PhD Studentship: From Cones to Words: Augmenting Intergenerational Colour Communication

Funded PhD Project (UK or International Students)

Funding provider: Northeastern University London (NU London)

Subject areas: Computer Science, Psychology, Cognitive Science, Colour Vision

Project start date: 2nd October 2023 or early January 2024

Supervisors (*lead):

  • Dimitris Mylonas* (Northeastern University London)
  • Heather Ferguson (University of Kent)

Aligned programme of study: PhD in Computer Science

Mode of study: Full-time

Northeastern University London

As part of a major investment, Northeastern University London (NU London) has multiple, fully-funded PhD studentships available to accelerate its interdisciplinary research in the humanities, social sciences and digital sciences. Each scholarship is fully-funded for three and a half years (UKRI rates) and includes fees, an annual stipend, an additional London allowance and associated costs, such as training.

NU London is both a UK university governed by UK higher education regulations, and the European campus of Northeastern University – a large, top-tier research intensive, Boston-based institution. Founded in 1898, Northeastern received $230.7m of external research funding in 2022, and is the recognized leader in experience-driven lifelong learning. It has campuses across the United States and Canada (in Boston; Charlotte, North Carolina; Portland, Maine; Oakland, California; San Francisco; Seattle; Silicon Valley; Arlington, Virginia; the Massachusetts communities of Burlington and Nahant; Toronto and Vancouver). Whilst the PhD will be a UK qualification, students will have the opportunity to engage with and visit the Northeastern University network overseas as part of their London- based doctoral studies, providing a truly unique and highly sought-after dimension to their research training.

The Project

We are currently looking for a motivated PhD researcher to join our team and contribute to an interdisciplinary project focused on understanding and improving intergenerational colour communication. This project aims to address the challenges and opportunities presented by the ageing population, by exploring the impact of age-related changes in human colour vision on colour naming. Through a combination of crowdsourcing, laboratory experiments and eye-tracking field studies, the candidate will collect data from diverse age groups to analyse the relationship between colour perception, colour cognition, and social attention to colour. The project aims to develop practical solutions for augmenting intergenerational colour communication and contribute to a comprehensive theoretical framework of the visual system. Strong research and analytical skills, along with a background in computer science, psychology or cognitive science, are required for this interdisciplinary opportunity. The PhD will be mainly conducted in Northeastern University London and partially and the University of Kent, under the supervision of A. Professor Dimitris Mylonas ( ) and Professor Heather Ferguson. Students will also have the valuable opportunity to work with other team members, including Professor Andrew Stockman from the Institute of Ophthalmology, UCL and Professor Eskew Rhea from Northeastern University Boston.

The successful candidates will:

  • Have a proven, strong educational background in computer science, psychology or a related subject (see eligibility criteria)
  • Be excited and inspired by the proposed project area
  • Be an independent learner
  • Have strong communication skills
  • Have an inquiring mind and be willing to challenge themselves

The successful candidates will benefit from a brand new campus on the banks of the River Thames next to Tower Bridge. This is an interdisciplinary, vibrant research environment with international collaboration and networking opportunities and dedicated research space. It will form the hub of a highly experienced, multi-institution supervisory team from NU London and the University of Kent.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed in early September 2023. Candidates are welcome to contact the NU London supervisor with informal enquiries before the application deadline: Dimitris Mylonas ([email protected] )


  • Bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject – 2:1 or 1st (essential)
  • Master’s degree in a relevant subject (optional)

English Language requirements:

If applicable – IELTS 6.5 overall (with a score of at least 6.5 in each individual component) or equivalent.


Applications are open to UK and international students. Please indicate if you are likely to require a visa on your application. We are unable to support visa costs.


This scholarship covers the full cost of tuition fees, an annual stipend and an additional London allowance (set at UKRI rates) for 3.5 years. For the 2022/2023 academic year the annual stipend is £20,722 (£18,622 UKRI stipend plus £2,100 London allowance). Annual increments will be in line with UKRI rates.

International travel

Students will have the optional opportunity to travel to Northeastern University in North America to further their research training and experience.

How to Apply

Please submit a CV and a 1-page covering letter stating how you meet the requirements and why you are interested in the proposed research project. Applications should be made via the apply button (above). Please reference your application ‘PSCS0623’.

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