Application closing date: 01/12/2022

Funding amount: £15,609

Location: Lancaster University

PhD in the Cognition of Identity Manipulation and Detection

3-year PhD studentship in CREST

Applications are invited for a 3-year PhD studentship in the Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST), based in the Psychology Department at Lancaster University. The studentship will be supervised by Dr. Sophie Nightingale and Professor Paul Taylor, and is available to start from beginning of January or September 2023.

  • To what extent can training approaches improve people’s ability to identify manipulated and/or synthetic images?
  • Can computational approaches help passport officers confirm the identity of somebody who has aged since the original photograph?
  • Can people detect image manipulation when the semantic and/or emotional meaning of the image is changed?
  • How do answers to these questions address our fundamental understanding of the way in which people process face information?

You will join a wider group of academic, postdoc and PhDs engaged in projects examining social and cognitive psychology aspects of security. As part of this group, you will be expected to contribute to meetings, present findings at academic conferences, and publish findings in academic journals. You will also be a member of the Centre for Research and Evidence on Security Threats (CREST) and be encouraged to engage with relevant stakeholders in the security and intelligence agencies, helping them understand the research and its relevance to their practice and policy.

This studentship provides annual funding to cover UK/EU tuition fees and an ESRC equivalent maintenance grant (approx. £15,609). You will receive your own research support budgets (e.g., for training and to pay participants) and have access to an associated travel budget, which should be used to attend national and international conferences. Students who would be required to pay international tuition fees are eligible to apply, but they must make appropriate arrangements to cover the difference between the overseas and UK tuition fee.

You should be motivated, ambitious, and able to demonstrate an interest in the advertised PhD area. You should hold, or expect to gain, at least an Upper 2.1 honours degree, or its equivalent, in a relevant discipline. Having or expecting to gain a Masters qualification and/or having other research experience will be an advantage.

To apply, please email a CV, transcript of marks, 1 academic reference, and a 500-word statement of interest to [email protected], using the Subject ‘PhD application.’ After the deadline, applications will be reviewed and shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview (Friday 9th December), before award decisions are made. If you wish to discuss the studentship informally or if you have any questions about the position, please contact Sophie Nightingale ([email protected]).


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