Psychology PhD studentship

Psychology Doctoral Research Studentship - Neural mechanisms underlying adaptive and maladaptive adolescent anxiety and behaviour (2023)

This studentship covers Home or International level PhD tuition fees, a stipend (currently £17,668 pa) plus some research and training costs.

What you get

  • A stipend for 3 years (rising in line with UKRI studentship rates, currently £17,668 p.a.) to cover living costs.
  • Home fees or International fees and research/training costs are also covered for 3 years.
  • You will also be expected to take up Doctoral Tutoring during your 6 semesters (3 years) of funding. This work is paid at Grade 5.1 (currently £13.88 per hour), and covers contact time, preparation and marking. You will be expected to work approximately 165 hours per year, dependent on modules selected and availability.

 

Type of award

Postgraduate Research

PhD project

This Project will be supervised by Dr Liat Levita.

Adolescence is associated with high levels of anxiety. Abnormal approach and avoidance behaviours are typical in people suffering high levels of anxiety and anxiety disorders. However, how they manifest themselves during adolescence is less well explored. Moreover, adults and adolescents respond to threat differently, e.g., in the way they learn to predict danger and learn that something is safe.  This PhD project will examine what are normative/adaptive approach & avoidance responses versus pathological ones (i.e., ones that can lead to or are a symptom of a mental health issue, such as anxiety) in adolescents, by using behavioural, psychophysiological (heart rate and SCR), endocrine (e.g., cortisol) and brain imaging (EEG) measures.  This project will suit a candidate with an interest in adolescent development and mental health, with a background in psychology/neuroscience with some programming and brain imaging experience. 

Key references 

Linton & Levita (2021). Potentiated perceptual neural responses to learned threat during Pavlovian fear acquisition and extinction in adolescents. Dev Sci.

Howsley, & Levita, L. (2017) Anticipatory representations of reward and threat in perceptual areas from preadolescence to late adolescence. Dev Cogn Neurosci. 

Heller & Casey (2016). The neurodynamics of emotion: delineating typical and atypical emotional processes during adolescence. Dev Sci, 19(1), 3-18.

Full list of publications: Google Scholar

Developmental Adolescent Neuroscience Lab: Lab website

 

Doctoral Tutor role

You will also be expected to take up Doctoral Tutoring during your 6 semesters (3 years) of funding. This work is paid at Grade 5.1 (currently £13.88 per hour), and covers contact time, preparation and marking. You will be expected to work approximately 165 hours per year, dependent on modules selected and availability.

Doctoral Tutors will be encouraged to study for a formal teaching accreditation (Associate of the Higher Education Academy), including enrolling on a ‘starting to teach’ module in the first term. Candidates who demonstrate interest in and suitability for the Doctoral Tutor role will be preferred. 

 

 

Eligibility

  • This award will pay fees at the Home or International rate (as required by the applicant's fee status). International students must move to Sussex for the duration of the PhD and will not be permitted to register as Distance Learners. The studentship does not include additional funding towards the costs of visas or travel to the UK for international students.
  • Candidates must have, or expect to obtain, a First or a high Upper Second Class Honours undergraduate degree, or equivalent qualification, and/or a  Merit (an average of 60% overall) in a Master’s degree in Psychology or other relevant discipline.
  • The University of Sussex believes that the diversity of its staff and student community is fundamental to creative thinking, pedagogic innovation, intellectual challenge, and the interdisciplinary approach to research and learning. We celebrate and promote diversity, equality and inclusion amongst our staff and students. As such, we welcome applications from all, regardless of personal characteristics or background. 

Number of scholarships available

one

Deadline

16 January 2023 23:59

How to apply

  • In the 'Supervisor suggested by applicant' section of your application, put 'Liat Levita'.
  • In the 'Proposed source of funding' section of your application, please put 'Psychology Doctoral Research Studentship - Levita'. 

Candidates should provide: 

  • A research proposal that outlines your knowledge of the research area, hypotheses that could be addressed in your PhD, and an outline of potential methods. The research proposal should be approximately 1,000 to 1,500 words in length and not exceed 3 pages, including references. It should be set at a minimum of 10 font type with margins a minimum of 1cm. Applicants are encouraged to contact the supervisor for more information about the project before writing their proposal.
  • Current degree transcript(s) with full details of performance on all completed courses. 
  • Two academic references.
  • An up-to-date CV.
  • A document summarising any teaching experience you have and illustrating your suitability for a Doctoral Tutor role. 
 

Contact us

For queries with respect to the application process:  

To discuss the details of your research interests further, please contact Dr Liat Levita

 

Timetable

Deadline: Monday 16 January 2023  (23:59 GMT)

Interviews (on Zoom): February 2023

Availability

At level(s):
PG (research)

Application deadline:
16 January 2023 23:59 (GMT)

Countries

The award is available to people from these specific countries: