PhD Studentship: Investigating the effects of behavioural control training on neurocognitive development in children aged 6-11 years

University College London - Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology

Specific unit / Sub department: Developmental Change and Plasticity Lab
Duration of Studentship: 4 years

Vacancy Information

The UCL Developmental Change and Plasticity Lab in the Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology is offering a 4-year studentship. The aim of the studentship is to develop and carry out a training of behavioural control in young children and assess how this impacts their cognitive, social and affective functioning as well as brain structure and function. The PhD supervisor will be Dr Nikolaus Steinbeis.

Studentship Description

Behavioural control during childhood is a key predictor for later positive and productive development. Those children better at reigning in their impulse in pursuit of a long-term goal perform better academically and are less likely to engage in substance abuse or criminal activity in later lift. The present study will use an 8-week training of motor inhibition and test it effects on a large task battery measuring a range of cognitive, social and affective functions, as well as grey and white matter and task-related and task-free functional activity in the MRI scanner. A one-year follow up will establish the longevity of training and transfer effects. The relatively large age range will allow testing for interactions between age and the extent of training and transfer.Funding for the PhD studentship comes from the European Research Council.

The studentship is tenable for 48 months and covers tuition fees at UK/EU rates, plus a tax-free stipend of £16,553 per year plus a budget for materials, consumables, conference fees and dissemination.

Person Specification

Applicants should have a first or upper second class degree in Psychology or a related discipline and ideally a Masters in one of those areas. They must have achieved a level of research training which would allow them to process to a PhD and be able to fulfil the requirements for UK residency such that fees are paid at UK/EU rate. They should be highly motivated, talented and curious individual with a strong interest in developmental psychology and cognitive neuroscience.

If you are interested in applying for the studentship, you should e-mail Sharinjeet Dhiman ( your CV (including the names of two referees), a transcript of your degree results and a covering letter (750 words maximum) outlining your research interests, what you hope to achieve from the PhD and your research experience to date. Please include your contact details (telephone; e-mail).

Any queries relating to the project and/or suitability should be directed to Dr Nikolaus Steinbeis ( 

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