Global Doctoral Scholarship - St Andrews and Macquarie - Psychology and Natural Sciences

Application period opens
Wednesday 15 February 2023
Application period closes
This scholarship deadline has now passed (Friday 31 March 2023)

The University of St Andrews and Macquarie University are pleased to offer a scholarship funded by both institutions, to support an exceptional student undertaking doctoral research in the following project:

Minds at work: Comparing working memory capacity in diverse species 

Students will enrol at both institutions from the outset. In terms of their location for study, entry points for students beginning at St Andrews are, 27 September or 27 January. If beginning at Macquarie, entry points are 1 October or 1 February.

Doctoral Research at St Andrews

As a doctoral student at the University of St Andrews you will be part of a growing, vibrant, and intellectually stimulating postgraduate community. St Andrews is one of the leading research-intensive universities in the world and offers a postgraduate experience of remarkable richness.

St Leonard’s Postgraduate College is at the heart of the postgraduate community of St Andrews. The College supports all postgraduates and aims to provide opportunities for postgraduates to come together, socially and intellectually, and make new connections.

St Leonard’s Postgraduate College works closely with the Postgraduate Society which is one of the most active societies within the Students’ Association. All doctoral students are automatically welcomed into the Postgraduate Society when they join the University.

In addition to the research training that doctoral students complete in their home School, doctoral students at St Andrews have access to GRADskills – a free, comprehensive training programme to support their academic, professional, and personal development.

Doctoral Research at Macquarie University

Macquarie University is recognised globally as a leading university, consistently ranking among the world’s best due to a strong tradition of innovation and exploration. With an enviable reputation for research excellence and a driving desire to produce solutions with real-world impact, Macquarie’s discoveries are paving the way to a brighter future. As a doctoral student at Macquarie, you will be able to draw on the expertise of the University’s knowledgeable and passionate research community.

The definition of a research problem, the exploration of the problem, and the dissemination of findings to the academic and general community, are central to the process of research candidacy at Macquarie. Candidates are supported throughout these stages by various central, faculty and departmental activities and assisted with the administration and management of their candidacy and research through the services provided by the Graduate Research Academy.

The doctoral program at Macquarie is a pathway to a career as a researcher in both academia and industry. In addition to managing their candidature and understanding their requirements as a researcher, doctoral students will complete a university-wide and a faculty-specific commencement program. They also have the opportunity to take advantage of a range of face-to-face courses and online training resources to leverage their degree to reach future career goals.



Humans evolved the ability to hold information in mind and keep it up to date, a skill which requires sustained activity in higher associative brain areas. These are supramodal networks which enable the maintainance of representations in the absence of sensory input and regardless of modality. The so-called ‘global workspace’, once acquired, opened many cognitive doors, from multi-step problem-solving (such as tool construction) to understanding grammar, and recognising deep connections between different experiences and the formation of analogies, which have been crucial to our species remarkable technological innovations. This neural feature is not unique to humans, but has appeared in very different animal lines (non-human primate and social insect brains) through a process of convergent evolution. Nevertheless, we would not expect the capacity to hold information in mind to be the same in these very different animal groups. This proposal seeks to explore the properties of working memory in capuchin monkeys and honey bees, and how these properties are shaped and constrained by very different brains. We will investigate the properties of working memory in these animals, from the simple maintenance of information to more complex abilities such as updating sequences (span tasks) and mental rotation.

The project will be managed jointly between the Psychology and Neuroscience at St Andrews and the School of Natural Sciences at Macquarie. The student will be supervised by Prof. Amanda Seed (St Andrews) and by Prof. Andrew Barron (Macquarie).

Informal enquiries regarding this scholarship may be addressed to and

Value of award (per year)

The funding comprises a scholarship equivalent of a full-fees award and stipend for a period of up to 3.5 years. It is expected that the student will spend half of the scholarship term at the University of St Andrews and half at Macquarie University:

  • For the period spent at the University of St Andrews, the scholarship will comprise a full fees award and a stipend paid at the current UK Research Council rate each year (£17,668 in 2022–2023).
  • For the period spent at Macquarie University, the scholarship will comprise a stipend at a fixed annual rate of AUD32,000 (tax exempt), paid pro-rata. A tuition fee scholarship will be granted for the period of joint enrolment up to 42 months. Macquarie University will also pay for one return economy airfare between Scotland and Australia up to a maximum value of $2,500 AUD to be arranged by the Graduate Research Academy.

Duration of award

Up to 3.5 years. The student will be expected to spend approximately half of the award term at the University of St Andrews and half at Macquarie University. The successful candidate will be expected to have completed the doctorate degree by the end of the award term. The award term excludes the continuation period and any extension periods.

At what stage of my course application can I apply for this scholarship?

Please apply for the scholarship after you have submitted your application for a place at St Andrews.  You do not need to wait until you have received an offer of a place before applying for the scholarship.

Application restrictions

Study level

Available to students studying at:


Domicile for fee status

No restrictions


Available to faculty members from:

Psychology and Neuroscience

Application assessment

Academic merit

Available to

Prospective students

Mode of study

Full time

Geographical criteria

No restrictions

Additional criteria

Admission and scholarship criteria of both universities must be met.

Applicants must not already (i) hold a doctoral degree; or (ii) be matriculated for a doctoral degree at the University of St Andrews or another institution.

How to apply

Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to BOTH Prof. Amanda Seed and Prof. Andrew Barron (;

Expressions of interest should include the following documents:

  • CV including information about publications.
  • Transcripts of most relevant/recent degrees.
  • Information about thesis components (thesis mark, word count, weight/length in comparison to the degree overall).
  • Statement of suitability as a candidate for the project (max 500 words)

Following a successful EOI for the scholarship, candidates may be invited to submit an application to both universities for admission into the program and award of the scholarship.

Please indicate in your EOI that you wish to be considered for this Global St Andrews scholarship (SeedBarron). Applications should be submitted to the co-supervisors via email to: and

Please contact us should you have any questions regarding the scholarship: or

Next steps

Once notified, successful candidates should proceed to fulfil the application requirements for each University and must meet all normal entry requirements for admission – please see the advice on applying for research degree programmes at St Andrews and the step-by-step guide on how to apply for research degree programmes at MQ.

Terms and conditions

Please read the University of St Andrews scholarships terms and conditions (opens in new tab).

These are applicable during the St Andrews duration of the award; please consult the partner institution for their terms and conditions relating to scholarships.

When will I know the outcome?

By 30 April 2023. Awards are subject to final signatures of contracts between the parties and successful admission to both institutions.

Successful scholarship applicants must apply to both institutions and meet all relevant entry requirements for admission including any immigration requirements that may be in place.


Please contact us should you have any questions regarding the scholarship:

Informal enquiries regarding this scholarship may be addressed to and