PhD Position in Social/Cognitive Neuroscience
Qualification Type: PhD
Location: School of Psychology, Bangor University, Wales
Closes: Applications are being considered on a rolling basis - a firm deadline for an October 2017 start date will be posted here in due course
Funding amount: The studenships covers the full cost of tuition fees for Home/EU/International PhD students, plus a maintenance stipend per annum for 3 years and a research allowance of £500 per annum for 3 years
Hours: Full Time, commencing October 2017
Applications are invited for a three-year fully funded PhD studentship under the supervision of Prof. Emily S. Cross within the School of Psychology, Bangor University. The student will be a member of the School’s thriving Social Neuroscience research group, which meets regularly to present and discuss planned and on-going projects as well as important developments in the field. The studentship will commence from October 2016 (with an option to start in Oct 2016 or January or October 2017). This studentship is funded by the European Research Council as part of the ERC Starting Grant ‘Social Robots’, awarded to Prof. Cross, which runs between 2016 -2021. This appointment will remain open until filled by a suitable candidate.
Bangor’s School of Psychology was established in 1963 and now has one of the largest student cohorts in the UK and a cosmopolitan feel due to the presence of staff and students from over 20 countries. It has consistently performed exceptionally well in the UK’s annual National Student Survey and is currently ranked in the top 20 in the 2014 REF. Bangor is a friendly and affordable university town, with good transport links, located in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK, situated between the picturesque peaks and valleys of Snowdonia National Park and the golden beaches of the Isle of Anglesey.
The broad aim of the ‘Social Robots’ project is to explore the brain and behavioural mechanisms underpinning experience-dependent plasticity during human-robot interactions. The advertised PhD project may involve fMRI, TMS, EMG or fNIRS with healthy young adult, older adult, or child populations, as well as longitudinal training interventions with sophisticated humanoid robots. The individual PhD project is flexible depending on the candidate's interest and expertise, but should broadly relate to how long-term experience with artificial agents shapes social perception and interaction.
Sample titles below are for illustrative purposes – the successful candidate will agree actual title with supervisor:
1) PhD Position charting neuroplasticity among long-term Human-Robot Interaction
2) PhD Position studying Human-Robot Interactions Among the Elderly
Applicants are expected to have a first or upper second-class degree in experimental psychology or neuroscience and a relevant Masters qualification (if European-based), and/or a strong GPA from a 4 year undergraduate degree with some research experience (if North American/Australasian-based). Applicants should have excellent organizational skills, be highly motivated and creative, enjoy working in a vibrant collaborative research environment, and be able to communicate effectively, with evidence of strong scientific writing skills particularly important. Moreover, experience with human neuroscience techniques (fMRI, TMS, EEG) and programming skills (e.g. Matlab) are desirable, especially if interested in pursuing fMRI-based studies during the PhD.
When submitting your PhD application materials on the online application site (see link below), please ensure that your application includes a project-relevant research proposal. The length and detail of the research proposal is entirely up to individual applicants. This is for the interview panel to get an idea of how potential candidates write and think about addressing research questions. While the overarching Social Robots project has a number of individual experiments outlined and ready to go, the individual PhD projects are somewhat open in terms of many aspects of the research, so long as the programme of research broadly addresses questions about experience-dependent plasticity in brain and behaviour with respect to human-robot interactions. Naturally the submitted research proposal does not set in stone what any possible candidate might actually end up studying, should he or she be offered a position - at this stage, it is simply a tool to help the hiring panel evaluate how research-ready individual applicants are.
Please visit the Social Brain in Action Laboratory website (www.soba-lab.com) for more information about the lab, as well as links to publications. More specific information about the Social Robots project can be found at www.so-bots.com. Informal enquiries should be directed to email@example.com
This studentship is open to UK, EU and International students.
PhD students are expected to contribute to teaching in the department. The initial appointment for both positions will be for a period of one year, with an extension of 2 years after positive evaluation of capabilities and compatibility. Each appointment must lead to the completion of a PhD thesis.
For administrative advice about how to apply or specific questions about eligibility, please contact Julie Boulton: firstname.lastname@example.org
The online application form is available here: https://apps.bangor.ac.uk/applicant/
The SoBA Lab is an international research group housed in the School of Psychology at Bangor University, which offers access to outstanding facilities for Social and Cognitive Neuroscience. The university town of Bangor is situated in a beautiful region of North Wales close to the golden beaches of Anglesey and the picturesque peaks of Snowdonia National Park, which provide a stunning natural backdrop to professional activities.