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…


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 teaching

A talk on how Cognitive Science inspires my teaching Experiments in Learning, Greenwich,  31 Jan 2017.

I teach on PSY105 Synthetic Psychology, in which we use lego robots to investigate how building models of behaviour can help us understand the nature of mind.

I am module organiser for PSY243 Cognitive Psychology. I teach decision making and the relationship between thought and language on this course. I’ve 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.

Postgraduate teaching

I am module organiser for PSY6316 Current Issues 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.

I also teach academic writing on PSY6309, another course on the Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience MSc.

I give a lecture on public relations for scientists on PSY6230, a module on the Masters in Psychological Research Methods


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


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


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