PhD in Social/ Cognitive Neuroscience & Social Robotics

Fully funded 3 year PhD studentship

Prof. Emily S. Cross

Qualification type: PhD                             
Location: School of Psychology, Bangor University, Wales
Closes: 11:59pm, Weds 31st January 2018                                                         
Funding amount: The studentship 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 any time before October 2018

Applications are invited for two three-year fully funded PhD studentships 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 can commence any time between March – October, 2018. These studentships are funded by the European Research Council and are part of the ERC Starting Grant ‘Social Robots’, awarded to Prof. Cross, which runs between 2016 -2021. These appointments will remain open until filled by suitable candidates.

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.

Project

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 projects 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 projects are flexible depending on candidates’ interest and expertise, but should broadly relate to how long-term experience with artificial agents shapes social perception and interaction.

Requirements

Applicants are expected to have a first 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.  

Further information

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 e.cross@bangor.ac.uk

Residency requirements

This studentship is open to UK, EU and International students with outstanding grades in a relevant undergraduate/masters discipline.

Application requirements

All applications submitted on Bangor’s online system must include a current CV, a 1-page cover letter explaining their motivation to apply for one of these PhD positions, and a 3-5 page research proposal covering a topic relevant to the laboratory’s research in this domain. Applications that do not include all three of these elements will not be evaluated.

General information

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.

General enquiries

For administrative advice about how to apply and eligibility, please contact Everil McQuarrie: e.mcquarrie@bangor.ac.uk   

The online application form is available here: https://apps.bangor.ac.uk/applicant/