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Can alterations in learning and decision-making predict outcomes in people with mental illness?

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  • Full or part time
    Dr K Diederen
    Dr T Spencer
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Effective learning and decision-making are crucial for adaptive behaviour. Alterations in these processes are central to major psychiatric illnesses including schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder and depression. Emerging evidence suggests that alterations in learning and decision-making may be an accurate predictor of clinical outcomes in people with severe mental illnesses.

The successful candidate will join our efforts to employ large-scale online testing to longitudinally assess learning and decision-making in people at risk for, and with early mental illness. Brain imaging will be used in a subset of the participants to identify the neurobiological substrates of the observed changes in learning and decision-making. Prior experience working with clinical populations, excellent statistical skills and the aptitude to learn and work with html, bash, R, Python and Matlab are highly desirable.

We will provide training on (i) specific skills required to successfully carry out and complete the research project, (ii) general academic training (e.g., conference presentations, literature review and writing scientific manuscripts) and (iii) personal development goals and transferable skills.

The Department of Psychosis Studies is based at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN) which is Europe’s largest centre for research and postgraduate education in psychiatric research, including a thriving network of PhD students. The IoPPN is directly integrated with several NHS Trusts which provides a unique opportunity to carry out large-scale patient studies. In the latest Research Excellence Framework, the impact of the research undertaken at the IoPPN was judged 100 per cent world-leading or internationally excellent.

Please note: Interviews are taking place on Friday 19th July 2019 & Tuesday 23rd July 2019.

Funding Notes

Fully funded for three years, Home/EU tuitions fees (studentship not available to Overseas applicants) and an annual stipend.

In the Funding section, please tick box 5 and include the following reference: PSYCH-KD-2019


All admissions applications require two supporting references. If the applicant is relying on his/her referees to submit references directly to the College after he/she has submitted his/her admissions application, then the applicant must ensure that their chosen referees are made aware of the funding deadline.

References must be received by the deadline for the applicant to be eligible.

Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

How good is research at King’s College London in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 238.88

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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