PhD Studentship - Industry Co-funded BBSRC CASE Award: “The Multisensory Mouth: An Investigation into the Somatosensory, Olfactory and Gustatory Processes Driving Oral Behaviours”

Liverpool John Moores University

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Application details:

Start date: October 2017

Interview date: Shortly after deadline

Primary supervisor: Professor Francis McGlone

We are seeking an excellent candidate with a background in cognitive neuroscience/psychology and interests in human multisensory processing. The studentship has a specific focus on oral sensory, perceptual and affective mechanisms. Oral-based behaviours are highly multisensory, engaging all of the main senses, but here our focus is on how touch, taste and smell ‘collaborate’ in such behaviours. These are largely non-interrogatable using explicit self-report measures so an in-depth knowledge of the underlying sensory and perceptual mechanisms, as well as implicit measurement of affect and behaviour, will be required. For an informal discussion, please contact Professor Francis McGlone.

Project Detail:
This project is a BRSC CASE award, co-sponsored by Glaxo Smith Kline (GSK). It is based on Professor McGlone’s research interests in the psychological and neural mechanisms underlying oral multisensory processing, but more widely on a systems approach to the links between sensation and affect.

Oral sensations – driven by receptors that code for i) touch, temperature, pain (Vth cranial neve), ii) taste (VIIth, IXth, Xth cranial nerves), and iii) smell (Ist cranial nerve) - underpin a range of ingestive and oral hygiene behaviours; yet we know relatively little about how these sensory cues contribute to oral perception.

The proposed research will investigate mechanisms of multisensory perception using a combination of psychophysical, neurophysiological, cognitive and behavioural measurements in human subjects. The knowledge gained will generate novel insights into the psychological and neural mechanisms of multisensory integration in humans and, although not a specific requirement of the studentship, it is to expected drive innovation in GSK’s oral health care products.

The project offers opportunities to develop experience and skills in human multisensory research within a vibrant collaborative environment, providing the successful candidate with critical skills and substantial experience to make them a highly competitive candidate for a postdoctoral research position either in academia or a relevant industry environment.

Entry requirements:
Applicants should ideally possess a minimum of a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree (or equivalent) and preferably a Master’s Degree (or equivalent) in Neuroscience or Psychology or a relevant biomedical related subject. UK/EU citizens can apply (UK/EU fees will be paid).

Funding information:
The PhD candidate will benefit from a four-year studentship that includes an enhanced BBSRC tax-free annual stipend of £18,553 per annum and UK/EU tuition fees. The candidate will be required to spend up to 3 months over the course of the 4-year studentship at the GSK Oral Health in Weybridge, Surrey, where they will contribute to translation of academic research into industrial impact.

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Northern England