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3-year funded PhD studentship in cognitive neuroscience


   Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging Institute of Neurology

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  Prof C Press, Prof Clare Press  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Applications are invited for a 3-year funded PhD studentship in cognitive neuroscience, based across the Department of Psychological Sciences, Birkbeck, University of London (https://www.bbk.ac.uk/departments/psychology) and the Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging, UCL (https://www.fil.ion.ucl.ac.uk/). It will be under the supervision of Prof. Clare Press, PI of the Action and Perception group (https://www.fil.ion.ucl.ac.uk/team/action-and-perception/; https://psyc.bbk.ac.uk/actionlab/). The start date is negotiable. 

Perception and learning are often studied independently by cognitive neuroscientists, but a true understanding requires interrogating their inter-dependence. This project seeks to understand such interdependence – namely, how the brain uses our learnt expectations about the structure of the world to render perception useful for future learning (see Press, Kok, and Yon, 2020, “The Perceptual Prediction Paradox”, Trends in Cognitive Sciences; https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S136466131930261X).

We seek a highly motivated individual to join our team, for a project combining psychophysics and computational modelling, and at least one of MEG (time-resolved multivariate decoding analyses) and 7T fMRI (separating signals across cortical layers). The lab places high value on the development of robust, testable models of the brain (see Press, Yon, and Heyes, 2022, “Building Better Theories”; https://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/S0960-9822(21)01551-7.pdf) and the applicant should exhibit an interest in such development. The successful applicant will play a key role in shaping the questions we ask and the approach we take to answering them.

Applicants must have a BSc (high 2.1 minimum, or equivalent) or MSc (merit minimum, or equivalent) in a related discipline. An MSc in a neuroscience related discipline is desirable. It is essential that the applicant exhibits strong coding skills. Experience of coding experiments and analyses using MEG, fMRI and/or EEG is desirable. 

Deadline Tuesday 25th October 2022. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed in November.

Applicants should submit 1) a CV, 2) a cover letter summarising the nature of their research projects to date, why they are particularly interested in this position and what they bring to it, and their plans for the future (2 pages max), 3) a copy of their strongest single piece of academic work (e.g. thesis, publication), and 4) contact details of two referees. Please merge all documents into one file and label with “Press_ERCPhD2022_ [your surname]”. Please send this file to Prof. Press ([Email Address Removed]) by 25th October 2022. Prof. Press welcomes informal enquiries.


Funding Notes

The 36-month studentship is funded by an ERC Consolidator Grant. Overseas and EU students are encouraged to apply. A competitive package is offered to the successful applicant, including a stipend of £18,875 per annum, subject to annual increases. The requirement for the successful student to pay the tuition fees in relation to their studentship (which currently for a home student is £4,596 per annum and for an international student £13,500 per annum) will be waivered. The ERC Grant will also cover all research costs and travel and accommodation for attending conferences and workshops.
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