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PhD studentship opportunity

Now it is not often that I will do a direct reference to jobs in music psychology (unless you want me to – if so let me know!), but I had to mention one that floated in my inbox the other day. It is not often that you see 7…yes 7…PhD studentships in the same place!

In a world where it seems that opportunities for funding are going down I thought this was a very encouraging sign. I know I never would have been able to afford to do my PhD without studentship support so I think it is important that as many people as possible have the chance to apply for similar schemes.

So if you are at all interested in doing a PhD in how the brain develops in infants, a subject that could certainly be applied to music psychology from so many angles (musical development, development of language, infant communication including mother-baby interactions, and so many more!), then my advice is to go for it! If nothing comes out of it then the practise you gain from going through the process will be worth it in the end. If you go into academia then a large part of your time will be spent applying for grants so it is worth learning the formats and processes involved as soon as possible.

As I said above, these particular studentships are not for music psychology directly, but rather are in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience and are available at Birkbeck, University of London, UK. They are funded by the Marie Curie Foundation. Here are the details:

7, 3-year fellowships are available for the purposes of completing a PhD in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience at Birkbeck College, University of London. The PhD studentships are tenable for up to 3 years and must be taken up no later than October 2011.

Fellows will be hosted at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development (CBCD). Details of the Centre’s and affiliated lab’s activities can be found at Successful applicants will be required to complete a PhD under the supervision of a member of the CBCD faculty and in addition, the PhD candidate will be allocated a second supervisor from one of the seven associated partners who can provide convergent expertise.

Associated Partners include:

  • Cognitive Development Centre, Central European University, Budapest, Hungary
  • Dipartimento di Psicologia, University of Padova, Padova, Italy
  • Department of Medical Physics and Bioengineering, University College London
  • Research & Development, Acuity ETS Limited, Reading, UK
  • Research & Development Baby Care, Proctor & Gamble, Germany
  • Research & Development, Geodisc Inc. Research & Development
  • Abbey Home Media Group Ltd

Eligibility conditions

Marie Curie actions carry a number of mobility constraints. Successful applicants cannot have resided more than 1 year within the last 3 in the UK. We encourage applicants from outside the EU, but applicants should be aware that overseas tuition fees are not included in this funding. Other eligibility requirements may apply. Excellent English language standards apply for all PhD candidates to the CBCD. Successful candidates will be expected to have sufficiently high written English skills to undertake the writing of their doctoral thesis in English.


The fellowships are open to truly outstanding candidates who must have achieved at least a level of training that would enable them to qualify for entry into a PhD programme in their home country. This would be a first class or high upper second class degree in psychology, neuroscience biomedical engineering, neuroimaging or related areas of research. As the PhD must be completed within the 3 years of the fellowships we anticipate that successful candidates will have already obtained training in relevant research methods (e.g., from a masters degree or equivalent training).

Conditions of employment

A competitive salary commensurate with the cost of living in London will be offered. All payments are determined by the personal circumstances and details of actual salary and allowances can be obtained on request.
Application procedures

Interested applicants should consult the relevant web pages of the CBCD and affiliated Labs first to assess whether their research interests and experience match those of relevant possible supervisors. You must also apply to the Department of Psychological Sciences PhD program online by following the links on ( applying, candidates should make it clear on their application form that they wish to be considered for a Marie Curie Studentship.

Applications should be submitted not later than Friday 18th March 2011 . A short list of candidates will be invited to London for interviews approximately 2 to 4 weeks following this date.

Informal enquires can be made to Dr. Natasha Kirkham ( or any potential supervisor who is part of the CBCD and affiliated laboratories.

Funded by the EU Marie Curie Initial Training Networks (ITN): Tracking Early Human Development: From Basic Science to Applications

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