PhD studentships: some projects on offer

There are a number of staff in the Department of Psychology offering specific PhD projects. If you are interested in applying for a PhD studentship to pursue any of these projects, please contact the individual staff member.

Read our guidance notes for applying for a PhD in Psychology at Kingston University and how to structure a proposal of your own.

Dr Elisa Back

Please contact me if you are interested in social cognitive development in Autism Spectrum Disorder and/or typically developing individuals. Areas include (but are not limited to) facial expression recognition and theory of mind using naturalistic tasks and real-time measures such as response times and eye-movements.

Dr Georgia Butler

Please contact me if you are interested in the area of, impulsivity and risk taking behaviour, drug use or eating behaviours / eating disorders, mental health in construction workers. Projects include (but are not limited to):

  • Impulsivity and risk taking in populations (e.g. drug users, dysfunctional eating behaviours) with impaired impulse control).
  • Drug use (licit and illicit use), including mental health, cognitive enhancing drugs.
  • Eating behaviours / eating disorders and food addiction, social media, addiction and mental health.
  • Mental health in construction workers.

Dr Fatima Felisberti

  • Emotion processing
  • Attention modulation
  • I am also open to interesting ideas in the area of cognition and health from prospective candidates.

Dr Giulia Galli

Please contact me if you would like to discuss PhD proposals on the following topics:

Dr Sabira Mannan

  • Neuro-rehabilitation following stroke

Homonymous hemianopia is the commonest form of visual disorder following stroke or head injury. In this study the PhD student will develop and evaluate an eye movement based compensatory therapy making use of the range of oculomotor recording equipment and the driving stimulator based in the Department of Psychology at Kingston University, London. Depending on student interest and patient availability, it may be possible to test patients with Hemispatial Neglect.

Dr Cristina Martinelli

Please contact me if you are interested in conducting research in eating disorders and dysfunctional eating in the general population. Areas include (but are not limited to):

  • The way binge eaters process internal bodily states (i.e. interoception)
  • Socio-cognition in anorexia, bulimia and binge eating
  • The effects of a 'healthy eating mindset' on eating behaviour and related dysfunctions.

Dr Ana Nikcevic

  • Psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Psychology of women's health
  • Addictive behaviours (problematic internet use, smoking, gaming)

I am also open to other research topics in clinical and health psychology more broadly, such as illness representations and coping. Please feel free to contact me to discuss your research idea.

Professor Muthanna Samara

My research interests are in developmental psychopathology including school and sibling bullying, the long-term outcomes following prematurity and the development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) amongst children of war and refugees. I am also open to other research topics in clinical and developmental psychology.

Please get in touch if your PhD proposal is relevant to the following topics:

  • Bullying, cyber-bullying and victimisation amongst peers in schools and siblings at home.
  • Problematic internet use and addictions.
  • Exposure to trauma and the development of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
  • The development of premature children.

Please feel free to contact me to discuss your research idea.

Dr James Tapp

My research interests are on the topic areas listed below. Please feel free to contact me to discuss any expressions of interest in doing a PhD on these areas:

  • Restorative justice in mental health settings
  • Evaluations of what works in forensic mental health hospitals
  • Psychological assessments (specific to forensic psychology)
  • Professional boundaries in criminal justice settings

Dr Claudia Uller

  • Cognitive and social development in babies
  • Comparative cognition and animal cognition
  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Attribution of trust and trustworthiness

This PhD project would involve working with the Department's state-of-the-art eye tracker.

Dr Aiman El-Asam

I am broadly interested in cyber-forensic psychology and psychopathology. More specifically, I am keen on research that promotes "healthier" and "safer" internet use amongst young people. I am also interested in practitioners' (e.g. psychologists and social workers) practices and the inclusion of online problematic behaviour in their safeguarding responsibilities. Please get in touch if your PhD proposal is relevant to the following topics:

  • Online risk encounters (content, conduct, cyber-scams) and mental health
  • Cyber-bullying and victimisation
  • Vulnerable young people and digital lives
  • Online safeguarding and mental health policies and assessments
  • Internet-based addictions and treatment.

Dr Nora S Vyas

  • Effects of meditative states on cognitive abilities
  • Cognitive functioning in bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and schizotypy
  • Sleep patterns and risk of psychiatric disorders

The project would involve using clinical, cognitive (using standardised neuropsychological test batteries and novel tasks), and physiological measures to study individuals with psychiatric disorders and the general population.

Dr Delphine Theobald

Please contact me if you would like to discuss a proposal to study for a PhD on the following topics:

  • Intimate partner violence
  • Sexual violence/harassment
  • Interventions for dating violence
  • Evaluations of healthy relationship programmes

Dr Mircea Zloteanu

I am an experimental psychologist, focused on open science, advanced statistical modelling in behavioural research, and interested in topics of judgement and decision-making. Below are some areas of research I specialise in; if you have a PhD proposal roughly in these area contact me:

  • Veracity judgements and deception
  • Emotions and facial expression
  • User behaviour in online Sharing Economy ecosystems
  • Application of Bayesian statistics to psychology research

Dr Stone Hsieh

  • Exercise and non-invasive brain stimulation on brain and eating behaviours

The PhD project explores the effects of exercise and electrical brain stimulation on food-related cognitions, appetite, and energy intake, as well as the underlying neurobiological mechanisms using EEG, hear-rate variability, and biological measures. The project will involve works with staffs across the psychology department and sport science group at Kingston.