PhD Studentship: The Neuroscience of Voice Perception

Closing Date
12 Mar 2021
The studentship covers the full cost of tuition fees, plus a tax-free maintenance stipend of approximately £15,280 per annum for three years and a research allowance of £750 per annum
Bangor University
3 years

Project Detail

The research area will be in auditory neuroscience and tailored to the interests of the successful applicant and the supervisory team. Dr Bestelmeyer’s research broadly concerns how we extract information from the sound of a person’s voice. In addition to linguistic content, voices convey other kinds of socially relevant information, for example, the identity of a speaker or their emotional state.Below are possible directions the successful candidate might want to explore:

Neuroimaging has revealed areas in the brain that are sensitive to voices compared to other environmental sounds. The function of these “temporal voice areas” remains largely unexplored. For example, are these areas truly voice-specific? And if so, is activation within these areas related to how good we are at recognising speakers from their voice alone? One avenue the successful candidate could explore with fMRI and/or TMS is whether these voice-sensitive patches are analogous to the occipital and fusiform face areas in face perception research. Another direction could be more clinical, in which focus would be on the anatomical correlates of participants who are super-recognisers versus individuals on the opposite, or phonagnosic, end of the voice recognition spectrum.

Projects that are currently being run in the lab are diverse but broadly related (e.g. the influence of context on the perception of vocal expressions and the social inferences drawn about speakers of different regional accents). Dr Bestelmeyer, therefore, welcomes discussions of the student’s own topics of interest within voice perception. Her lab’s publications can be found here.

For more information, visit:

Person Criteria

The successful applicant will have:

  • A Master’s degree in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, neuroimaging, computer science, audiology or related field and a first-class or good upper second-class undergraduate degree in psychology.
  • A strong work ethic and genuine enthusiasm for research
  • The ability to work both independently and cooperatively
  • The ability to communicate effectively, with evidence of strong scientific writing skills
  • A willingness to learn programming experiments and analysing data in Matlab

How to Apply

Before applying, please contact Dr Patricia Bestelmeyer ( She will describe the topic of the research proposal that is required to apply. All applications submitted on Bangor’s online system must include:

1.) a current CV (2 pages maximum)
2.) a 1-2 page cover letter explaining your motivation to apply for the PhD position (this should also include a description of how you meet the required and desired skill set)
3.) a research proposal (1,000 words maximum) for an experiment (Dr Bestelmeyer will explain the details of this when you contact her)
4.) 2 academic references
5.) if relevant, proof of English Language Competency (7.0 IELTS minimum).

The online application form is available here:

Further Information

All PhD students are expected to contribute to teaching in the School. The initial appointment for the position will be for a period of one year, with an extension of 2 years after positive evaluation of capabilities and compatibility. The appointment must lead to the completion of a PhD thesis.
Further information: In the first instance please contact Dr Patricia Bestelmeyer ( to discuss your application. Please include your CV and a brief summary of your research interests.