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PhD Studentship: Investigating Infant Sleep to Understand Autism Spectrum Disorders (GligaT_U20PSY)

University of East Anglia - Psychology

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Norwich
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,009
Hours: Full Time, Part Time
Placed On: 1st November 2019
Closes: 20th January 2020
Reference: GligaT_U20PSY

Start date: October 2020

No. of positions available: 1 

Supervisor: Dr. Teodora Gliga 

Project description: Learning difficulties double the economic cost of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) but their biological causes are poorly understood. In this PhD, supervised by Dr. Teodora Gliga (Psychology) and Dr. Alpar Lazar (Health Sciences), you will investigate whether sensory hypersensitivity, which is common in this disorder, impairs the key role that sleep has in learning consolidation. In particular, we will investigate the hypothesis that a failure to filter out sensory input during sleep interferes with the critical role it has in off-line plasticity and learning consolidation, with knock-on effects on cognitive development.

As part of your doctoral training, you will carry out experimental work with both typically developing infants and infants at higher likelihood for neurodevelopmental disorders. You will have access to bespoke research facilities in the School of Psychology (www.uea.ac.uk/developmental-dynamics-lab/research-facilities) and in the school of Health Sciences (The Sleep Lab: www.uea.ac.uk/health-sciences/innovation/facilities/sbru). You will learn how to use a variety of methods including polysomnography and eye-tracking and will gain advanced data analytical skills. You will work as part of a diverse team which has the aim to develop new technologies for monitoring and improving sleep.

This PhD will suit you if you have a background in psychology, cognitive sciences or medical/clinical sciences. Ideally, you will have a first-class undergraduate degree and a postgraduate qualification that included a research project e.g., MSc or MRes. Evidence of research output (e.g., contribution to peer-reviewed publication, newsletter article, conference presentation) would be advantageous. Good writing skills are essential.

Informal enquiries may be made directly to Dr. Teodora Gliga (t.gliga@uea.ac.uk).

Person Specification:

Acceptable first degree in Psychology, cognitive sciences or relevant other discipline

The standard minimum entry requirement is 2:1

Masters or equivalent experience.

Funding notes: This PhD project is in a School of Psychology competition for funded studentships. These studentships are funded for 3 years and comprise of home/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £15,009.

   
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