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Graduate Admissions


Applications are invited for a 4-year BBSRC Targeted PhD studentship in the area of Machine Learning and NeuroImaging starting in October 2018 at the Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge.

The successful candidate will conduct research under the supervision of Prof Zoe Kourtzi at the Adaptive Brain Lab ( and in collaboration with Prof John Aston: DPMMS, Statistical Laboratory and Dr Pietro Lio: Computer Lab.

The project focuses on machine learning applications in cognitive neuroscience. We aim to develop predictive models that synthesise multivariate data to define profiles of individual neuro-cognitive health. We address this challenge using an interdisciplinary approach that combines state-of-the-art mathematical modelling with behavioural paradigms, and brain imaging. Our team works with computer scientists, mathematicians, cognitive neuroscientists and industrial partners to translate our research to user-friendly tools that can be used to assess and promote cognitive health across the lifespan.

For the first year, the student will train through lab rotations in a range of interdisciplinary methods including machine learning and state-of-the-art brain imaging. Following this, the student will continue their PhD research in the area of Machine learning in Cognitive Neuroscience.

Eligibility and Funding:

Candidates should have a first or upper second class degree in neuroscience, computer science, engineering, mathematics, physics or cognitive psychology and meet the University of Cambridge entrance requirements - see:

The studentship will cover a stipend at the standard Research Council rate (£14,553 per annum as at 2017/18), research costs and tuition fees at the UK/EU rate, and is available for UK and EEA students who meet the UK residency requirements. Students from EEA countries who do not meet the residency requirements may still be eligible for a fees-only award.

The studentship is part of the BBSRC DTP Programme. The first six months will be spent completing tailored training courses and two laboratory rotations, before progressing to a PhD. An important element of the Programme is a three-month internship to gain experience in a non-academic environment. The Programme organises a number of events, training courses and workshops to foster cohort development, skills enhancement and networking opportunities.

Candidates from outside the EEA are not eligible for this studentship and should not apply.

Informal enquiries about the project may be made to Professor Zoe Kourtzi (

To apply please complete the University GRADSAF application form by Wednesday 6 December 2017. The course code is BLPC22 (PhD in Psychology).

With your GRADSAF application you will be required to submit (i) a draft research proposal outlining your suitability, why you are interested in pursuing a PhD in this area, your background and research interests. (ii) your CV stating your citizenship and years of residence in the UK (iii) copies of your academic transcripts (iv) details of two academic referees.

Please inform Mrs Dawn Ellis ( when you have made an application, please add 'BBSRC Targeted PhD Studentship: Machine learning in cognitive neuroscience to the subject line of your e-mail.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an interview within two weeks from the application deadline.

Please quote reference PJ14013 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Key Information

Department of Psychology

Reference: PJ14013

Dates and deadlines:

Tuesday, 14 November, 2017
Closing Date
Wednesday, 6 December, 2017