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Understanding human control of skilled actions

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  • Full or part time
    Dr R Wilkie
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The PhD project will use sophisticated laboratory-based measures (including virtual reality computer simulations, eye-tracking and EEG methods) to understand how humans perceive and act on the world. Whilst the specific research questions will be largely driven by the PhD student, the research will be supported with an EPSRC funded project (PI: Wilkie) examining the perceptual-motor performance limits of drivers regaining steering control from an automated vehicle. The PhD student will work on a parallel project that investigates in detail the perceptual information and neural processing that is crucial for performing successful actions. The research findings arising from the project will be presented at international conferences and submitted to peer reviewed journals.


The successful candidate will join the Perception – Action – Cognition laboratory in the University of Leeds. This group is based in the School of Psychology which belongs to the Faculty of Medicine and Health, but has strong collaborative links with a number of other Schools and Institutes across different faculties, including the Institute for Transport Studies (ITS), Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science and Rehabilitation Medicine. PAClab also has international links with groups in Norway, Finland, the Netherlands, Spain, France, Canada and the USA. The candidate will join a cohort of several PhD students and post-docs working on themes around perception-action-cognition including developmental disorders, skilled performance (driving, surgery, dentistry) and healthy ageing (postural control, falls and rehabilitation).


You should hold a strong degree (equivalent to at least a UK upper second class honours degree) in a relevant area of psychology, neuroscience, engineering and/or computing. The project will involve experimental design, software developments (computer graphics experience desirable), data collection and analysis, and dissemination (writing papers and presenting at conferences). You should not already have been awarded a doctoral degree.

The Faculty minimum requirements for candidates whose first language is not English are:

• British Council IELTS - score of 6.5 overall, with no element less than 6.0
• TOEFL iBT - overall score of 92 with the listening and reading element no less than 21, writing element no less than 22 and the speaking element no less than 23.

How to Apply

To apply for this scholarship applicants should complete a Faculty Scholarship Application form using the link below http://medhealth.leeds.ac.uk/download/4087/fmh_scholarship_application_form_2018_19 and send this alongside a full academic CV, degree certificates and transcripts (or marks so far if still studying) to the Faculty Graduate School [Email Address Removed]

We also require 2 academic references to support your application. Please ask your referees to send these references on your behalf, directly to [Email Address Removed] by no later than Monday 19 March 2018

If you have already applied for other scholarships using the Faculty Scholarship Application form you do not need to complete this form again. Instead you should email [Email Address Removed] to inform us you would like to be considered for this scholarship project.

Any queries regarding the application process should be directed to [Email Address Removed]

Informal enquiries about the nature of the project can be direct to Dr Richard Wilkie ([Email Address Removed])

Funding Notes

This studentship will attract an annual tax-free stipend of £14,553 for up to 3 years, subject to satisfactory progress and will cover the UK/EU tuition fees. This funding is provided by an EPSRC grant. The expected starting date is October 2018.

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