Please forward this PhD studentship advert on to your current Psychology Msc cohort.
Three-year PhD Studentship (Full-time) commencing 30th September 2011
The Use of Virtual Environments to Train Environmental Learning and Route Learning in Typically Developing children
Supervisors: Dr Mark Blades, Dr Emily Farran
Applications are invited for a full-time 3 year PhD studentship funded by the ESRC to investigate the development of navigation / environmental learning abilities in typically developing (TD) children. You will form part of the project ELSTRAD team, in which the development of these skills is being assessed in Down syndrome (DS) and Williams syndrome (WS) (see: http://www.ioe.ac.uk/study/departments/phd/35210.html).
The candidate must be available to start the PhD on or before 30th September 2011. This date is not negotiable, and applications will only be considered from applicants who state that they can commence the research on or before 30th September.
The student will be registered at the University of Sheffield, but the student and research can be based at the University of Sheffield or at the Institute of Education, University of London.
The goal of the studentship is to develop effective training programmes to teach different aspects of environmental learning to TD children, such as knowledge of landmarks, knowledge of turns along a learnt route and of the spatial relationship between landmarks in a town/ environment. The student will work with young TD children using Virtual Environments (VEs) similar to the ones already used by our research group. For example, the student will identify TD children who demonstrate only a limited use of landmarks while learning a route. From the existing literature about the relevance of landmarks in route-learning, the student will design ways to teach TD children about effective use of landmarks (e.g. the choice or permanent landmarks rather than temporary ones, or the use of distant rather than nearby landmarks). In like manner, the student will investigate ways to train TD children about learning routes, taking short cuts and making accurate pointing estimates – all in parallel with other studies being carried out within our research group. The effectiveness of different training methods will be assessed. Once effective methods have been established they will be used as the basis for training Williams syndrome and Down syndrome participants.
Funding Details: All candidates are required to have established UK residency. The studentship will cover tuition fees at the University of Sheffield and an ESRC stipend (approximately £13,500 per year) for living expenses for a period of up to 3 years. In addition, all research expenses, including equipment, travel and conference attendance will be covered by the award.
Eligibility: Applicants must have a UK Masters degree in Psychology, or equivalent.
Application: There is no application form. Please email a letter of application stating why you believe you are suitable for the studentship, a copy of your CV and submit names and email addresses of 3 referees to: [log in to unmask] by 31st August 2011.
Further details of the studentship can be obtained from [log in to unmask] or from [log in to unmask]
Interview date: on or about 12th September