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Department of Psychology

Teaching Associate in Experimental Psychology, Statistics and Research Design(Part Time, Fixed Term)

We are seeking an enthusiastic person to join the Department of Psychology as a Teaching Associate. The purpose of the role is to support and maintain the University's national and international reputation for excellence in teaching. The successful candidate will demonstrate a willingness to contribute to undergraduate education within the Department of Psychology and an ability to teach effectively at undergraduate level.

Reporting to the Director of Undergraduate Education, the post-holder will support the Department of Psychology's teaching in Developmental Psychology and Statistics. The post-holder will work in collaboration with relevant Course Organisers and the Deputy Head of Department for Teaching, conducting developmental lectures for undergraduate students, teach statistics, and contribute to marking of Part I examinations. The role will involve liaising with lecturers, students and administrative staff.

It is essential that the post-holder has a background in Developmental Psychology, has competence and confidence in programing, and is able to teach R. The candidate should demonstrate a commitment to teaching and will ideally have experience of teaching at university level. It is essential that the post-holder is self-motivated, can work independently as well as part of a team, and has good organisational and communication skills.

The position is funded for 2 years part-time, with the possibility to extend. Ideally, the successful candidate will be able to take up the post of Teaching Associate on April the 25th, or as soon as possible thereafter. The interview date is projected to be the week beginning the 20th of March, and will involve a short skills-based test.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Informal enquiries about the role and relevant skills and experience are welcomed, and should be directed to Dr Lee de-Wit (lhd26@cam.ac.uk).

Please quote reference PJ34888 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Categories: Jobs and Studentships

ESRC DTP Interdisciplinary Studentship 2023: 'Common Sense' and flexible learning in AI agents: Do current AI agents possess the 'basic skills' necessary for them to enter workforce? (Fixed Term)

The University of Cambridge ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership [DTP] is pleased to offer an interdisciplinary studentship available for admission in October 2023.

The studentship will be a one-year masters followed by three-year doctoral programme and will be co-supervised by Dr Lucy Cheke (Department of Psychology) and Dr Flavia Mancini (Department of Engineering).

DTP students will acquire a unique set of skills that will equip them for high-profile careers as leading social scientists, in academia or in other government, industrial, commercial and third sector organisations, either in the UK or elsewhere.

Project description: Policy and institutional frameworks for AI governance rely on up-to-date information about AI capabilities. It is now possible to train AIs to exceed human performance on numerous, individual tasks such as classifying images or analysing large datasets. However, these systems cannot act outside of the task they have been trained for and often fail under even minor deviations from their expected inputs (Shevlin et al., 2019). Basic cognitive skills such as object permanence are central to flexible function, acquired in human infanthood, but are a major challenge for AI (e.g. Voudouris et al., 2022) and their development would represent a step-change in potential applications. However, current AI benchmarks are neither sufficiently cognitively defined nor sufficiently general to measure performance in these skills.

This studentship will form part of a project taking a new approach to AI evaluation - inspired by cognitive science both in terms of concepts (which is already common across AI research) and in applying a conceptual and methodological framework that is comprehensive and robust. Jointly supervised by Dr Lucy Cheke (Cognition and Motivated Behaviour Lab, Psychology; Director of the kinds of Intelligence Program, Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence), who has led research in developmental /comparative psychology and AI evaluation, and Dr Flavia Mancini (Computational and Biological Learning research group, Engineering), who leads an interdisciplinary research group in computational neuroscience and AI. The student will create and train novel artificial agents using techniques in Deep Reinforcement and Bayesian learning while in parallel developing a series of cognitive tasks within the Animal AI platform (http://animalai.org) to assess the capabilities of these agents. They will benchmark this performance against that of children. Finally, together with both supervisors, they will learn how to computationally model behavioral data, using both Bayesian and RL approaches, to extract a nuanced and comprehensive understanding of the "cognitive fingerprint" across different tasks, for both children and agents generated using different architectures.

The ideal student will have strong technical skills and be from a computational background, with a proven interest in cognitive science. They should have: (1) a computational background, with interest in computational neuroscience and machine learning; (2) demonstrable programming skills; (3) Evidence of interest or experience in cognitive science. Candidates need to have excellent written and oral communication skills, in English. During the MPhil year, the applicant will be supported in developing the practical and research skills that will be put into practice in the PhD, depending on the background and previous training.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 4 years in the first instance.

