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Sensory Enhanced Satiety; Understanding the impact of oro-sensory cues on food choice, energy selection and intake

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  • Full or part time
    Dr N Buckland
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted

Project Description

Addressing the serious public health challenges posed by the obesogenic environment requires changes in food formulation and dietary behaviours. Using food sensory properties, it is possible to support healthier diets and inform the development of behavioural and dietary strategies for improved management of chronic conditions such as obesity and Type 2 diabetes.

This project will build on previous work conducted in the UK and Singapore that has investigated the perceived and actual nutritional and sensory characteristics associated with satiety (e.g. work in the UK has established a ‘Satiety Map’ to index the expected satiety value and related nutritional and perceptual characteristics of UK foods, see Buckland et al., 2015). The project will involve conducting online surveys and parallel laboratory studies in the UK and Singapore to investigate the nutritional, sensory and perceptual characteristics related to expected satiety for a comprehensive range of UK and Singaporean foods. The identified satiety-related characteristics will then be modified, and effects on subjective appetite (e.g. hunger) and actual food intake will be assessed in the laboratory. Across the studies conducted, the project will also assess the role of individual differences in expected and objectively assessed satiety (e.g. food responsiveness).

This A*STAR Research Attachment Programme (ARAP) provides an exciting opportunity for a PhD student to conduct research in the UK and Singapore. As part of the ARAP programme, in the first two years, the student will undertake research at the University of Sheffield (Department of Psychology) and in the final two years, the student will continue their research at the Clinical Nutrition Research Centre in Singapore. Over the four years, the student will be supervised by Dr Nicola Buckland (UK supervisor) and Dr Ciarán Forde (Singapore Supervisor).

Applicant requirements
• Undergraduate degree in Psychology, Food Science, Nutrition or a related discipline (2.1 or above).
• Evidence of a genuine interest in human appetite and/or obesity research.
• Willingness to develop knowledge and understanding necessary to conduct the research.
• Knowledge of quantitative research design and the appropriate statistics for data treatment.
• Good IT and computing skills including MS Word, MS Excel and SPSS (or other statistical software).
• Excellent oral and written communication skills.

• Master’s degree in Psychology, Food Science, Nutrition or a related discipline
• Relevant experience in appetite-related research at Undergraduate and/or Postgraduate levels.
• Experience with conducting data collection using online methods (e.g. Qualtrics) and laboratory studies.

Other requirements
• During the first two years, the student needs to be based within a commutable distance to Sheffield, UK.
• During the third and fourth year, the student will need to be physically based in Singapore at the Clinical Nutrition Research Centre.

Your application for this studentship should be accompanied by a CV and a 500-word maximum supporting statement. In your supporting statement, you should describe how you would use cognitive and/or sensory cues in a study to investigate consumer perception of food, and the impact on food intake and satiety. Your supporting statement should also outline your reasons for applying for this PhD, outline any relevant experience and describe how this PhD fits with your long-term career plans.

For enquiries, please contact either Dr Nicola Buckland ([Email Address Removed]) or Dr Ciarán Forde ([Email Address Removed]).

Funding Notes

The studentship covers tuition fees and stipend for UK and EU students with the right to live in the UK.
Funding when in Sheffield:
• Annual living allowance (stipend) of £15,285 (tax free)
• Students may be able to claim up to £500 from Sheffield towards costs of an airfare back to the UK whilst in Singapore in order to make a home visit
Funding when in Singapore:
• Monthly living allowance of SGD$2,500 (~£1,050)
• One-time airfare grant of S$1,500 (~£630)
• One-time settling-in allowance of S$1,000 (~£420)
• Medical insurance
• Housing subsidy
• Conference allowance


Buckland, N.J., et al., (2015). Towards a satiety map of common foods…..Physiology & Behavior, 152:340-346.

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 34.45

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

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