2020 applicants
Postgraduate Research Opportunity

Neuromuscular electric stimulation and social cognition


Title: SK01: Neuromuscular electric stimulation and social cognition

Funding: Full time Home/EU fees and a stipend of £15,009 p.a.

Application deadline: 8 December 2019

Start date: January 2020.

Duration: 3 years (full time)

Location: Colchester Campus

Based in: Department of Psychology


Our Department of Psychology at the University of Essex has a new opportunity available for a PhD student to join us on our project entitled ‘Neuromuscular electric stimulation and social cognition’.

In this multidisciplinary project, which is relevant to multisensory integration and theories of embodied cognition, the effects of facial somatosensory input on emotion recognition will be investigated using neuromuscular electric stimulation and EEG.

You’ll benefit from a thriving research environment at Essex. Our Department of Psychology offers exceptional research facilities and is ranked among the top 250 psychology departments in the QS World University Rankings by Subject (2019).


The award consists of a full Home/EU fee waiver (further fee details), a doctoral stipend equivalent to the Research Councils UK National Minimum Doctoral Stipend (£15,009 in 2019-20), plus £2,500 training bursary via Proficio funding, which may be used to cover the cost of advanced skills training including conference attendance and travel.


You should have completed a Masters degree in cognitive or social psychology/neuroscience, ideally with a focus on emotion and/or face perception, and should have previous experience in conducting experimental research. Applicants from other disciplines (eg biomedical engineering), who wish to pursue a PhD Psychology degree, will also be considered.

You should have experience with electrophysiology (eg EMG, EEG) and have good statistical and programming skills in Matlab, R, and/or Python (or a high motivation to acquire these skills). You should have excellent writing and communication skills in English, and feel confident to work both individually and in a team.

Most importantly, you should be interested in developing new technical tools to study fundamental questions at the intersection of social psychology and psychophysiology.

How to apply

Applications should include a personal statement explaining why you want to be part of this project (single A4 page), an academic CV, and the names and email addresses of two scholars familiar with your previous work that can provide a reference. To apply, please send all of this information as one single PDF to eeleer@essex.ac.uk

Additionally you will need to apply for this postgraduate research opportunity online.

Instruction to applicants

When you apply online you will be prompted to fill out several boxes in the form:

  • For "Course title" please put "PhD Psychology"
  • For "Proposed research topic or area of research" please put the title of this studentship (SK01: Neuromuscular electric stimulation and social cognition)
  • For "If you have contacted a potential supervisor..." please put the name of the lead supervisor (Dr Sebastian Korb)

If you have any informal queries about this opportunity please email the Department's Research and Operations Administrator, Liz Lee Reynolds (eeleer@essex.ac.uk)

The application deadline for this fully-funded PhD position is 8 December 2019. The preferred starting date is 13 January 2020 but can be negotiated.