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Multimodal understanding of intentional decision in the human brain

   Cardiff School of Psychology

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  Dr J Zhang  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Our environment constantly demands decisions, and we can intentionally make decisions to fulfill our goals and desires. How does the human brain decide based on intention? What may influence our intentional decisions? This research aims to address to address these long-standing questions in human cognition.

Your specific project may include, brain imaging experiments across multiple modalities (functional and diffusion MRI, MR spectroscopy and MEG) to study the neurobiology of decision-making, computational modelling of brain dynamics during the decision process or statistical modelling on the individual differences in intentional decision.

We encourage candidates from different disciplines (e.g., cognitive/computational neuroscience, psychology, computer science, engineering, mathematics or physics). You will receive multidisciplinary training in cognitive neuroscience, brain imaging and computational modelling. You will be based at Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) and be part of a thriving research team. CUBRIC houses state-of-the-art brain imaging facilities and world-leading expertise, with 4 human MRI systems (2 x Siemens Prisma, 1 x Siemens Connectom, 1 x Siemens 7T), MEG, EEG, TMS, tDCS, clinical research units and testing labs. Further details can be found on our webpage (

This 3-year PhD studentship is part-funded by the European Research Council.

Funding Notes

The studentships will commence in October 2019, and will cover your tuition fees (at UK/EU level) as well as a maintenance grant. In 2018-19 the maintenance grant for full-time students was £14,777 per annum. As well as tuition fees and a maintenance grant, all School of Psychology students receive conference and participant money (approx. £2250 for the duration of the studentship). They also receive a computer and office space, additional funding for their research, and access to courses offered by the University’s Doctoral Academy and become members of the University Doctoral Academy.


As only one studentship is available and a very high standard of applications is typically received, you are likely to have a good first degree (a First or Upper Second Class BSc Honours or equivalent) and/or be distinguished by having relevant research experience.

You can apply online - consideration is automatic on applying for a PhD in Psychology, with an October 2019 start date (programme code RFPDPSYA). Please specify in the funding section that you wish to be considered for ERC funding.

Please specify that you are applying for this particular project.

Application deadline: 10 June 2019 with interviews (either in person or by Skype) being held on or around end of June and decisions being made by July.
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