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Developmental Psychopathology and Brain Imaging PhD: Characterizing sex difference in conduct disorder

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  • Full or part time
    Dr S De Brito
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Applications are invited for a PhD to begin in October 2017. A number of competitive PhD studentships are available to cover home/EU tuition fees and a tax-free maintenance grant for 3 years (£14,296/ year in 2016/17). International Students from outside the EU may apply, but may be liable for the difference between UK/EU and International (Overseas) tuition fees.

Available studentships are listed here: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding/FundingFilter.aspx


The successful applicant will be based in the Birmingham University Imaging Centre (BUIC) within the School of Psychology, and would be supervised by Dr Stephane De Brito. The School of Psychology ranked 5th in the UK for its world-leading (4*) research, making it one of the best stand-alone Psychology schools in the country.

The proposed project, which is funded by the FP7 programme of the European Commission, involves characterising the neurobiology of antisocial behaviour in children and adolescents, with a particular focus on female adolescents. The study will involve both cross-sectional and longitudinal approaches, and data collection will occur at multiple sites across Europe. The Birmingham arm of the project will involve diagnostic interviewing, neuropsychological testing, structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). For additional information, please see www.femnat-cd.eu.

The Ph.D. student will work with the Principal Investigator, Dr Stephane De Brito, the Post-doctoral Research Fellow, two PhD students, and a Research Assistant to recruit participants, carry out diagnostic interviews, neuropsychological testing, and help collect structural/functional magnetic resonance imaging data, and DNA samples. The successful candidate would play a key role in analysing data, preparing scientific articles for publication, and disseminating results at scientific conferences and project meetings. He/she will gain experience of working with clinical populations and undergo training in the collection and analysis of behavioural, neuropsychological and brain imaging data. He/she will also learn to carry out diagnostic interviews using DSM-5 criteria.

Applicants would ideally have or be close to obtaining a M.Sc. in Developmental Psychopathology, Cognitive/Clinical Neuroscience, Neuroimaging, with at least a 2.1 in their first degree. However, we would also consider applications from talented graduates with prior experience in brain imaging. A high level of motivation and excellent interpersonal and organisational skills are essential. Prior experience of working with adolescents or clinical populations, and advanced statistical skills such as multi-level modelling, would be advantageous.

***IMPORTANT*** Prior to submitting a PhD application to the University of Birmingham, all interested candidates should first contact Dr Stephane De Brito at [email protected] Following this, only applicants with the most competitive CV will be requested to submit a PhD application using the University of Birmingham on-line application system. In order for the application to be processed quickly, candidates should submit a personal statement, CV, 2 references, and transcript of grades. A project proposal is not necessary at this stage.

****IMPORTANT****Only applicants who will be offered a place to study for a PhD after an interview will be eligible to apply for the PhD studentships.

For information, a copy of the on-line PhD application form and guidance notes can be found at the following website:

For any enquiries about the application process, please contact Dr De Brito ([email protected]) or the Graduate School Administrative Officer, Vids Patel (Tel: +44(0)121 414 2864/4906; Email: [email protected])


Sebastian, C. L., De Brito, S. A., McCrory, E. J., Hyde, Z. H., Lockwood, P. L., Cecil, C. A., & Viding, E. (2015). Grey Matter Volumes in Children with Conduct Problems and Varying Levels of Callous-Unemotional Traits. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology. doi:10.1007/s10802-015-0073-0

Baker, R. H., Clanton, R. L., Rogers, J. C., & De Brito, S. A. (2015). Neuroimaging findings in disruptive behavior disorders. CNS Spectrums. doi: 10.1017/S1092852914000789

Viding, E., Sebastian, C. L., Dadds, M. R., Lockwood, P. L., Cecil, C. A. M., De Brito, S. A., & McCrory, E. J. (2012). Amygdala response to preattentive masked fear in children with conduct problems: The role of callous-unemotional traits. American Journal of Psychiatry, 169(10), 1109-1116. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2012.12020191

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

FTE Category A staff submitted: 40.80

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

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