|Funding for:||UK Students, EU Students, International Students|
|Funding amount:||See advert for details|
|Placed On:||5th September 2023|
|Closes:||1st November 2023|
The GW4 BioMed2 MRC DTP is offering up to 22 funded studentships across a range of biomedical disciplines, with a start date of October 2024.
These four-year studentships provide funding for fees and stipend at the rate set by the UK Research Councils, as well as other research training and support costs, and are available to UK and International students.
About the GW4 BioMed2 Doctoral Training Partnership
The partnership brings together the Universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff (lead) and Exeter to develop the next generation of biomedical researchers. Students will have access to the combined research strengths, training expertise and resources of the four research-intensive universities, with opportunities to participate in interdisciplinary and 'team science'. The DTP already has over 90 studentships over 6 cohorts in its first phase, along with 38 students over 2 cohorts in its second phase.
The 80 projects available for application, are aligned to the following themes;
Applications open on 4th September 2023 and close at 5:00pm on 1st November 2023.
Studentships will be 4 years full time. Part time study is also available.
Neuroscience & Mental Health
Diagnosing mental health issues is challenging as it relies on self- reporting and is difficult to assess. This project will develop an approach to diagnosing issues using online games. Experiments will involve quantifying participants’ behaviour in games and using questionnaires to assess how behaviour is associated with symptoms. We will also develop theory to predict these associations and which games and measures most likely to indicate poor mental health.
Mental illnesses are the primary cause of disability worldwide. Despite this, the causes of the onset and persistence of illnesses such as depression and anxiety disorder are not well understood. Medical approaches have tended to be based on the idea that mental illnesses are caused by pathological malfunction, but drugs are often ineffective. Other explanations involve theories about how disorders are appropriate responses to challenging environments, so they do not explain why illness persists when the environment improves.
By using methods established in the behavioural sciences, Higginson has shown that whilst depression may not be an appropriate response to an individual’s current environment, it could be a product of a cognitive system that learns about the environment but has incomplete information. This system could be a perfectly rational one in that it usually generates appropriate responses, even if it leads to bad outcomes for a minority of individuals. This work suggests that the root of mental illness may lie in information that an individual’s subconscious has about their world and its temporal and spatial dynamics.
In this project, we will build on this theoretical work by developing applications in the form of online games. The key research questions are:
(1) Are information processing and pattern identification correlated with mood disorders?
(2) Can mood disorders be measured using simple online games?
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