Cambridge ESRC DTP studentships are open to all students who meet the required academic conditions. Applicants need to have (or be close to obtaining) a high 2:1, preferably a 1st class honours degree in engineering, computer science, computational or cognitive neuroscience, physics, mathematics, machine learning, medicine, Psychology or a related neuroscience field. As this project involves working with infants and very small children a full Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check will be required.

An ESRC DTP studentship will cover Home rate fees and provide £17,668 p.a. in living costs (current rates). DTP students also receive a personal allowance for additional training costs, and can apply for further funding to pursue fieldwork, academic exchange, and collaboration with non-academic partner organisations.

You can find out more about the Cambridge ESRC DTP at: https://www.esrcdtp.group.cam.ac.uk/about/onoffer and read about some of the opportunities that will be available to you.

You can find out more about the Department of Psychology at https://www.psychol.cam.ac.uk/ and the Faculty of Engineering at http://www.eng.cam.ac.uk/ (see also the Computational and Biological Learning research group (CBL)). Please address any questions about this studentship to Dr Lucy Cheke at lgc23@cam.ac.uk or Dr Flavia Mancini at fm456@cam.ac.uk.

Applications for this studentship should be made to the Department of Psychology. The course code is BLPCM1 (Mphil in Biological Sciences/ Psychology). https://www.postgraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/application-process/how-do-i-apply

With your application you will be required to submit (i) a draft research proposal outlining your suitability, why you are interested in pursuing a PhD in this area, your background and research interests, familiarity with the populations targeted by this research. (ii) your CV stating your citizenship and years of residence in the UK (iii) copies of your academic transcripts (iv) details of two academic referees.

Please quote reference PJ34341 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Categories: Jobs and Studentships

Cambridge ESRC DTP Interdisciplinary Studentship 2023:Cognitive flexibility in early development: new insights from advanced imaging technologies (Fixed Term)

The University of Cambridge ESRC Doctoral Training Partnership [DTP] is pleased to offer an interdisciplinary studentship available for admission in October 2023.

The studentship will be a three-year doctoral programme and will be co-supervised by Prof Rebecca Lawson (Department of Psychology) and Dr Gemma Bale (Department of Engineering).

DTP students will acquire a unique set of skills that will equip them for high-profile careers as leading social scientists, in academia or in other government, industrial, commercial and third sector organisations, either in the UK or elsewhere.

Project description: Cognitive flexibility enables us to adapt behaviour to achieve goals in a novel or changing environment and underscores the ability to learn when to learn, so that we can see when what we are doing is not leading to success and make appropriate changes. This ability is fundamental to human flourishing. Good cognitive flexibility is associated with better resilience to negative life events, better quality of life in older adults, better social skills and higher educational attainment.

Despite the importance of cognitive flexibility for human behaviour, we know surprisingly little about the antecedents of this ability in early life. This is largely because of limitations in the methods that we have to study neural processing in infancy. This studentship will address this research gap by bridging across infant cognitive neuroscience and the development of new cutting-edge optical imaging methods to measure brain function non-invasively (high-density diffuse optimal tomography: HD-DOT). This will allow us to better understand the neural basis of cognitive flexibility in infants.

Over the course of this studentship, the student will examine the factors that predict cognitive flexibility at age 6 months (e.g., sociodemographic factors, parental mental health, diet, education, adversity) and, by running longitudinal follow-up experiments, the cognitive and educational outcomes that cognitive flexibility at 6 months is predictive of (e.g., at 18-month follow-up assessing standardised gross motor and cognitive development skills such as Mullen Stages of Early Learning (MSEL). This Interdisciplinary Scholarship will therefore lay the foundations for tests of cognitive flexibility in infancy that may predict individual support needs in primary education to facilitate early access to these services.

The successful candidate should have an interest in and aptitude for interdisciplinary skills across neuroimaging (e.g., physics, programming, signal processing, statistics) and also cognitive psychology (e.g., development, infancy, learning, flexibility). Cambridge ESRC DTP studentships are open to all students who meet the required academic conditions. As this project involves working with infants and very small children a full Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check will be required.

An ESRC DTP studentship will cover Home rate fees and provide £17,668 p.a. in living costs (current rates). DTP students also receive a personal allowance for additional training costs, and can apply for further funding to pursue fieldwork, academic exchange, and collaboration with non-academic partner organisations.

The funds for this post are available for 3 years.

