Using Online Word Games to Study Language Comprehension

Fully funded PhD Vacancy

Deadline for applications 3rd Dec 2019

We currently have a fully-funded vacancy for a PhD student to work on a project that is co-funded by the ESRC and Caudron Science Ltd – the company behind the Gorilla Experiment Builder.

This project will be co-supervised by Dr Jenni Rodd and Prof Courtenay Norbury at UCL and Jo Evershed at Cauldron.

Research Project

The aim of this project is to design, create and refine a suite of fun games for collecting research data to better understand language development.

The games could be for adults or kids. They could test vocabulary or grammar. They could be for monolinguals or bilinguals. It will be up to you! We will have time to develop the project together.

The successful applicant would be expected to start in September 2020.

Who should apply

This is a multi-disciplinary project, so we expect applicants from a variety of backgrounds.

The only real requirements is that you should be excited about creating computer games to do large scale testing of people’s language skills.

  • You might have psychology undergraduate degree with no experience in language research, but really enjoy programming in MatLab or Python or R (or other language).
  • You might have a psychology undergraduate degree and a huge interest in the development of language. Maybe your third year project was on language using behavioural methods. You might have some experience with programming and at least know what an ‘if statement’ or a ‘while loop’ is.
  • You might have an undergraduate degree is computer science and have no experience in psychology at all. But want to get into EdTech or MedTech or other games development. The PhD would teach you the psychological theory and methods for creating evidence based products.


Application Process

The deadline for applications is 5pm on 3rd Dec 2019.

Click here for more details on eligibility and on how to apply .


Information about Cauldron Science

The student will spend one year embedded with Cauldron Science. Cauldron Science ( is a private sector company (based in Cambridge, UK) that creates bespoke software (websites, apps and games) for experimental behavioural scientists.

See here for further information about Cauldron and about this aspect of the studentship.