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Psychology Doctoral Research Scholarship - Neural impact of lifestyle challenges on cognition and wellbeing

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Monday, January 20, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

PhD studentship on the neural impact of lifestyle challenges on cognition and wellbeing - supervised by Dr Charlotte Rae

The Project:

Many lifestyle challenges, such as not getting enough sleep, are increasingly prevalent and impacting on physical, neural, and mental health. This project will examine the consequences that working patterns (such as part-time work) and sleep duration have on cognition and wellbeing. The project will use human neuroimaging (fMRI), physiological measurements (such as sleep monitoring with actigraphy), and behavioural tests of executive function and interoception, in healthy participants and in applied groups, such as sleep restricted individuals or students engaging in part-time work alongside study. A core part of this project will be using MRI brain scanning techniques, including network connectivity analyses, to understand the neural processes by which such lifestyle challenges affect impulsive behaviour and perception of bodily signals. This will give us a holistic understanding of the consequences for wellbeing across the domains of physical, neural, and mental health.

To discuss the details of your research interests further, please contact Dr Charlotte Rae ()


• This award will only pay fees at the Home/EU rate.
• International students may apply but must fund the difference between the Home/EU fees and International Fees (approximately £16,000 per year).
• Candidates must have, or expect to obtain, a First or a high Upper Second Class Honours undergraduate degree, or equivalent qualification, and/or a Master’s degree in Psychology, Neuroscience or other relevant discipline.
• Previous experience of computer programming, functional brain imaging (EEG, fMRI) or signal processing is desirable (although not a strict requirement).
• Candidates who demonstrate suitability for, and express interest in, the additional Doctoral Tutor role will be preferred.
• The University of Sussex believes that the diversity of its staff and student community is fundamental to creative thinking, pedagogic innovation, intellectual challenge, and the interdisciplinary approach to research and learning. We celebrate and promote diversity, equality and inclusion amongst our staff and students. As such, we welcome applications from all, regardless of personal characteristics or background.

Application Procedure:

• Please read our Psychology PhD FAQS at before you start your application.
• Please submit your application online for ’PhD in Psychology’ for entry in September 2020.
• In the ’Supervisor suggested by applicant’ section of your application, please put ’Dr C Rae’
• In the ’Proposed source of funding’ section of your application, please put ’Psychology Doctoral Research Scholarship’
• You should upload a document summarising any teaching experience you have and illustrating your suitability for a Doctoral Tutor role.
• International students who are liable to pay overseas fees should also explain their plan to cover the difference between home and overseas fees.

Funding Notes

You will be awarded a stipend for 3.25 years (tied to the UKRI studentship rates, currently £15,009 p.a.). UK/EU PhD fees and research/training costs are also covered.

You will also be offered a 3 year fixed term contract, as a Doctoral Tutor, to teach up to 165 hours per year (0.1FTE Grade 5.1 (currently £25,941 p.a. pro rata), covering contact time, preparation, and marking). You will be encouraged to study for a formal teaching accreditation and will enrol on a ‘starting to teach’ module in the first term before you begin teaching.


Research lies at the heart of the School of Psychology. Our cutting-edge research aims to enhance understanding and provide innovative approaches to key psychological challenges and issues. We are engaged in research across the broad range of the discipline.

The School of Psychology is one of the largest centres for the study of psychology in the UK. We have over 50 academic faculty, approximately 80 research students and more than 100 postgraduate students taking Master's degrees. Our undergraduate intake is over 500 a year, which gives us an academic community of well over 1000 people working in a rich and supportive learning environment.

How good is research at University of Sussex in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 41.40

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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