The AS4SAN PhD and ECR training grant

Goal: The aim of the AS4SAN PhD and ECR training grant is to increase collaboration between Social and Affective Neuroscience labs within the Australasian region, and to increase knowledge of different social and affective neuroscience methodologies. The goal of the grant is for a PhD student or early career researcher (<2 years post-PhD) in the Australasian region to go to another lab in the Australasian region to learn a new technique and start a research collaboration with another lab.

Who is eligible? Australasian PhD students or early career researchers (less than 2 years post-PhD-graduation) who want to learn a new technique (that is essential for their research) in another lab in the Australasian region. The new technique has to be relevant for social and/or affective neuroscience research. For example, the technique can be fMRI (which is not only relevant for social and/or affective neuroscience) but you have to show how you are going to apply it in your own social and/or affective neuroscience research. The goal is to bring the new knowledge back to their own lab, and to strengthen collaborative social and affective neuroscience research within the Australasian region. It is essential that the candidate physically spends a certain amount at the other lab. Eligible candidates must have attended the 2017 AS4SAN conference in Melbourne or have registered for the 2018 AS4SAN conference in Brisbane or pay a $50 AS4SAN membership fee.

How much? The winner will receive AU$1000 which can be spent on travel, accommodation, and project costs.

Application: The application involves a (maximum) two-page cover letter (Times New Roman, 12-point font; minimum 1.5 cm margins) and a copy of your CV. Critical information that needs to be addressed in the cover letter includes:

1)      What is the technique that you are going to learn at the lab you plan to visit?

2)      Why is it this the best lab to learn the technique?

3)      How is the technique relevant for social and affective neuroscience research?

4)      Why is it essential for your research and your career that you physically go there to learn this technique?

5)      Why are you the perfect person to receive this grant?

6)      How will the grant increase collaboration between different labs in the Australasian region.

7)      How will you use the newly learnt technique in your research and how will it benefit the lab where you work?

8)      What will be the outcomes of you receiving this grant?

9)      If successful, how will the money be spent?

10)   Address the eligibility criteria.

Rules: The money needs to be spent before the 2019 AS4SAN conference. After the trip, the successful applicant needs to write a one-page report about the experience and outcomes which will be circulated through to AS4SAN newsletter to all AS4SAN members.

Application opens: 1st of March 2018.

Application closes: 31st of May 2018.

How to apply? Please send your CV and a one page cover letter to Please also include a signed statement from your supervisor and the PI of the lab you are planning to visit in which they confirm their support for your visit.

Application outcomes: The winner will be announced at the 2018 AS4SAN conference in Brisbane.


Workshops announced


In 2017 we will host two free half-day workshops at the Melbourne Brain Centre. In the morning we will host an fMRI analysis workshop for beginners. During this workshop you will learn: 1. the theoretical basis behind fMRI; 2. how to set up an fMRI experiment; and 3. get hands-on experience on how to analyse and interpret fMRI data with SPM. Students have to bring their own laptop with Matlab and SPM12 installed. 

In the afternoon a workshop on neuropsychological tests related to social and affective neuroscience will take place. During this workshop you will learn which tests are best suited to test for different social and affective cognitive functioning and get hands-on experience on how to conduct these tests. Places for both workshops are limited. If you want to take part in one or both workshops please send an email before the 31st of March to with your CV and a short paragraph explaining why you are the ideal candidate for that particular workshop.

2017 conference date confirmed!

The 2017 AS4SAN conference will take place on the 15th and 16th of June at the Melbourne Brain Centre. 

Keynote presenters include Prof. Shihui Han (Peking University), Prof. Skye McDonald (UNSW), Prof. Kim Felmingham (University of Melbourne), A/Prof. Peter Enticott (Deakin University), Prof. Bernard Balleine (UNSW) and Professor Eddie Harmon-Jones (UNSW). 

2016 international Keynote Announced

Marc Sollberger is an Assistant Professor of Neurology at the University Center for Medicine of Aging Basel and the University Hospital Basel, Switzerland. He worked for two years as a post-doctoral fellow at the UCSF Memory and Aging Center investigating clinical and neural substrates of personality traits and self-awareness in neurodegenerative disease. His current research areas include the perception of emotional and social signals in behavioral variant frontotemporal dementia and psychiatric diseases.

Save the Date - Announcement of the 3rd National Meeting

The 3rd AS4SAN meeting held in conjunction with Brain Sciences UNSW will be held 23-24th June 2016 at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS).

The conference organising committee include:

  • Prof Skye McDonald, UNSW
  • A/Prof Branka Spehar, UNSW
  • A/Prof Olivier Piguet, NeuRA
  • Dr Michelle Kelly, University of Newcastle
  • Dr Jacqueline Rushby, UNSW
  • Dr Steve Most, UNSW
  • Dr Fiona Kumfor, NeuRA
  • Dr Cynthia Honan, University of Tasmania

Stay tuned for more information.