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Understanding learning experiences of autistic children in special needs schools through better understanding the indoor environment


About This PhD Project

Project Description

Apply to the University of Reading for a place to study by Monday 20 January 2020.
Apply for SeNSS studentship funding by 12.00pm on Monday 2 March 2020.

This competition is open to UK and EU nationals only, subject to certain conditions (https://senss-dtp.ac.uk/apply).

This multidisciplinary research project covered by this studentship aims to improve the learning experience of autistic children in special needs schools. There are two specific aims to the study:

1. to evaluate the perceived and physical indoor environmental quality in special-needs schools for autistic children.
2. to elucidate if indoor environmental quality is related to cognitive performance, sensory reactivity, and classroom behaviour of autistic school children.

The successful candidate will join a thriving postgraduate research community of more than 70 PhD students who benefit from excellent support and resources from the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences (www.reading.ac.uk/pcls) and membership of the University Graduate School (www.reading.ac.uk/graduateschool), the Centre for Autism (www.reading.ac.uk/autism), and will spend time with the collaborative partner Autistica.

Training Opportunities


A comprehensive package of training will be agreed in consultation with the supervisors. Elements of training will be provided by the supervisors, University of Reading, and by other providers.

Applicants: essential and/or desirable attributes/skills


The student will have excellent interpersonal skills and some experience of working with children, particularly with autistic children and in school settings would be valuable. The student will need to be able to obtain an enhanced DBS in order to pursue this project.

Studentship Details


This studentship may be taken as either a 1+3 year award (a one-year MSc followed by a three-year PhD), or a +3 award (a three-year PhD)

• It may be taken full-time or part-time
• The studentship award covers your university fees, and provides you with a stipend of £15,009 per year
• You will also be able to apply for small amounts of additional funding via the SeNSS Research Training Support Grant

How to apply for this studentship


In order to be considered for this SeNSS studentship, you must first apply for a place to study University of Reading, noting that you are applying for the collaborative studentship. Please go to University of Reading, How to apply for a PhD for information on how to make your application - http://www.reading.ac.uk/graduateschool/how-to-apply/gs-how-to-apply-pgr.aspx

In the ‘scholarship applied for’ box, please quote reference GS20-001.

You will then need to make a separate application to SeNSS for this collaborative studentship. Please read the SeNSS Collaborative Studentship Application Guidance Notes before completing our online application form. The Guidance Notes are available at the bottom of the following webpage: Applying for a SeNSS collaborative studentship - http://senss-dtp.ac.uk/applying-for-a-senss-collaborative-studentship/

Starting date


On or about 1 October 2020.

Enquiries email name and address


For queries relating to the Reading application process, please email
For queries related to the project itself, please email Dr Teresa Tavassoli ()

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