PhD Studentship in body, action and space representation


Qualification type: PhD

Subject area: Psychology, Sport and Geography

Campus: University of Hertfordshire, College Lane

Closing date of advert: 24 October 2022

Start date: November 2022

Full-time/part-time availability: 3 years, full time

Applications are invited for three-year full-time PhD Studentships in Psychology at the University of Hertfordshire (UH).

Programme Outline

Our body is the most familiar object we encounter, and it is through our body, and its perceptually guided motions, that we can interact with the environment and achieve most of our goals. Yet, for decades, philosophers of the mind and cognitive scientists have considered the ‘body’ as relatively marginal in our quest to understand the nature of the mind and cognition. Recently, interest in body representation has grown, and findings indicate not only that body representation is highly malleable, but also, surprisingly distorted.

This project aims to explore the cognitive dimension and the multimodal nature of the body representation by evaluating the weight that different components, such as sensory inputs, experience, motor expertise and conceptual knowledge have in influencing how body representation is developed and maintained and to what extent the way we represent our own body may shape spatial representations.

The candidate will work within a multi-disciplinary team to use technology including Virtual Reality (VR) and electroencephalography (EEG) as well as more classic psychophysical methods to investigate the relationship between the body, actions and space perception.

Successful candidates will have an opportunity to do some teaching or project supervision, for which training will be provided.


Principal supervisor: Dr Pietro Caggiano

Remaining supervisory team: Professor Keith Laws and Dr Nicholas Shipp

Entry requirements

Applicants should have at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Psychology or a similar field. A Master’s degree in Psychology and familiarity with EEG methods is desirable but not essential. In addition, applicants should have excellent personal, oral and written communication skills, as well as confidence in scientific research methods.

Opportunities for further training will be available, for example through our Researcher Development Programme.

How to apply

To apply for the studentship please download the application form. (PDF - 0.19 Mb) Completed applications should be emailed to the Doctoral College Admissions team, using the following format in the email subject line: “LMS_ Body action and space representation PhD Studentship_YOUR NAME”.

With your application, you will also need to provide:

  • two academic references
  • copies of qualification certificates and transcripts
  • certification of English language competence (minimum IELTS 6.5 or equivalent) for candidates for whom English is not their first language.

Funding information

The studentship will provide a tax-free stipend over 3 years (full-time), currently £17,688 per annum (standard RCUK rate) plus home tuition fees at the UK rate. A successful international/EU applicant would be required to pay the difference from home fees.

For further information about the PhD topic, please email Dr Pietro Caggiano using the subject line “Body representation PhD Studentship Application”.

Interviews will take place the week beginning: 31 October 2022.