Psychology PhD studentship

Psychology Doctoral Research Studentship - Tools for reproducible research OR Joint action with artificial agents (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 PhD project will be supervised by Dr Lincoln Colling and at least one other academic from the University of Sussex (to be decided once the research proposal is confirmed). Applicants should prepare a proposal around one of the two topics described below.

1. Tools for reproducible research 

Worries about the replication crisis have lead to an open-science revolution in Psychology and Neuroscience. As part of this, there has been an increased focus on practices such as data and code sharing. Sharing data and code from psychology studies, in a form that allows independent researchers to replicate the results of published studies, is, however, very difficult and outside the skill-set of many psychology researchers. This PhD will look to uncover the exact nature of the current shortcomings with the aim of developing tools and practises to help researchers improve data and code sharing. The ideal candidate will have a background in programming (R, Python, Javascript, Matlab or similar) and a desire to develop those skills further.


Crüwell, S., Apthorp, D., Baker, B. J., Colling, L. J., et al (in press) What’s in a Badge? A computational reproducibility investigation of the open data badge policy in one issue of psychological science. Psychological Science. 10.31234/

Colling, L. J. & Szűcs, D. (2021). Statistical reform and the replication crisis, Review of Philosophy and Psychology. 12, 121-147, 10.1007/s13164-018-0421-4 

Colling, L. J., et al. (2020). Registered replication report on Fischer, Castel, Dodd, and Pratt (2003), Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science. 3(2) 143-162. 10.1177/2515245920903079

 2. Joint action with artificial agents

When we perform a task with another person, like dancing or playing a piano duet, we are able to coordinate the timing of our actions with exquisite precision. It’s likely that we do this by generating predictions of our co-actors actions using our own actions as a model. But how do these mechanisms fair when we co-act with artificial agents like robots and virtual avatars? And are our abilities to co-act with artificial agents impacted by whether we view them as more or less human? During this PhD you will examine the mechanisms that support joint action specifically in the context of artificial agents using a range of techniques including behavioural experiments and Electroencephalography.


Colling, L. J. (2018). Planning together and playing together. In M. Cappuccio (Ed.), Handbook of Embodied Cognition and Sports Psychology. (pp. 413–441). MIT press.

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. 


  • 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



16 January 2023 23:59

How to apply

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

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 Lincoln Colling.



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

Interviews (on Zoom): February 2023


At level(s):
PG (research)

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


The award is available to people from these specific countries: