Improving eyewitness memory retrieval and recognition: From police investigations to the courtroom


   Department of Psychology

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  Dr Renan Saraiva, Dr Stefana Juncu, Prof Lorraine Hope  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Applications are invited for a self-funded, 3 year full-time or 6 year part-time PhD project.

The PhD will be based in the Department of Psychology and will be supervised by Dr Renan Saraiva, Dr Stefana Juncu and Prof Lorraine Hope.

 The work on this project will:

  • Examine the effect of estimator and system variables on eyewitness memory performance
  • Test novel methods to improve eyewitness interview and identification procedures
  • Improve the evaluation of eyewitness evidence by jurors, judges and other triars of fact.

Project description

Eyewitness evidence is often at the core of criminal investigations and prosecutions, directly impacting the outcome of court proceedings. However, it is well known that evidence produced by eyewitnesses can be subjected to contamination and distortion, causing severe negative consequences in the criminal justice system. This project aims to contribute to this important theme of forensic psychology by investigating: i) factors that may compromise eyewitness evidence; ii) potential improvements to eyewitness interview and identification procedures; and iii) examining how jurors, judges and other triars of fact perceive and evaluate eyewitness evidence. This PhD is aimed at making important contributions to the field of eyewitness memory with theoretical and applied value.

General admissions criteria

You'll need a good first degree from an internationally recognised university (minimum upper second class or equivalent, depending on your chosen course) or a Master’s degree in Psychology or a related area. In exceptional cases, we may consider equivalent professional experience and/or Qualifications. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Specific candidate requirements 

You'll need to demonstrate a passion for forensic psychology and applied cognition. Experience with quantitative data collection and analysis as well as experience designing studies and producing research materials is desirable.

How to Apply

We’d encourage you to contact Dr Renan Saraiva  ([Email Address Removed]) to discuss your interest before you apply, quoting the project code.

When you are ready to apply, please follow the 'Apply now' link on the Psychology PhD subject area page and select the link for the relevant intake. Make sure you submit a personal statement, proof of your degrees and grades, details of two referees, proof of your English language proficiency and an up-to-date CV.  Our ‘How to Apply’ page offers further guidance on the PhD application process. 

When applying please quote project code: PSYCH200224


Psychology (31)

Funding Notes

Self-funded PhD students only.
PhD full-time and part-time courses are eligible for the UK Government Doctoral Loan (UK students only).
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