Sensation and Perception to Awareness: Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarship Programme

Sussex's newly-created Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarship Programme (DSP) in ‘From sensation and perception to awareness’ is one of twelve DSPs starting in 2018, funded in a part by a generous £1M grant from the Leverhulme Trust.

The programme aims to bring together researchers and doctoral students from across neuroscience, robotics, psychology, and the arts, with the ultimate aim of advancing our understanding of interactions between sensing, perceiving, and awareness in humans, animal, and machines. For the next three years, we will recruit a cohort of up to seven doctoral scholars. Reflecting the interdisciplinary ethos at the heart of the programme, these students will be drawn from across five of Sussex's Schools (Psychology, Informatics, Medicine, Life Sciences, and Media, Film and Music), and will tackle important questions such as:

  • To what extent do sensations and perceptions reflect active processes deployed by the perceiver rather than a passive response to the external world?
  • Why are some perceptions linked to conscious experiences whereas others are not?
  • How can we build biologically-inspired autonomous systems (‘robots’) that flexibly sense and respond to the world?
  • How can developments in virtual/augmented reality (VR/AR) catalyse new understandings of sensation and perception?
  • How can a scientific understanding of the senses, and advances in new technology, influence and be influenced by advances in the creative arts?

Along with a fully-funded studentship and access to an extensive programme of specialist training workshops, our Leverhulme scholars will become key members of Sussex's fertile, interdisciplinary research environment, home to internationally-leading research centers including Sussex Neuroscience and the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science. There is also the chance for students to capitalise on their research by applying for a postdoctoral research fellowship available only to Leverhulme scholars.




Professor Jamie Ward

Programme Director

Professor Anil Seth

Programme Director


We are a Leverhulme Doctoral Scholarship Programme funding 21 PhD students on the multidisciplinary theme: From sensation and perception to awareness

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