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Self-images and autobiographical memory: elucidating the relationship between self and memory across the lifespan

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  • Full or part time
    Dr C Rathbone
    Dr L Wiggs
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Department of Psychology, Social Work and Public Health - competitive full time three year funded studentship

Eligibility: Home UK/EU applicants who must be permanently resident in UK/EU
Closing date: 24.00 (midnight) 12 April 2018
Duration: three years
Start date: September 2018
Value p.a.: Bursary of £14,777 plus fees
Supervisors: Dr Clare Rathbone and Dr Luci Wiggs

Project description:

This research studentship will elucidate the relationship between self and memory across the lifespan, in different clinical groups and, potentially, in relation to sleep/wake patterns. The knowledge we possess about ourselves is multi-faceted, dynamic, and closely related to our emotional well-being (Rathbone et al., 2015). By using ‘self-images’ (such as being a sister, a football fan, or an insomniac) as autobiographical memory cues we can examine the relationship between self and memory (e.g. the IAM Task; Rathbone et al., 2008), and explore the role that particularly self-relevant autobiographical memories play in mood and well-being. This project could also investigate the impact of sleep disturbance on autobiographical memory and conceptions of self.

There is further scope for examining the development of self and memory in childhood and adolescence, in clinical disorders such as depression, and/or in cases of memory impairment, depending on applicants’ particular areas of interest. This research project will employ a range of quantitative memory measures and tasks, and may involve the development of novel methodological approaches. There is an additional requirement to undertake up to 6 hours undergraduate teaching/week during semesters and to participate in a teaching skills course without further remuneration.

For further information contact Dr Clare Rathbone: [Email Address Removed]

Applicants should have (or be expecting) a first class or upper second class honours degree from a Higher Education Institution in the UK or acceptable equivalent qualification in psychology or related cognate discipline (knowledge of research design and statistics is essential). EU Applicants must have a valid IELTS Academic test certificate with an overall minimum score of 7.0 and no score below 6.0 issued since 7th March 2016 by an approved test centre. We are prepared to consider alternative acceptable evidence of English Language ability.

How to apply:
Applications should be sent to [Email Address Removed] and should include an application form
( and a project proposal (max 2000 words) including background, aims and an outline of how those aims will be addressed.

Completion of a DBS check is required on enrolment the cost of this will be covered by the University.

Funding Notes

Please note only EU/UK nationals/permanent residents are eligible to apply for this studentship. Please do not apply if you are not a UK/EU national/permanent resident. If you are not sure if you are eligible please contact Research Administrator, [Email Address Removed].


Rathbone, C.J., Holmes, E.A., Murphy, S.E. & Ellis, J.A. (2015). Autobiographical memory and well-being in aging: The central role of semantic self-images. Consciousness and Cognition, 33, 422–431.

Rathbone, C.J., Moulin, C.J.A., & Conway, M.A. (2008). Self-Centred Memories: the Reminiscence bump and the Self. Memory & Cognition, 36(8), 1403-14.

How good is research at Oxford Brookes University in Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 14.70

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

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