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MRC Doctoral Training Grant Studentships in MEG

Reference Number: R1047
Closing Date: Closed for applications
Duration: 3 years
Funding Amount: UK/EU fees plus stipend
Level of Study: Postgraduate Research
Regions: EU (Non UK), UK
This funding opportunity is now closed for application

Key Studentship Information

The MRC (60%) and EPSRC (40%) recently awarded the UK MEG community a partnership grant of £1.3M to build clinical research capacity in Magnetoencephalography (MEG). The partnership, led by Cardiff University, includes all 8 universities with current MEG laboratories: Aston, Cambridge (MRC-CBSU), Cardiff, Glasgow, Nottingham, Oxford, University College London (UCL) and York.

The partnership aims to drive forward the field of MEG, both by increasing scientific networking amongst the partners, as well as collaborative research in methodology and clinical applications. As part of this, an MRC Doctoral Training Grant (DTG) was awarded that funds a cohort of eight PhD students to work on collaborative research programmes between two or more of the partner sites. It is anticipated that the first four students will be appointed in 2013 and the second four in 2014, but this could change depending on the quality of the students who apply in the initial round.

We are seeking excellent candidates for a range of PhD projects all of which are related to clinical applications of MEG and, potentially, its multimodal combination with other technologies.

The proposed projects can be methods or applications focused and hence applicants will be considered from any relevant scientific discipline, including those from Psychology, Biosciences, Neuroscience, Physics, Engineering or similar.

All students will initially be recruited to Cardiff, but due to the nature of the partnership, the project offered to a student will be collaborative between any two or more of the partner universities. The final location of the student will hence depend on the balance of work and the location of the supervisors and is a topic that can be discussed at interview. There are significant funds earmarked for each student to facilitate travel and accommodation between sites.

One major advantage of this programme is that the Partners will provide integrated training of the cohort throughout the studentships. This is because the Partnership grant provides significant funds for research training and interaction, including bringing in international speakers and a yearly MEG-UK conference.

The precise details of the projects are not yet finalised for all 8 places, but priority will be given to projects that match the key aims of the partnership, namely:

In addition to MEG, potential methodologies include MRS, fMRI, DTI, TMS, behavioural studies of healthy and clinical cohorts, computational modelling and genetics.

Research Projects: The following are a non-exhaustive sample of those on offer - other projects may be offered depending on the interests of the candidate, as long as the proposed scientific programme fits the aims of the Partnership.

Supervisors: Students will have at least two co-supervisors, one at each partner site. The potential supervisor pool is large across all eight groups, encompassing all researchers using MEG, but mainly will come from the principal investigators at each site. These are:

Start Date: 1st October 2013

About the School: The School of Psychology is one of the largest and most successful in the UK (, as recognised in every Research Assessment Exercise. We have with state-of-the art testing facilities, including CUBRIC, a fully equipped neuroimaging centre (, which will form the initial host site for these studentships. We have a thriving postgraduate research community, regular seminars and training sessions, and close collaborations with Psychological Medicine and Biosciences through the Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute.


The studentship will commence in October 2013 or October 2014 and will cover your tuition fees as well as a maintenance grant. In 2013-14 the maintenance grant for full-time students is £13,726.

To check if you are eligible for the full studentship please see the MRC website and guidelines.

Number of Awards: 8

It is anticipated that the first four students will be appointed in 2013 and the second four in 2014 but this could change depending on the quality of the students who apply in the first round.


Academic Criteria: To be successful, you should possess or expect to obtain, a first-class or upper second honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant subject area. A postgraduate Masters degree (or equivalent) would strengthen your application, but is not a requirement. Excellent literacy, numeracy and IT skills are required, in addition to good English language skills. Applicants from the UK or EU are eligible for a full award of stipend and tuition fees.

Residency: Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open to UK Nationals and EU students who can satisfy UK residency requirements. To be eligible for the full award, EU Nationals must have been in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the course for which they are seeking funding, including for the purposes of full-time education. EU Nationals who do not meet the above residency requirement are eligible for a fees only award, provided that they have been ordinarily resident in the EU for at least 3 years prior to the start of their proposed programme of study.

How to Apply

The application procedure is the same as applying for any PhD in Psychology (October 2013 start date) at Cardiff University and can be made using Cardiff's online application portal ( Please indicate on your application that you would like to apply for one of these studentships.

For the ‘Research Proposal’ section of the form, please just give some general areas of research that you would be keen on working in - not a specific proposal. You can use the example projects we identified as a guide to what the supervisory teams are interested in, but that does not preclude you putting forward something else that you are really interested in. It would also be good to demonstrate some interest/knowledge of MEG and why you think it would be useful in the research areas you identify.

Also, if appropriate, please give some idea as to any geographical preferences you might have in terms of where you do your PhD under this scheme. If you don't have a preference, that's fine.

Application Deadline: 5pm, 3rd May 2013

Further Information

For more information please contact Mrs Lesley-Anne Strabel on or +44 (0)29 2087 5381.

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