Mission Statement

Our mission is to better understand the brain-behavioral relationships that underlie human hand function, and to use this knowledge to improve rehabilitation outcomes for individuals with movement problems.

Exquisitely designed for function, our hands enable us to literally reshape our world around us. When brain or bodily injury impairs our ability to use our hands, their pivotal role in upholding our independence and quality of life is made painfully clear. Our lab is dedicated to furthering our understanding of the neuroscience of human hand function. We believe that advancing our foundational knowledge of how the brain controls the hand will guide and motivate new and improved rehabilitation interventions for individuals with sensory and movement impairments.

NEWS: Fully-funded PhD position:
The sensory and motor consequences of using an injured hand
Bangor University, School of Psychology

Qualification type: PhD

Placed on: September 24th 2016

Location: Bangor

Closing date: November 11th 2016

Funding for: UK/EU students


Funding amount: Tax-free stipend of approximately £14,200 per annum plus tuition fees and a research allowance


Hours: Full Time


Applications are invited for a 3-year PhD studentship, fully funded by the Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships (KESS) scheme—an EU convergence programme led by Bangor University. Start date is negotiable but we aim to fill the position by Jan 2017. Deadline for applications is Nov 11th 2016.

Supervisors: Simon Watt; Ken Valyear; Edwin Jesudason

Project description: This project will address how peripheral musculoskeletal conditions affect sensation and motor control of the hand. Questions include, what are the functional implications of specific sensory and motor impairments, and how does the use of different sources of sensory and motor information for hand movements change in such conditions?
The project is a collaboration between academic researchers in sensory-motor control and perception (Watt, Valyear), a consultant orthopaedic hand surgeon at the local NHS health trust (Jesudason), and a small private-practice company. In keeping with the aims of the funder (KESS), the project is focused on fundamental science, yet also investigates new applications to clinical conditions. Our overall aim is to harness the knowledge we gain from this research to improve the assessment and treatment of individuals with hand-movement disorders. 
The project involves a range of scientific methods, likely to include motion capture, psychophysical measurement, and clinical assessment, both in normal participants and patients.

Facilities: The project will be part of ongoing research in Watt and Valyear’s labs in the School of Psychology at Bangor University. The labs offer access to outstanding facilities for Cognitive Neuroscience, including motion capture, novel display technologies, eye-tracking, transcranial magnetic stimulation, and functional MRI. Furthermore, Bangor is situated in a beautiful region of North Wales close to Snowdonia National Park, which provides a wonderful natural backdrop to professional life.

Requirements: The successful applicant will have a first or upper second class honours degree and/or an MSc in a relevant discipline (e.g. psychology, neuroscience, medical sciences). Strong work ethic and genuine enthusiasm for research are essential, as is the ability to work both independently and cooperatively. Quantitative research experience is necessary. Prior experience with motion capture is beneficial, but is not required, as training will be provided. Physiology and medical backgrounds are considered valuable, but non-essential.

Residency requirements: This studentship is open to UK/EU students only.

Stipend: Approximately £14,200 per annum plus tuition fees and a research allowance.

General information: PhD students are expected to contribute to teaching in the department.

Further information: In the first instance please contact Dr Simon Watt (s.watt@bangor.ac.uk) or Dr Ken Valyear (k.valyear@bangor.ac.uk). Please include your CV and brief summary of your research interests.

General enquiries: For general advice about how to apply and eligibility please contact Julie Boulton (j.a.boulton@bangor.ac.uk).

Link to website version of the advert: https://www.bangor.ac.uk/psychology/psychology-studentships.php.en

Link to online application forms: https://apps.bangor.ac.uk/applicant/