PhD Studentship in Psychology

University of Reading - Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences

Supervisor:  Dr Fang Liu

Studentship Overview:  Applications are invited for a three-year fully funded ERC PhD studentship for a project examining the underlying mechanisms of pitch processing in language and music through comparative studies of two neurodevelopmental disorders: CA – congenital amusia, and ASD – autism spectrum disorders. This is an interdisciplinary project combining developmental/experimental psychology, music cognition, and cognitive neuroscience. Thus, the studentship will provide the student with great training opportunities to acquire these multidisciplinary research skills and knowledge. Applicants who are interested in developmental/experimental/music psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and/or neurophysiological methods (e.g., EEG) are encouraged to apply.

The project will be supported by the CAASD Laboratory at the University of Reading (PI: Dr Fang Liu; which conducts a number of cutting edge studies on music/language processing with various research methodologies (e.g. acoustic data analysis, behavioural experiments, EEG methods). Staff in the CAASD Lab has published a number of high impact papers in internationally renowned academic journals. The student will have numerous opportunities to gain support from and/or to engage in this first comprehensive and comparative study in CA and ASD.

The successful candidate will join a thriving postgraduate research community of more than 80 PhD students who benefit from excellent support and resources from the School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences ( and membership of the University Graduate School (

The studentship covers the full cost of UK tuition fees, plus a maintenance stipend in line with RCUK rates (provisional £14,296 for full time award holders in 2016/2017) per annum for 3 years, for EU/UK students who fulfil the UK residency requirements (candidates may not be eligible for the full award if they do not meet UK residency requirements).

Further information on the position can be obtained by emailing Dr Fang Liu (

Eligibility: Candidates should have a first or strong 2.1 degree in psychology or neuroscience and a distinction or high Merit in a relevant Masters qualification would be advantageous. The candidate should have a demonstrable interest in the topic and strong written and oral communication skills. In addition, advanced knowledge about statistical analysis and/or experience with EEG techniques would be advantageous.

Funding Details:   

  • Start date January 2017
  • The award is for 3 years
  • UK Tuition fees plus stipend around £14,296 pa for eligible candidates

How to apply: To apply for this studentship please submit an application for a PhD in Psychology/Clinical Language Sciences at

*Important note* Please quote the reference ‘GS16-163’ in the ‘Scholarships applied for’ box which appears within the Funding Section of your on-line application.

Application Deadline:  1 November 2016

Further Enquiries/Information:  Please note that, where a candidate is successful in being awarded funding, this will be confirmed via a formal studentship award letter; this will be provided separately from any Offer of Admission and will be subject to standard checks for eligibility and other criteria. 

Further information on the research expertise in our school and advice on applying for this studentship can be obtained by emailing

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