How is the development of emotional experiences reflected in ongoing thought patterns in daily life?

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship. The studentship will start on 1 October 2022.


To apply please use the online application form. Simply search for PhD Psychology (and select the entry point of October 2022), then clearly state that you are applying for a PhD studentship and name the project at the top of your personal statement.

Online application

Before applying, please ensure you have read the Doctoral College’s general information on applying for a research degree.

For more information on the admissions process please contact

Applications are invited for a three-year PhD studentship in the School of Psychology for a project fully-funded by the Faculty of Health, University of Plymouth. The studentship will start on 1 October 2022.

Project description

This project will explore how emotional experiences impact on our thinking in daily life. It will use state of the art experience sampling, in combination with measures of brain function to understand how ongoing experiences and learned conceptual knowledge about emotions, shapes thought patterns in both typical and atypical individuals. The project is a collaboration between Dr Nerissa Ho and Professor Christopher Mitchell at the University of Plymouth and will involve opportunities to spend time working at Queen's University in Canada with Professor Jonathan Smallwood.

Successful applicants will be part of a large, vibrant, highly collaborative community of PhD students and academic staff. PhD students will have access to extensive, modern and well-equipped laboratory facilities supported by a dedicated team of technical staff, as well as the newly constructed Brain Research and Imaging Centre (BRIC).

If you wish to discuss this project further informally, please contact Dr Nerissa Ho.


Applicants should have a first class honours degree in an appropriate subject and preferably a relevant Masters qualification. It is strongly desirable that the applicant has prior experience in fMRI and cognitive neuroscience. Other criteria are: evidence of working independently as well as part of a team and under supervision through all stages of cognitive brain-imaging experimentation, knowledge of experimental design and statistical methods, proven ability to express ideas and disseminate findings effectively, good writing skills, excellent organisation skills and sound team-work abilities.

The studentship is supported for 3 years and includes full Home tuition fees plus a stipend of £16,062 per annum (2022/23 rate). The studentship will only fully fund those applicants who are eligible for Home fees with relevant qualifications. Applicants normally required to cover International fees will have to cover the difference between the Home and the International tuition fee rates.

Please see a list of supporting documents to upload with your application.

For more information on the admissions process generally, please contact

The closing date for applications is Sunday 22 May 2022 (midnight, UK time). Shortlisted candidates will be invited for interviews in June. We regret that we may not be able to respond to all applications. Applicants who have not received an offer of a place by 31st August should consider their application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.