Teaching & Supervision

Current PhD Students

  • Chris Peters – a “big data” approach to understanding skill learning
  • Ioanna Spentza – Factors affecting Everyday Problem-Solving skills in Older Adults
  • Your name here?

I am always enthusiastic to hear from potential PhD students. Please get in touch.

A PhD with me will involve using robust and open science methods to address theoretical ideas in cognitive science. Plus extensive mentoring on all aspects of the scholarly life, conducted in Sheffield’s best coffee shops.

Specific projects I am currently seeking students for are here.

Second supervisor to…

August Lindemer ‘A new climate of public reason: impact and trust in science communication’

Amber Copeland ‘Value-based decision-making and self-control in alcohol-related behaviour change and recovery from addiction’

Siham Albesisi ’emotion regulation on ADHD children’

Stephanie Armstrong ‘Relation between the Executive Function development and the reading acquisition, from a neuropsychological view’

Stephanie Powell ‘ The relationship and effects of young children’s use of technology’

Máté Gyurkovics ‘Affective factors in cognitive control: Behavioural and neural investigations in adults and adolescents’

Undergraduate & Postgraduate teaching

I am coordinator for the Department’s cognitive psychology teaching and teach level 1 and 2 students decision making and reasoning. I teach MSc students a module in data management and visualisation (Spring 2019).

Previously I have taught Synthetic Psychology, using lego robots and Jupyter notebooks to show how building models of behaviour can help us understand the nature of mind. I taught a graduate seminar on contentious issues in cognitive neuroscience for several years, including dual process accounts, sex differences in the brain, and the reliability crisis in cognitive neuroscience.

This module is based on the principles of inquiry based learning and uses unresolved questions in the cognitive neurosciences to teach critical analysis of research literature and how to build a novel and interesting scientific arguement. I have published a paper and a short report on the design of the course:

Stafford, T. (2008), A fire to be lighted: a case-study in enquiry-based learning, Practice and Evidence of Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, Vol. 3, No. 1, April 2008, pp.20-42.

Stafford, T. (2008). Teaching Questions Rather than Answers: inquiry-based learning on an MSc course. HEA Psychology Network Newsletter, Issue 46, January 2008.

When I was module organiser for PSY241/3 Cognitive Psychology. I designed the course around the use of a wiki – an user editable webpage which allows writing practice, collaboration and encourages a critical approach to sources.

You may enjoy:




This list is not comprehensive. I have teaching roles not mentioned here.


Previous supervision and examining

As primary PhD supervisor

Maria Panagiotidi, PhD 2017 ‘The Role of the Superior Colliculus in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

Angelo Pirrone, PhD 2016 ‘Decision modelling insights in cognition and adaptive decision making

Despina Panagiotidou (co-supervised with Ana Vivas, City College, Thessaloniki), PhD 2015, ‘Distractor, Temporal, and Inhibitory Variations of the Distractor Devaluation Effect of Visual Selective Attention’

Tom Walton, PhD 2012, ‘The Discovery of Novel Actions

David Yates, PhD 2012, ‘Using eye-movements to elucidate architectures of object recognition and selection’

Cigir Kalfaoglu, PhD 2012, ‘Errors and error-detection during skilled typing

 As a secondary PhD supervisor

Andreas Bunge (Department of Philosophy, University of Sheffield), “The mental structure of prejudice”, February 2018

Luana Nunes, “Ethological Decision Making with Non-Stationary Inputs Using MSPRT Based Mechanisms” May 2017

Alvin Pastore (Department of Computer Science), “Neuroeconomics, Reinforcement learning and the equity premium puzzle” January 2017

Stephanie Dunn (with Elizabeth Milne and Megan Freeth), PhD 2016 ‘Electrophysiological correlates of visual search in the autism spectrum’

Hamideh Kerdegari (supervised with Tony Prescott), PhD 2016 ‘Head-mounted Sensory Augmentation System for Navigation in Low Visibility Environments’

Tom Bullock (supervised with Elizabeth Milne and Dick Eiser), 2012, ‘Crossmodal Load and Selective Attention’

Post doctoral supervision

Martin Thirkettle post-doc, 2008-2012
Craig Bertram, 2012-2013
Jen Lewis, 2012-2013
Robin Scaife, 2014 -2016
Mariana Leriche, 2014 -2016
Robin Scaife, 2013-2017


Alejandro Jimenez Rodriguez, University of Sheffield, 15th February 2019
Jim Lumsden, University of Bristol, 19th October 2018
Conor Heapy, University of Sheffield, 4th May 2018
Joe Thompson, Simon Fraser University, Canada, 30th April 2018
Jonathan Glancy, University of Sheffield, 2nd December 2016
Christian Beyle Sandoval, University of Sheffield, 9th October 2015
Maria Dagioglou, University of Birmingham, 7th April 2014
Jennifer Lewis, University of Sheffield, 2012
David Cameron, University of Sheffield, 2011
Alexander Cope, University of Sheffield, 2011
Mike Roberts, University of Sheffield, 21st October, 2010