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The Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development


The Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development (CBCD) was founded at Birkbeck, University of London, in 1998 under the leadership of Professor Mark Johnson. It has grown steadily and is now internationally recognised as one of the leading centres of its kind. It receives significant financial support for its activities from many of the major funding bodies for research in the UK, most notably the Medical Research Council.


Members of the centre are housed in two close-by buildings: the purpose-built Henry Wellcome Building and the historic 32 Torrington Square. The membership of the centre is very international with students, post-docs and support staff from Europe, Asia, and North America. Work at the CBCD is characterised by an equal focus on theoretical, methodological, and empirical advances in understanding infant and child development.


Members of the Centre receive national and international funding support from the European Union, the Medical Research Council, the Economic and Social Research Council, the Royal Society, the British Academy, Autism Speaks, the Wellcome Trust, the Wolfson Foundation, the Leverhulme Trust, the Nuffield Foundation, the James S. McDonnell Foundation, the US National Institute for Health, the US National Science Foundation and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. The Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development also incorporates the Babylab from the former Medical Research Council Cognitive Development Unit. As well as studying typical brain development in infancy, it is one of the only laboratories in Europe that studies brain functioning in very young children with autism and William’s Syndrome.


The CBCD has an outstanding track record in training postdoctoral research fellows, with recent post-docs gaining competitive lectureship appointments at University of London (UCL, Goldsmiths, Birkbeck, King’s College, Institute of Child Health), Oxford Brookes, and Manchester University.  Our excellence in training at the PhD level has just been rewarded with the designation “Marie Curie Centre of Excellence for doctoral training”, which places us in the top 5% of life science training centres in the EU.  Further, our national training record is reflected in the recent award of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education 2005 for “Neuropsychological work with the very young”. Currently, and in the recent past, the CBCD has hosted Royal Society, MRC, Wellcome Trust, ESRC, NSERC (Canada), NSF and NIH (USA) funded research fellowships.


You can download our latest CBCD biannual report by clicking on this link.

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