PhD Studentship Dissecting the biological risk factors in developmental dyslexia


Applications are invited from students who have at least a First Class or Upper Second Class Bachelor (Hons.) degree in a subject related to Psychology or Neuroscience, to undertake a research programme combining neuroimaging and neuropsychological approaches to understanding developmental dyslexia. A Masters degree in a relevant discipline would be advantageous; the ability to work with children and vulnerable populations is essential.

This studentship will investigate the links biological risk factors associated with poor reading and associated phenotypes. The project will investigate the link between dyslexia, structural and functional brain asymmetries and genetic risk factors, with particular emphasis on the the impact of targeted candidate genes for dyslexia on measures of cortical structure and function in a large sample of dyslexic children.

Under the mentorship of an interdisciplinary clinical research team, the successful applicant will develop multi-disciplinary research skills in neuroimaging and neuropsychological evaluation and apply them in both academic and clinical settings. The high quality of research in Aston’s School of Life and Health Sciences (LHS) was confirmed in the last Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) – with research in Allied Health Professions and Studies ranked 3rd out of 63 UK Higher Education Institutions. Additional information about research in the School can be found at

Financial Support:

Due to funding restrictions this studentship provides a tax-free stipend of approximately £13,590 per annum and payment of Home/EU tuition fees only. Please note: This studentship does not cover the tuition fees for overseas (non-EU) applicants. There is also a generous budget to cover research costs, including conference travel.  The studentship is available for three years, subject to satisfactory progress review at the end of the first year, with an anticipated start date of 1st January 2014 for Registration.   

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Application Requirements:

  • Eligible Applicants should have, or expect to receive, a good Bachelor Honours degree (either First Class or Upper Second Class) or to hold a Master’s Degree (MSc/MRes) in a relevant discipline.  Please Note: Overseas/EU Qualifications are subject to comparability checks.
  • You should be enthusiastic and have a strong interest in science. Preference will be given to applicants with experience in neuroimaging and/or neuropsychological assessment.
  • If you are an Overseas/EU Applicant, you will need to demonstrate adequate proficiency in English Language skills, with a minimum score of 620 (260 minimum in computer test) in TOEFL or IELTS with minimum marks of 6.5 in each section and an overall band of 7.0.
  • Informal enquiries may be addressed to Prof Joel Talcott (E-mail:
  • To apply, please complete the on-line application form by clicking the Apply link below and please quote the Reference ‘Psychology-Talcott’ on all applications.
  • Applicants should provide a clear indication of their specific research interests.

The Closing Date for applications is: Friday, 13th September 2013.

Reference Number:  R130272 

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