School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Postgraduate menu

Measuring the psychological impact of forced and voluntary migration on children’s interpersonal skills

Project Description

The aim of this project is to measure the psychological impact of forced and voluntary migration on children’s interpersonal skills, and how current living conditions affects their well-being. Specifically, we will ask whether emotion recognition is impaired in refugee children. We will test this hypothesis by working with a Jordan based NGO. We will examine sensitivity to emotion recognition in refugee children living in Jordan, and refugee and migrant children living in the UK. The project will employ behavioural measurements (‘psychophysics”), and will mainly be carried out at Queen Mary University, with 3 brief (1-2 weeks) testing visits at the local NGO in Jordan. 

The successful candidate will receive the training needed to carry out their research, including advanced psychophysical techniques and behavioural testing.


This is a fully funded studentship that covers tuition fees and stipend (at the standard Research Councils UK rate (£16,553 in 2017/18) for three years. It is open to UK/EU students.

Eligibility and Applying

Applications are invited from candidates with, or expecting to be awarded, at least an upper-second class honours degree (or equivalent qualification) in an area relevant to the project (e.g. biology, neuroscience, computer science or psychology). Candidates with a Masters degree are encouraged to apply. Knowledge of statistics and programming languages (e.g Matlab and Psychtoolbox) is desirable. 

Informal enquiries about the project can be made by email to Dr Isabelle Mareschal ( For formal applications, please submit an online application before the stated deadline.

Apply Online


  • Pollack SD, Sinha P (2002) Effects of early experience on children’s recognition of facial displays of emotion. Developmental Psychology, 38(5), 784-791. 
  • Pollak SD, Kistler DJ (2002). Early experience is associated with the development of categorical representations for facial expressions of fear, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 99(13), 9072-9076. 
  • Shackman JE, Shackman AJ, Pollak SD (2007) Physical abuse amplifies attention to threat and increases anxiety in children, Emotion, 7(4), 838-852.
Return to top