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ESRC Interdisciplinary Studentship: Memory and Consumption


Applications are invited for a 4-year ESRC Targeted PhD studentship in the area of Memory and Consumption starting in October 2017 at the Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge.

The successful candidate will conduct research under the supervision of Dr Lucy Cheke at the Cognition and Motivated Behaviour Lab (http://www.camblab.psychol.cam.ac.uk/) and Dr Amy Ahern of the MRC Epidemiology Unit (http://www.mrc-epid.cam.ac.uk/people/amy-ahern/)

This studentship will investigate whether recent research on the role of memory in consumption-regulation can be developed into a scalable intervention to support weight management. This project aims to capitalize on growing understanding of the cognitive determinants of overeating, as well as emerging technology, to develop an app-based behaviour-change intervention that can be effective within the community to reduce over-eating and promote healthy weight regulation. The project will involve behavioural testing in the lab to clarify the causal relationship between memory and eating behavior and to identify a series of scalable memory manipulations that can reduce overeating. These findings will then be used to inform the development of an app that can deliver this intervention within the community. A person-based approach will be used to develop the intervention and test and optimize its usability. This will involve conducting qualitative research with target users throughout the design process, in order to develop a deeper understanding of the needs of users and how an intervention would fit into their daily lives.

For the first year, the student will participate in a Masters for Research programme and will train through lab rotations in a range of interdisciplinary methods including behavioural research in experimental psychology, quantitative and qualitative evaluation of behavioural interventions, and the use of mobile technology in psychology. Following, this the student will continue their PhD research in the area of Memory and Consumption.

Eligibility and Funding:

Candidates should have a first or upper second class degree in psychology, neuroscience or in another related subject (e.g., engineering, computer science. mathematics) and meet the University of Cambridge entrance requirements - see: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/entry-requirements

All applicants must meet the ESRC funding eligibility requirements outlined at: http://www.esrc.ac.uk/skills-and-careers/studentships/prospective-students/am-i-eligible-for-an-esrc-studentship/

UK and EU students who meet the UK residency requirements will be eligible for a full studentship, which includes University and College fees as well as an annual stipend at UK Research Council rates (TBC). Students from EU countries who do not meet the residency requirements may still be eligible for a fees-only award.

Candidates from Overseas are not eligible for this studentship and should not apply.

Informal enquiries about the project may be made to Dr Lucy Cheke (lgc23@cam.ac.uk) or Dr Amy Ahern (ala34@cam.ac.uk).

Application process:

To apply please e-mail (i) a research statement outlining your suitability, why you are interested in pursuing a PhD in this area, your background and research interests, (ii) your CV stating your citizenship and years of residence in the UK (iii) copies of your academic transcripts and (iv) contact details for two academic referees (one of whom should be a project supervisor) to Mrs Dawn Ellis (dle31@cam.ac.uk) by Friday 3 March 2017. Please add 'ESRC Interdisciplinary Studentship: Memory and Consumption to the subject line of your e-mail.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview within two weeks from the application deadline.

Once the successful applicant is informed of the outcome, they will be asked to complete the University's GRADSAF application form.