orlandi (Department of Economics): "The effect of being an only-child on prosocial behaviours and learning process from experience"
    • Dr Patrick Lown (Department of Government): "Empathy and the Opposition: Does Empathy Extend to Rival Ideological Groups?"
    • Christine Stednitz (Department of Government): "The role of self-esteem in citizens’ receptiveness of counter-attitudinal political information"
    • Professor Hugh Ward (Department of Government): "A Failure of Imagination: How cultural differences impede empathy and the flow of foreign aid"
    • Dr Claire Delle Luche (Department of Language and Linguistics): "Phonological skeletons are the backbone of words: explaining the consonant bias in lexical processing"
    • Dr Gabriela Adela Gánem-Gutiérrez (Department of Language and Linguistics): "The relative effectiveness of different second language teaching materials and their relationship to individual learner differences"
    • Kan Ting Yan Rachel (Department of Language and Linguistics): "Production of Cantonese Sounds in Heritage Language Speakers"
    • Professor Monika Schmid (Department of Language and Linguistics): "The role of the mental representation of grammar for cognitive skill development in bilinguals"
    • Alastair Thorpe (Department of Psychology): "On patients’ decisions to request antibiotics from their GPs"
    • Dr Geoff Cole (Department of Psychology): "Action observation and economic decision making"
    • Ben Fenner (Department of Psychology): "Timing the Senses"
    • Dr Helge Gillmeister (Department of Psychology: "Treating human bodies as objects of fitness is anything but healthy"
    • Dawn Liu (Department of Psychology): "Framing our Food: How the presentation of nutritional information affects interpretational and decision-making processes in judging the healthiness of food."
    • Dr Jonathan Rolison (Department of Psychology): "The consideration of consequences across adulthood"
    • Burak Sonmez (Department of Sociology): "How Do People Get Responsibilized through Different Types of Voluntary Organizations?"
  • 2015-16

    • Jordi Asher (Department of Psychology): “Perceptual learning and Plasticity in the Visual System”
    • Dr Claire Delle Luche (Department of Language and Linguistics): “Normalising a picture database for English”
    • Dr Marie Juanchich (Department of Psychology): “Explaining the Cognitive Reflection Test gender gap”
    • Sergio Lo Iacono (Department of Sociology): “Social Embeddedness and Generalized Trust: An Experimental Test of the Spillover Effect”
    • Daniel Redhead (Department of Psychology): “The Effects of Prestige and Dominance on Social Network Position and Structure”
    • Dr Steven Samuel (Department of Language and Linguistics): “Perceptual Differences in Monolinguals and Bilinguals”
    • Dr Miroslav Sirota (Department of Psychology): “Bayesian Inference from Experience: Automatic or Effortful?”
  • 2014-15

    • Stefano Alderighi (Department of Economics): “Rationality as a state of mind: does anxiety influence economic choices?”
    • Denise Laroze (Department of Government, with Dr David Hugh Jones): “An Experimental Study on the Effect of Policy Positions on Coalition Formation”
    • Dr Federica Genovese (Department of Government, with Dr Florian Kern): “Estimating the Effect of Distances and Emotions on Public Opinions of Immigration”
    • Dr Alita Nandi (Institute for Social and Economic Research): "The self-enforcing [cognitive] effects of gender discrimination”
    • Duygu Ozdemir (Institute for Social and Economic Research): “Conformity in Leader Appointment Decisions: An Experimental Study”
    • Alexander Wenz (Institute for Social and Economic Research): “An experimental analysis of the impact of survey instrument design on data quality and response behaviour in tablet-based web surveys”
  • 2013-14

    • Dr Silvia Avram (Institute for Social and Economic Research): “Framing effects and loss aversion in labour supply responses to work disincentives: Is there an endowment effect?”
    • Nadine Chlass (Department of Economics): “How do people reason in dynamic games?”
    • Chris Claassen (Department of Government): “The Moral Economy of Participation in Intergroup Violence”
    • Natasha Crawford (Institute for Social and Economic Research): “Ethnic differences in perception of socio-economic position”
    • Emily Gilbert (Institute for Social and Economic Research): “Class dis-identification and cultural preferences: experimental evidence from a student population”
    • Sara Godoy (Faculty of Social Sciences): “Paying to Punish in Public Goods Games”
    • Zia Ul Hassan (Department of Economics): "The Relationship Between Tax Complexity and Compliance"
    • Elisabetta Leni (Department of Economics): "Trust and Reciprocity or Living Up to Expectations?"
    • Dr Philip Hofmeister (Department of Language and Linguistics): “Similarity-based interference and elaboration during reading”
    • Denise Laroze (Department of Government): “Party Endorsement Institutions and Independent Candidates, an Experiment on the Effect of Primaries”
    • Denise Laroze (Department of Government): “An Experimental Study on the Effect of Policy Positions on Coalition Formation”
    • Dr Pablo Lucas (Essex Business School): “Individual Risk-taking in Publics Goods”
    • Dr Patrick Nolen (Economics): “Gender and Psychological Pressure in Competitive Environments”
    • Duygu Ozdemir (Institute for Social and Economic Research): “Gender, Leadership and Group Dynamics in Leader Appointment Decisions: An Experimental Study”
    • Elisa Sibley (Institute for Social and Economic Research): “Values, traits and trust”
    • Dr Dimitri Vinogradov (Essex Business School): “Weighting probabilities in ambiguity”
    • Professor Simon Weidenholzer (Department of Economics): “Observability and Collective Punishment in Social Dilemmas”
    • Anna Wilke (Department of Government): “Contested Group Identities and Inter-Group Biases – Evidence from the Case of Taiwan and China”
    • Dr Becky Wright (Department of Psychology): “Negative affect and charitable giving: The role of sadness and disgust in pro-social behaviour”
  • 2012-13

    • Nathaniel Ashby (Department of Psychology): “Taste uncertainty and the endowment effect: empirical tests of the reference dependent subjective expected utility theory”
    • Professor Andrea Galeotti (Department of Economics): “Experiment on Financial Networks”
    • Alexander Hammond (Department of Government): “Don’t read all about it! How Affective Intelligence and Cognitive Dissonance compete in our understanding of political information processing”
    • Ginny He (Department of Economics): “Birth Order, Altruism, and Trust”
    • Dr Olena Kaminska (Institute for Social and Economic Research): “Improving reports to sensitive survey questions”
    • David Reinstein (Department of Economics): “The Effect of the Anticipated Ask: Charitable Giving, Real Effort, and Combined Experiments”
    • Espen Sjoberg (Department of Psychology): “Sex differences in cognitive inhibition”
    • Professor Paul Whiteley (Department of Government): “An experimental study of the mechanism explaining dishonesty in reported voting behaviour”
    • Dr Nan Zhao (Department of Language and Linguistics): “Lexical and syntactic determinants of interpreting difficulty: An eyetracking study”

Help with your experiment

If you have an idea for experimental research but you're not sure how to develop your research design, we can help you: