Psychology: Fully Funded PhD Scholarship: Gambling on 5G: Virtual Reality Expsoure Therapy for Gambling Disorder (RS642)

  • DeadlineDeadline: 22 July 2024
  • WalesWales


Closing date: 22 July 2024

Funding provider(s):  

Swansea Bay City Deal Digital Infrastructure PhD Studentships 

Subject area(s):  

Psychology, Computer Science, Psychiatry, Digital Health 

Project start date(s) (please delete as applicable): 

1 October 2024 (Enrolment open from mid-September) 


Professor Simon Dymond, Dr Martyn Quigley, Dr Jamie Torrance (all School of Psychology). 

Aligned programme of study:  

PhD Psychology 

Mode of study:  


Project description: 

5G technology supports high-speed, seamless connectivity for online, smartphone-based gambling. As the opportunities for the remote delivery of gambling experiences increase, so too does the risk of addiction and disordered gambling. While cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) remains the primary treatment for gambling disorder, challenges in long-term effectiveness and integration with other therapies impede progress. 

5G virtual simulations enable virtual reality environments (VREs) that utilize low-latency video streaming, multi-user sessions, and real-time data collection. These advancements promise a revolution in how CBT can be delivered, experienced, and analysed. 

In collaboration with our local commercial partner, Imersifi, and our academic partner, Dr Stephen Sharman (King’s College London), this PhD project will design and evaluate VREs for the study of gambling behaviour and the treatment of gambling disorder using a central feature of CBT: exposure therapy (with and without response prevention).  

The project aims are to: 

  • Develop and evaluate 5G-enabled VR analogues of gambling behaviour and exposure therapy (with and without response prevention).  
  • Interface psychophysiological indicators of gambling and treatment efficacy with 5G-VR. 
  • Explore potential commercial partnerships and further funding opportunities. 

For more details please see here:

Entry Requirements

Applicants for this PhD scholarship must hold an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level and a master’s degree. Alternatively, applicants with a UK first class honours degree (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University) not holding a master’s degree, will be considered on an individual basis.
IELTS 6.5 Overall (with no individual component below 6.5) or Swansea University recognised equivalent.

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to applicants eligible to pay tuition fees at the UK rate only, as defined by UKCISA regulations.

If you have any questions regarding your academic or fee eligibility based on the above, please email with the web-link to the scholarship(s) you are interested in. 


This scholarship covers the full cost of UK tuition fees and an annual stipend of £19,237.

Additional research expenses will also be available.

How To Apply

To apply, please complete your application online with the following information:

  1. Course choice – please select Psychology / PhD / Full-time / 3 Year / October

    In the event you have already applied for the above programme previously, the application system may issue a warning notice and prevent application, in this event, please email where staff will be happy to assist you in submitting your application.

  2. Start year – please select 2024
  3. Funding (page 8) –
  • ‘Are you funding your studies yourself?’ – please select No
  • ‘Name of Individual or organisation providing funds for study’ – please enter 'RS642 - Gambling Disorder'.

*It is the responsibility of the applicant to list the above information accurately when applying, please note that applications received without the above information listed will not be considered for the scholarship award.

One application is required per individual Swansea University led research scholarship award; applications cannot be considered listing multiple Swansea University led research scholarship awards.

We encourage you to complete the following to support our commitment to providing an environment free of discrimination and celebrating diversity at Swansea University: 

As part of your online application, you MUST upload the following documents (please do not send these via e-mail). We strongly advise you to provide the listed supporting documents by the advertised application closing date. Please note that your application may not be considered without the documents listed:

  • CV
  • Degree certificates and transcripts (if you are currently studying for a degree, screenshots of your grades to date are sufficient)
  • A cover letter including a ‘Supplementary Personal Statement’ to explain why the position particularly matches your skills and experience and how you choose to develop the project.
  • Two references (academic or previous employer) on headed paper or using the Swansea University reference form. Please note that we are not able to accept references received citing private email accounts, e.g. Hotmail. Referees should cite their employment email address for verification of reference.
  • Evidence of meeting English Language requirement (if applicable).
  • Copy of UK resident visa (if applicable)
  • Confirmation of EDI form submission (optional) 

Informal enquiries are welcome; please contact Professor Simon Dymond ( / 01792 295602) 

*External Partner Application Data Sharing – Please note that as part of the scholarship application selection process, application data sharing may occur with external partners outside of the University, when joint/co- funding of a scholarship project is applicable.

Who is eligible to apply?

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to applicants eligible to pay tuition fees at the UK rate only, as defined by UKCISA regulations. 

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