PhD students in the UCR Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience Program

Nov 8, 2023 | Graduate students, Job Postings

We invite your students and trainees to apply for the PhD program within the UCRiverside department of Psychology. The department has a number of fantastic faculty who are accepting applications for the 2023 cycle. I am specifically writing to you as a representative of the Cognition and Cognitive (CCN) area. Within CCN, in the 2023 graduate application cycle, Prfs. Ballard, Dimsdale-Zucker, and Schill Hendley are accepting applications.

Graduate training within the CCN area emphasizes cognitive theory and developing skills in neuroscience, statistics, computer programming, and mathematics. CCN faculty provide training in cutting-edge behavioral paradigms, computational modeling approaches, and neuroscience techniques including electroencephalography (EEG/ERP), non-invasive transcranial stimulation methods (including tACS, tDCS, and TMS), and structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI/fMRI). Our students have been successful in obtaining prestigious independent funding such NIH F31 and APA dissertation awards. Recent graduates from the PhD program have gone on to pursue postdoctoral training at institutions such as The University of Chicago, Duke, UC Irvine, Penn State, faculty roles at Cal State Chico, the Medical University of South Carolina, the University of Maryland, and Wagner College and non-academic industry roles.

Lab blurbs:

Research in the Computational Cognitive and Neural Sciences Lab (, led by Dr. Ian Ballard (), studies how our goals interact with our brain’s learning systems to support adaptive decision making. We develop computational models to bridge insights from brain imaging (fMRI), behavior, and causal brain manipulations. Our long-term research goal is to develop strategies and treatments for reducing maladaptive decision making in healthy and clinical populations.

Research in the Dimsdale-Zucker Memory and Context Lab (, led by Dr. Halle Dimsdale-Zucker (), studies how context (e.g. cognitive states, semantic, spatial, and temporal relationships and even healthy aging) shapes what we remember and how these memories are represented by the brain. To do this, we use behavior, electroencephalography (EEG), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and computational approaches such as Hidden Markov Models. Please see the FAQ page for more information if you are considering applying to the lab.

Research in the Applied Psychology Lab, led by Dr. Hayden Schill Hendley (), explores the influence of cognitive processes (e.g., visual attention, memory, perception) in several areas including medical image perception and pedagogical learning. Dr. Hendley especially invites applicants interested in the scholarship of teaching and learning or in expert populations such as radiologists or medical physicists.

Information about the application and submission process can be found on the UCR graduate application portal and applications are due no later than 11:59pm PST December 1st, 2023. Fee waivers may be available to eligible applicants (note, unfortunately UCR does not offer fee waivers for international applicants).