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Postgraduate Study


Neurodevelopmental Research Group and the Autism Research Centre, University of Cambridge

The Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, is pleased to announce two PhD Studentships to start in October 2023. The PhD student will be a part of the Horizon Europe project - Risk and Resilience in Developmental Diversity and Mental Health. We particularly welcome applications from people from backgrounds that are under-represented in research.

The studentship will be hosted within the Neurodevelopmental Research Group and the Autism Research Centre (ARC), Department of Psychiatry. The Department has an outstanding international reputation in research, rated the best psychiatry department in the UK and in Europe, and has excelled in the last three Research Assessment Exercises. The University of Cambridge is consistently ranked among the top universities in the world. The Department welcomes applications for a PhD Studentship to conduct research for a doctoral degree from candidates with a good degree in human genetics, psychology, biology, medicine, neuroscience, mathematics, biochemistry, or a related discipline.

We are particularly interested in candidates who would like to use large longitudinal datasets to investigate how social and genetic factors contribute to differences in neurodevelopmental and mental health conditions, and factors contributing to gender/sex differences in diagnosis and outcomes. As a part of the PhD, candidates will build complex longitudinal models to investigate the role of social factors and investigate their correlation and interaction with genetic factors. Candidates will develop skills to handle large-scale datasets, longitudinal modelling, genetic analyses including polygenic scores and rare variant analyses. Candidates are asked to submit a potential project title and a research proposal within this research area.

Applicants for the Studentships should have, or expect to gain a 1st class or a high 2.1 class Honours degree in an appropriate subject, and may also have completed further research training or a Master's degree. The stipend will be paid at RCUK rates for the 3-year duration of the award. Only the fees for home students will be met in full. In addition, the Studentship includes modest funding for running costs of the research and costs for travel to scientific conferences.

To apply, please email the following documents:

  • An academic CV
  • A research proposal within this research area (maximum 2000 words, excluding bibliography or figures)
  • A cover letter indicating a brief summary of your research interests, any completed research conducted, interests and skills in statistical methods, analyses of large datasets, and coding, and a clear statement of your eligibility for this funding award.

Applications must be received by midnight on April 15th 2023. Interviews will be held within a month of the application deadline.

Applications and enquiries regarding the administration of the application process and further information should be directed via email to Mrs Adisa Broadhurst, Education Supervisor . Enquiries regarding the scope of the PhD or funding should be directed via email to either Dr Varun Warrier ( or Professor Simon Baron-Cohen (


The Neurodevelopmental Research Group ( conducts research into understanding genetic and social correlates of neurodevelopment and mental health. We are committed to the principles of equality and diversity, and welcome applications from people from traditionally underrepresented groups in academia.

The ARC's mission is to understand the causes of autism and to establish which interventions are helpful and for whom ( For ethical reasons, the ARC does not conduct animal research, and is opposed to both a 'cure' for autism per se and to eugenics. The ARC views autism as both a disability and an example of neurodiversity, and does support research aimed at alleviating specific symptoms that cause suffering. The ARC values inclusion for autistic people and maximising their wellbeing, and consults with the autism community on every research project it undertakes.

Please quote reference RN35968 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Key Information

Department of Psychiatry

Reference: RN35968

Dates and deadlines:

Friday, 17 March, 2023
Closing Date
Saturday, 15 April, 2023