[Eeglablist] PhD studentship - Division of Psychiatry, University of Nottingham

Maddie Groom Maddie.Groom at nottingham.ac.uk
Mon Feb 1 01:22:49 PST 2010

3 year Doctoral Studentship available in "Electrophysiological correlates of cognitive control in children with tics with and without comorbid ADHD symptoms"

School of Community Health Sciences
Division of Psychiatry
University of Nottingham, UK

Start date: October 2010

Applications are invited for a PhD Studentship in the School of Community Health Sciences, Division of Psychiatry. The studentship is intended to support postgraduate investigators seeking to establish a career in neuropsychiatric research using neuroimaging techniques. Within the first three months of the studentship a research training programme will be jointly agreed by the student and the supervisors. This will comprise courses and modules organised by the Graduate School and those available within the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences. The Division of Psychiatry is one of four divisions within the School of Community Health Sciences. The Division has a growing capacity and reputation for research in cognitive and developmental neurosciences and holds major grants from Research Councils (MRC, ESRC), leading UK charities (Wellcome Trust) and governmental sources (NIHR). Please visit the Divisional web site for more information see: http://www.nottingham/chs/divisions/psychiatry. The Division has excellent relationships with international academic partners, in particular the European Network of Hyperkinetic Disorders (EuNetHyDis) and Tourettes Action, providing excellent opportunities for the student to develop relationships with researchers at other institutions and to become established in the international scientific community.

The student will join the Mind, Brain, Behaviour Group (MBBG), a group of researchers within the Division of Psychiatry whose primary interests are in developing and refining neuroimaging techniques to uncover the neuro-biological causes of psychiatric disorders. The student will also benefit from strong links between the Division of Psychiatry and Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, reflected in part funding of the studentship by the Institute of Mental Health (IMH). The IMH represents collaboration between the University and Nottinghamshire Healthcare Trust which has created a stimulating and supporting environment to foster research of the highest quality into improving outcomes in mental health and learning disability. It brings together NHS researchers from different professional backgrounds with University researchers from a wide variety of academic disciplines. This multidisciplinary approach produces the high quality information required for the implementation of evidence-based practice. For more information about IMH see: http://www.institutemh.org.uk/-home-.html. 

This full-time, three-year studentship will cover the cost of PhD fees, at the Home/European rate of £3,460 (subject to confirmation) and a tax-free stipend of £13,290 (09/10 level subject to uplift) and starts in October 2010.

Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is only open to full-time UK/EU students.  Applications from students willing to self-fund can be considered at any time. International students can find details of scholarships available to fund postgraduate research degrees on the University website at: www.nottingham.ac.uk/prospectuses/postgrad.

Applications should be sent, preferably by Email, to Dr M Groom, Division of Psychiatry, E Floor, South Block, Queen's Medical Centre, Derby Road, Nottingham NG7 2UH. Email: Maddie.Groom at Nottingham.ac.uk. 

Applicants should prepare a brief protocol (max one A4 page) outlining a proposal for a pilot study to be carried out in preparation for the main study (please see further details). The proposal should include: background to the pilot study, proposed methods (including planned statistical analysis) and identification of potential difficulties that might be encountered. The proposal must be submitted along with a CV and the names and contact details of two academic referees. Applicants are strongly advised to make contact with Dr Groom to discuss their application, before submitting.

Please quote ref. MED/640. Closing date: 26 February 2010. Interview date: W/C 22 March 2010.
Web link: http://jobs.nottingham.ac.uk/vacancies.aspx?cat=345#j6794

Further details

Project specification

Electrophysiological correlates of cognitive control in children with tics with and without comorbid ADHD symptoms

Dr Madeleine Groom Division of Psychiatry, section of Developmental Psychiatry
Professor Georgina Jackson Division of Psychiatry, section of Behavioural Sciences

Research within the Division of Psychiatry (Jackson et al., 2007, Exp Br Res; Mueller et al., 2006, Curr Biol) and elsewhere (Baym et al., 2008 Brain) (Thibault et al., 2009, Psychiatry Res) has shown enhanced cognitive control in children with TS compared with typically developing children. Cognitive control is an umbrella term for several cognitive functions that work together to produce smooth, efficient goal-directed behaviour. The findings in TS suggest that at least a proportion of these children are capable of exerting greater cognitive control, possibly as a consequence of the continual need to suppress their tics and that this may represent a compensatory mechanism that increases the likelihood of symptom remission later in development. Considering the evidence that ADHD is associated with impaired cognitive control (Groom et al., in press, Biol Psychiatry; Groom et al., 2009, J Ch Psychol Psychiatry; Groom et al., 2008, Biol Psychiatry), comorbid ADHD symptoms may be one factor underlying poor tic suppression and poor long-term prognosis. 

The project will investigate the effects of comorbid ADHD on electrophysiological correlates of cognitive function and tic suppression. The student will be required to develop appropriate paradigms to measure the neural correlates of cognitive control using electrophysiology and apply these paradigms to children with TS with and without comorbid ADHD. 

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