Fully Funded PhD Studentship Centre for Research in Human Development and Learning

Closing date for applications: 29th August 2013

An ESRC 1+3 studentship is available linked to an ESRC research grant awarded to Prof. Gavin Bremner (Lancaster) and Dr Alan Slater (Exeter). The project funded by this grant involves a series of experiments aiming at a systematic analysis of infants’ object tracking in tasks used to support claims that young infants understand addition and subtraction operations. The main project will involve both violation of expectancy (VoE) and eye-tracking methods and will manipulate the number, featural identity and location of the object in the task. There are structural similarities between these tasks the Piagetian A not B search task, in which search errors may also be clarified by systematic manipulation of the position and identity of the objects concerned. Thus complementary to the direction of the main project, the Ph.D. student will commence her/his research with parallel manipulations of infant search tasks and will develop beyond that in a direction or directions negotiated between student and supervisor (Prof. Gavin Bremner). Possible topics include investigation of the importance of social interaction between investigator object tracking and search tasks and the role of that in guiding infants’ action. Applicants should submit a 300-500 word proposal of how they see their research developing from the project outlined above.

The department has a very strong and vibrant research atmosphere, and a large group of developmental psychologists working in the Centre for Research in Human Development and Learning. Our belief in inclusive excellence is demonstrated in the last, externally validated, research assessment exercise; every one of our academic staff was recognised as being research active, with 85% of our research outputs being of international standing. Details of our research expertise can be found at:  www.psych.lancs.ac.uk/research/

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The studentship will cover Home (UK/EU) fees, plus the current stipend for Research Council studentships, for up to four years.

We have excellent research facilities and a first class supervision record with a 100% submission success rate for our research council funded students. In addition, all our students receive their own research support budgets, which can be used to attend national and international conferences.

Applicants should have a good (2:i or above) undergraduate degree in Psychology or a related discipline. Applicants who already have an M.Sc. in psychology are also encouraged to apply. If the successful applicant has no Masters or a Masters degree that is not recognised as research training by the ESRC, she/he will first take the M.Sc. in Developmental Psychology at Lancaster, and will then proceed to the three year Ph.D. If the successful applicant holds an M.Sc. recognised as research training by ESRC, he/she will proceed directly to the Ph.D.

Further details concerning postgraduate study in psychology at Lancaster can be found at: www.psych.lancs.ac.uk/postgraduate/phd/

Expressions of interest may be sent to Prof. Gavin Bremner (j.g.bremner@lancaster.ac.uk ), including an up to date CV, cover letter and brief project proposal as above, by the deadline 29th August 2013. Interviews will be held on Thursday 5th September 2013 at Lancaster University.

The successful candidate will need to make a full application here if they have not already done so: www.lancs.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/how-to-apply-for-postgraduate-study/

For further information concerning the studentship topic, please contact Prof. Gavin Bremner (j.g.bremner@lancaster.ac.uk ), or about postgraduate study more generally, please contact Dr John Towse, Director of Graduate Studies (j.towse@lancaster.ac.uk ).

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