Current PhD Opportunities

A test subject using a VR machine whilst on a treadmill

Applying for a PhD

We offer a range of PhD studentships funded by research councils or charities. General information about these can be found under ‘Funding opportunities’.

To apply to study for a PhD at the Department of Psychology, please complete ALL the steps outlined below. To be considered for a studentship, your application will have to reach us by the deadlines advertised under step 3 and 4.

Find a Supervisor

To begin the process, you will need to find a PhD supervisor whose research interests align with your own. You will need to contact them to discuss your application and the development of your research proposal. To help with this process, we advertise below ‘project ideas’ staff have proposed as starting points for the development of a research proposal. The project ideas are organised by research community (although many fall into more than one research community). Please read the advertised project ideas and additional information and contact the main supervisor to discuss the development of your research proposal. If you have an idea for a project that is not listed here, but which falls within the research area of a member of our staff, most staff are happy to be contacted about that. Just send them an email outlining your idea. You can find out about our staff's research interests by visiting our People pages.

Please contact your proposed supervisor as early as possible as developing your research proposal will take time.

As a department, we particularly encourage applications to work with early career staff. This year these include: Dr Amy Atkinson, Dr Jaime Benjamin, Dr Mark Hurlstone, Dr David Neequaye, Dr Heather Shaw, Dr Lydia Speyer, Dr Hannah Stewart, and Dr L-J Stokes. Applications to work with these members of staff are weighted preferentially at the short-listing stage for the EPSRC and the Faculty studentships.

Apply to Lancaster

Apply to Lancaster University through the Lancaster University Admissions Portal. Please complete this step at least 2 weeks before the submission deadline mentioned under steps 3 and 4.

  • In case of a 1+3 application, please apply for a PhD only at this stage. Don’t worry about the start date of the PhD at this point, this can be easily amended once the application is in the system.

Apply to North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP)

If you wish to be considered for NWSSDTP funding, you need to apply to the NWSSDTP in addition to completing steps 2 and 4. Please follow the instructions on the NWSSDTP website and submit your application to them by 5 pm on Monday 26 February 2024.

Apply to the Department of Psychology

Apply to the Department of Psychology by filling out our form. You will be asked to answer a few questions about your application and to upload a single PDF file that contains all the documents you have submitted under Step 2 and Step 3 (if applicable). If you wish to be considered for an NWSSDTP, EPSRC or Faculty studentship, please complete this step by 5 pm on Monday 26 February 2024.

What happens after you have submitted your application?

We will work with Lancaster University Admissions and with the NWSSDTP to process your application. After the closing date, we will consider all applications and invite shortlisted candidates for an interview. Interviews will usually be held via Teams. The timescale for this will vary but is in the region of 4 weeks following the application deadline.

If you have any questions about your application, please contact the postgraduate coordinators by emailing

Current PhD Opportunities - Cognitive Psychology

Cognitive PhDs accordion

Current PhD Opportunities - Developmental Psychology

Developmental PhDs accordion

Current PhD Opportunities - Neuroscience

Neuroscience PhDs accordion

Current PhD Opportunities - Social Psychology

Social PhDs accordion