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29th June, 2017

TECHNE AHRC funded PhD studentship


Department of Psychology and Media Arts department, Royal Holloway, University of London

Project: Using depth of field to guide attention and convey narrative structure

Supervisors: Dr Szonya Durant (Dept. of Psychology) and Mr Adam Ganz (Dept. of Media Arts)

Applications are invited for a National Productivity Investment Fund PhD studentship funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council starting in October 2017.  The studentship includes a stipend of £16,553 (plus fees at home/EU rates) for three years.  There is an additional NPIF £550 per year to facilitate engagement with the Partner, and students can apply for an additional six months stipend to engage in extended development activities such as work placements.

As a TECHNE student, the person selected will have full access to the TECHNE Doctoral Training Partnership development activities and networking opportunities, joining a cohort of about 50 students per year from across seven universities in London and the south-east.  See  TECHNE students can apply for additional funding to support individual or group training and development activities.

This interdisciplinary PhD project draws on the fields of sensory neuroscience, in particular, the experimental study of eye movements, and film and media studies and in particular the study of visual perception, narrative comprehension and affective response in relation to film editing. The novelty of the proposed interdisciplinary approach promises to yield original insights that will expand the knowledge and understanding in both disciplines. It expands the new discipline of psychocinematics by looking at how audiences perceive (and thus how filmmakers can use) a new element of film grammar – the ability to vary depth of field within in a shot which has been developed by our industrial partner Cinefade.

The primary PhD supervisor is based in The Department of Psychology, which has an active and expanding postgraduate research community, is well-equipped for research. It was ranked 6th out of 82 UK Psychology Departments in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF), with 93% of our research classified as world-leading or internationally excellent. Research in the department spans a breadth of topics across psychological sciences and neuroscience and is supported by excellent facilities – further information on the research environment can be found here. The second supervisor is based in the Media Arts department, led by award-winning world-class experts in the field and practicing professionals, committed to achieving the highest standards in both the study and practice of screen media. The Media Arts Centre provides a professional working environment for the development of media practice skills and creativity. Both departments are situated on a beautiful campus close to London.

Applicants should ideally hold, or be predicted to achieve, a first class undergraduate degree or equivalent in Psychology, Media Arts or related disciplines (minimum requirement: 2.1). An MSc in a psychology- or cinematography-related subject is desirable but not essential.  The ideal candidate will have strong skills in experimental design and statistical analysis, and some experience of lens-based media, film editing, computer programming and eye tracking would be advantageous.  The project will involve a 6 months placement working with CineFade Ltd which will involve trips to various UK locations to meetings with their clients.

Applicants must meet the RCUK residency requirements as described in paragraphs 43-46 of the ‘Conditions of Research Council Training Grants’ and comply with conditions set out in the AHRC Training Grant Funding Guide

enquiries about the project should be directed to: or

Full details on how to make an application are shown on our Departmental Website (select “tab 2 – Research Council UK Funded Studentships”) and in the College Webpages.

For further details on the application process please contact: Sharon Clutterbuck on

Closing date:  5pm on Monday 1st August2017

Interview dates: 7-18 August (can be flexible around existing commitments)

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