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PhD Studentship in Inspection and Reasoning during Fire Investigations

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  • Full or part time
    Dr A Hillstrom
    Prof N Donnelly
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About This PhD Project

Project Description

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship to commence in 2016. Pending attainment of funding, the studentship will provide employment at a Danish company with a generous salary and partial payment of PhD fees. It will also reimburse reasonable costs of travel incurred to conduct the research. The successful applicant will be based in the Centre for Vision and Cognition (CVC) in the Academic Unit of Psychology and will conduct research there, in Denmark and possibly in Sweden as well. The CVC forms a vibrant and highly active research community that will serve to support and help develop the student’s knowledge and research skills. The student will be supervised by a team consisting of Professor Nick Donnelly, Professor Simon Liversedge, Dr Anne Hillstrom, and others.

The project involves examining behaviour by trained fire investigators brought in by police to determine the sources of fires. Such tasks involve complex visual search, hypothesis generation and evaluation, use of extensive knowledge, and decision making. We wish to use this task to develop robust theories of visual search and inspection. The project is being run in conjunction with a Danish company that conducts fire investigations, whose aim is understand how to evaluate effective behaviour during such investigations, with an eye to improving training and setting standards. Some studies will be observations of natural behaviour, using eye tracking about position tracking to monitor the investigator, whereas other studies will be controlled experiments either in fire-investigation training facilities or in the CVC’s state-of-the-art eye-tracking laboratories.

Application deadline: 4 pm on Friday 12 February 2016.

Funding notes: This advertisement is aimed to select a candidate to name in our application for funding for an Industrial PhD from Innovation Fund Denmark. As such, if your application in response to this ad is successful, you would be selected now for an unfunded PhD place, with no uptake decision required until after the funders make a decision about the application for funding. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree with a very good classification and either have completed an M.Sc. in Psychology or a related subject or be about to complete one. The candidate must meet the requirements of the funding programme, which can be found at A high level of motivation, excellent interpersonal and organisational skills, and the ability to conduct research remote from close academic supervision are essential. Previous experience with eye-tracking or visual search research is highly desirable. The ability to comprehend spoken Danish is desirable, but not essential. If you have specific questions or would like to request more information about the above project, please contact Dr Anne Hillstrom ([Email Address Removed]; Tel 02380 591930).

Prospective candidates are required to apply for this PhD by applying for the PhD in Psychology (full-time) using the University of Southampton on-line application system. A copy of the on-line application form and guidance notes can be found at the following website:

Please indicate in the funding section of the application form that you wish to be considered specifically for this studentship, and e-mail Chris Baker ([Email Address Removed]) to indicate you have applied. For any enquiries about the application process, please contact the Graduate School Administrative Officer, Chris Baker (E-mail: [Email Address Removed] ; Tel 02380 592527).

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