School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

PhD opportunities

Sajjal Syed

Photo of  Sajjal Syed

PhD student


Sajjal graduated from Royal Holloway UoL with B.Sc. in Psychology (2012). Her undergraduate research focused on emotion processing laterality in brain hemispheres. She completed M.Sc. in Sport & Exercise Psychology from Bangor University (2013). Her research focused on performance under pressure.

Sajjal interned with England & Wales Cricket Board and was a part of a team of psychologists responsible for planning and implementing variables, if any, predictive of future/international success of young athletes.

Sajjal is currently conducting PhD in understanding performance under pressure in light of neuroscience literature and pursuing the BPS Qualification in Sport & Exercise Psychology Stage 2.


Title: Understanding the position of cognitive neuroscience literature as a marker of performance in pressured situations

The cognitive neuroscience literature, in specific Reinforcement sensitivity theory has previously focused on the main effects of Behaviour inhibition system and Behaviour approach system on performance (Hardy, Bell & Beattie, 2013). Interactive effects have been found in light of Joint Subsystem Hypothesis (Corr, 2004), which have not been investigated. Hence, this PhD project aims to look at the interactive relationship between BAS, BIS and FFFS and performance under pressure within sporting environment.

External Activities:

Graduate Basis of Chartered Membership (GBC), British Psychological Society
Division of Sport and Exercise Psychology BPS

Keywords for Discipline and Research Area: 

Sport Psychology, Mental Toughness, Performance under pressure, Reinforcement Sensitivity theory