You can find out more about the Cambridge ESRC DTP at: https://www.esrcdtp.group.cam.ac.uk/about/onoffer and read about some of the opportunities that will be available to you.

You can find out more about the Department of Psychology at https://www.psychol.cam.ac.uk/ and the Faculty of Engineering at http://www.eng.cam.ac.uk/.

Please address any questions about this studentship to Dr Rebecca Lawson at rl337@cam.ac.uk. Applications for this studentship should be made to the Department of Psychology. Please apply via https://www.postgraduate.study.cam.ac.uk/application-process/how-do-i-apply

The course code is BLPC22 (PhD in Psychology).

The closing date for applications will be 1st December 2022.

With your application you will be required to submit (i) a draft research proposal outlining your suitability, why you are interested in pursuing a PhD in this area, your background and research interests, familiarity with the populations targeted by this research. (ii) your CV stating your citizenship and years of residence in the UK (iii) copies of your academic transcripts (iv) details of two academic referees.

Please quote reference PJ34121 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Categories: Jobs and Studentships

Research Associate in Neurocognition and Neurocomputation (Fixed Term)

A post-doctoral Research Associate position in Neurocognition and Neurocomputation is available to work with Prof Zoe Kourtzi at the Adaptive Brain Lab, Univ of Cambridge, UK (http://www.abg.psychol.cam.ac.uk).

The position will focus on studies combining brain imaging (7T fMRI, MR Spectroscopy), electrophysiology (EEG), genetics, interventional (TMS, tDCS) and neurocomputational (machine learning, reinforcement learning) approaches to understand the network dynamics that support learning and brain plasticity.

The research activity is at the core of a Wellcome Trust funded Collaborative award that brings together a cross-disciplinary team of international experts to investigate the role of brain network dynamics for adaptive behaviour. Our work programme bridges work across scales (local circuits, global networks) to uncover the neurocomputations that support learning and brain plasticity.

This international collaborative network provides unique opportunities for cross-disciplinary training in innovative methodologies at the interface of neuroscience and computational science. Successful applicants will be integrated in a diverse collaborative team and will have the opportunity to participate in workshops and retreats across the network as well as exchange visits across labs to facilitate cross-disciplinary training and collaborative working.

Research in the Adaptive Brain lab aims to understand how humans of all ages (healthy and patients with neurocognitive disorders) translate sensory experience into complex decisions and adaptive behaviours by taking into account previous experience and learning. We develop cross-disciplinary approaches to study the young and ageing brain and understand adaptive behaviours in health and neurocognitive disorders. The successful applicant will receive multi-disciplinary research training at the interface between neuroscience and computational sciences.

Applicants should have a PhD (or submitted at time of appointment) together with a strong academic track record, in a relevant area (e.g., Neuroscience, Cognitive Psychology, Medicine, Genetics, Mathematics, Engineering, Computer Science, Medicine). Programming skills are highly desirable and experience with brain imaging, EEG,scomputational modeling preferable. Above all, they will demonstrate enthusiasm to contribute new knowledge, openness to learn new approaches and willingness to contribute to a multidisciplinary team across sectors (academia, industry).

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

For informal inquiries, please contact Professor Zoe Kourtzi at zk240@cam.ac.uk

Closing Date: Wednesday 7th December 2022 at 12 Midnight

Interviews: Week commencing 12th December 2022

Please quote reference PJ34087 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Categories: Jobs and Studentships

Research Grants Administrator (Part Time, Fixed Term)

We are looking for an enthusiastic and motivated individual to join the Department of Psychology as a part-time Research Grants Administrator. The Department holds around 90 active research grants which generate an annual income of over £5m per annum.

The post holder will be participating in the provision of a comprehensive and efficient research management service to the Department through every stage of the grant process to ensure effective administration of all research funding activity.

The ideal candidate will be the first point of contact for research grant related queries. For this purpose, the post holder is expected to develop a close working relationship with researchers and with the Research Operations Office to ensure smooth management of all processes, and compliance with necessary regulations.

The post holder will work very closely with the departmental finance team and the HR Coordinator and will be part line managed by the Research Grants Manager, to allow constant communication between key administrative contacts.

The ideal candidate will already have administrative experience in a similar role/financial environment.

This is a varied post which requires excellent organisational skills and attention to detail, alongside the ability to prioritise and to work under pressure to meet deadlines.

Excellent communication and interpersonal skills are also required, as well as a proactive approach to problem solving.

