Two fully funded PhD positions are available to work on a European Research Council project looking at how early development is influenced by the physical environment (e.g. ambient noise/language) and the social environment (people around us).


The PhDs will involve working as part of a team on a five-year project which has two main elements: 1) to collect and analyse naturalistic day-long recordings using wearable microphones, video cameras, heart rate, actigraph (movement), proximity (parent-child) and GPS monitors built into clothes worn by children and their parents at home; 2) to collect and analyse naturalistic dual EEG/fNIRS recordings from parents and children during tabletop interaction in the lab. A cohort of children will be followed longitudinally from 2-36 months. 


Analyses will involve cutting-edge advanced quantitative techniques to measure neural and physiological entrainment to temporal structures in the physical and social environment. Some experience of advanced quantitative analyses is essential, including if possible experience of data analysis in Matlab or Python.


The positions will start in Sept 2021 or Jan 2022. One position, suitable only for candidates with experience, will start immediately with a 3-year PhD. The other position will work as lab manager for 12 months, gaining experience of running research activities across multiple externally funded projects, before starting on a 3-year PhD 2022-2025.


The positions will involve developing excellent communication skills, administering technically complex paradigms with infants and parents, and learning advanced computational skills to analyse the complex, multimodal data collected.  


Funding will cover full living stipends and tuition fees for UK/EU students. We are able to consider application from non-UK/EU students, but only from candidates who can show that they are exceptionally suitable for the role.


The PhD positions will be mainly based at the BabyDev lab at the University of East London (, which currently hosts other projects funded by the Leverhulme Trust, Economic and Social Research Council and Horizon 2020. Supervisors will be: Dr Sam Wass (; Professor Emily Jones (, at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development in London, Dr Victoria Leong (, at Cambridge University and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and Dr Louise Goupil (


Sample publications are here:

https://doi: 10.1073/pnas.1702493114



The closing date for applications is 7th May 2021.


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