PhD studentship in Music Perception & Cognition

Queen Mary, University of London
School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

Applications are invited from all nationalities for a funded PhD studentship to undertake interdisciplinary research in music perception and cognition, to start in September/October 2014.

The candidate will be supervised by Dr Marcus Pearce ( and the research undertaken in this studentship will fit into the wider research programme of the Music Cognition Lab ( based in the School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science ( and affiliated with the Division of Biological and Experimental Psychology (

Existing and ongoing projects in the Lab include:

  • Probabilistic modelling of musical expectation;
  • The effects of cultural exposure on the perception of musical structure;
  • Computational modelling of beat and rhythm perception;
  • Probabilistic modelling of harmonic structure;
  • Psychophysiological investigation of emotion induction and recognition in music;
  • Modelling the acquisition of perceptual stylistic expertise by professional musicians;
  • Effects of stimulus complexity on memory and liking for music;
  • Predictive processing of prosody in language.

The Lab has a brand new soundproof facility for EEG studies of music perception and cognition.

This studentship includes funding to cover student fees and a tax-free stipend starting at £15,726 per annum and will be available for 3 years (international students) or 3.5 years (UK students only).  

Candidates should have a first or upper second class honours degree or equivalent, or a strong MSc Degree, in a relevant discipline, such as Psychology, Neuroscience, Computer Science, Music, Mathematics, Physics or Electronic Engineering, or equivalent experience. At least some musical training is preferable but not necessarily required.

Informal enquires can be made by email to Dr Marcus Pearce (

For more details on how to apply see Here is a direct link to the application form.

Please note that instead of the 'Research Proposal' we request a 'Statement of Research Interests'. Your statement should answer three questions: (i) What is your proposed area of research? (ii) Why are you interested in the proposed area?  (iii) What is your experience in the proposed area? Your statement should be brief: no more than 500 words or one side of A4 paper. In addition we would also like you to send a sample of your written work. This might be a chapter of your final year dissertation, or a published conference or journal paper. 

The closing date for the applications is 31 January 2014. 

Interviews are expected to take place during February 2014.