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The role of executive functions in early word learning

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

When learning the meaning of novel words, children tend to focus on different features of potential referents compared to adults (e.g. the shape of objects rather than their functions (Merriman et al., 1993)). This project aims to investigate how far such biases are related to executive function abilities such as inhibitory control. It will involve testing children in the preschool years and early school years as well as adult controls. Testing will be conducted in nurseries/schools and/or the Birmingham Infant and Child Laboratory. The student will be jointly supervised by Dr. A. Krott (University of Birmingham) and Dr. L. Cragg (University of Nottingham). Funding will be sought from ESRC Doctoral Training Networks at Birmingham and Nottingham.

Applicants should have a very good bachelors degree, strong interest in developmental psychology/ language development, and have excellent oral and written communication skills. Previous work with children is a plus.

Note that the ESRC studentships are very competitive and a degree lower than a first class degree is unlikely to be awarded funding. Applicants with independent funding are encouraged to apply, even if they did obtain a lower degree classification than a first class degree.

Funding Notes

Funding can be sought through the ESRC Doctoral Training Centres at the University of Birmingham and Nottingham. Funding is not guaranteed and is highly competitive.

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)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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