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Visual working memory limitations across the human lifespan.

   Department of Psychology

This project is no longer listed on and may not be available.

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  Dr Alicia Forsberg  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

We are looking for a PhD student on the topic of visual working memory limitations across the human lifespan. Depending on your interests, your project can focus on lifespan changes in any of the following (or a combination):

- The relationship between working memory and long-term memory

- The role of attention and the ability to resist distraction 

- Meta-memory/memory confidence

- Feature vs. object memory, feature-binding 

If you have a specific topic in mind, related to lifespan changes in working memory but not listed here, this might also be possible. 

You will design experiments and collect data from healthy young adults, with possibility to work with either older adults and/or children and adolescents if interested. The candidate will ideally (1) have prior experience in (or strong motivation to learn) programming and statistics, (2) be interested in Open Science principles (pre-registering hypotheses, methods, and analysis prior to data collection). 

Location: The University of Sheffield, with opportunities for collaboration with both UK and international colleagues. Main advisor: Dr Alicia Forsberg (, Co-advisor: Dr Claudia von Bastian ( We especially welcome applications from candidates who belong to traditionally under-represented groups. The studentship includes a 3.5-year stipend (approximately £15,840 per year) and covers UK home-student fees. 

Eligibility: The available funding will cover UK home-student fees. International students are welcome to apply but would need to source additional external funding to cover the higher fee levels that are applicable. Our usual entry requirements are at least a 2:1 or equivalent at undergraduate degree level and a pass at MSc level in psychology or a related subject. However, if an applicant has extensive research methods experience, or other relevant experience, an MSc may not be necessary. 

The University of Sheffield is one of the world's top universities, consistently ranked in the world top 100. The Psychology department has a vibrant PhD community (currently around 60 PhD students).

To apply please submit the following via the online portal:

• CV

• Degree transcript (list of courses and marks achieved so far)

• Contact details for two academic references

• Cover letter explaining: 

(1) Why you are interested in pursuing a PhD on the topic of lifespan changes in visual working memory (250 words maximum), 

(2) How and why you think your prior experience makes you a strong candidate for this position (250 words maximum)

(3) A brief research proposal describing the areas of lifespan visual working memory that interest you the most and a big picture idea of

an experiment you would be interested in conducting (250 words maximum).  

Start date is 1 October 2022.

Informal enquiries welcome to Dr Alicia Forsberg: [Email Address Removed] 

Funding Notes

This project is funded for up to 3.5 years by the University of Sheffield. Full tuition fees at UK home rates are covered, with a stipend of £15,840 p.a.

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

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

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