The candidate will be educated to 'A' level standard, to include GCSE English language and mathematics/NVQ level 3 or have an equivalent level of practical experience.

Good IT skills, including Word, Excel and emails are a requirement.

Use of bespoke financial, grant or reporting systems is desirable. Previous experience in a fast-paced environment is essential.

In return, we offer an encouraging, supportive and inclusive environment with an opportunity for the role holder to cultivate and progress their career.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

For informal inquiries, please contact Petra Georgoulis Hluzova at ph344@cam.ac.uk

Closing Date: Sunday 27 November 2022 at 12 Midnight

Interviews:TBC

Please quote reference PJ34032 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Categories: Jobs and Studentships

Project Coordinator (Fixed Term)

The Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab at the University of Cambridge is looking for an enthusiastic project coordinator to work on a full-time one-year research project on the psychology of polarization; The Cambridge Overcoming Polarization (COP) Seminar Series. This exciting role supports an interdisciplinary team, which will convene monthly as part of a new strategic interest group (SIG) funded by the Templeton World Charity Foundation. The role will support the team in its effort to conduct world-class research on and find practical solutions to overcoming the increasing degree of (political) polarization in society

The Project Coordinator will provide a critical foundation for the team by organizing and planning the seminar series, liaising with speakers, managing e-mail lists, booking venues, offering presentation support, engaging with stakeholders, drafting white papers and reports, keeping track of the budget and expenditure, manage the website and social media, and generally provide a high level of administrative assistance and project management support, which in turn will ensure the organisation runs smoothly. Applicants must be committed to the values that underpin the Cambridge Social Decision-Making Lab's work.

This is an interesting and varied role focusing on all aspects of research project coordination. The role holder will facilitate the efficient running of the project, create and maintain documents, develop project plans to ensure the smooth running and success of the project. The role holder will monitor the grant on behalf of the research group, notify team members of expenditure on the project and inform the team of project deadlines. Key to this is clear and effective communication with both internal and external stakeholders.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 1 years in the first instance.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a health assessment.

Applications are welcome from internal candidates who would like to apply for the role on the basis of a secondment from their current role in the University.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Informal enquiries are welcomed and should be directed to Dr Sander van der Linden: sv395@cam.ac.uk

Please quote reference PJ34042 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Categories: Jobs and Studentships

Research Assistant/Research Associate (cognitive neuroscience) (Fixed Term)

The Prediction and Learning Lab (www.lawsonlab.co.uk) is looking to recruit a new postdoctoral research associate (or research assistant if close to submission) to join us in the Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge. This lab uses a range of methods, including pharmacology, neuroimaging and computational modeling in typical adults and clinical conditions such as autism, anxiety, depression.

The post-holder will be responsible for the design and implementation of behavioural tasks assessing learning, decision-making and perception and the application modelling approaches (e.g., reinforcement, Bayesian, machine) to these data. This will be combined with functional neuroimaging (3T/7T fMRI), physiological recordings and pharmacological interventions in humans. Applicants are not expected to be experienced in all these methods, but the aptitude and flexibility to learn is essential.

The appointee will be responsible for designing experiments, applying for study ethics, recording and analysing data and preparing the results for publication.

The successful candidate should hold or be very close to holding a PhD in a discipline such as cognitive neuroscience, computational science, psychology or similar. Proficiency using MATLAB, R, Python or comparable programming languages is essential.

The post holder will also help to supervise and train graduate and undergraduate students in the lab.

As you may be working with vulnerable adults in clinical contexts, this post requires a standard DBS check. .

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 3 years in the first instance.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Informal enquiries are welcomed and should be directed to Dr Rebecca Lawson: rl337@cam.ac.uk

Please quote reference PJ33908 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Categories: Jobs and Studentships

Research Assistant/Research Associate x 2 (Fixed Term)

We are seeking 2 post-doctoral research associates to work at the Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge. The positions are open to candidates who will have completed or will be near the completion of their PhD by February 2023. In this case, the posts will start as a research assistant position and be promoted to research associate once the PhD is completed.

The post-holders will be expected to carry out research in the area of neurocognitive development in typically developing adolescents. The post-holders will be part of Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore's Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience research group in the Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge. The posts are funded by the Jacobs Foundation and the University of Cambridge.

The post-holders will be responsible for the design of behavioural and/or neuroimaging experiments with adolescents and adults, as well as participant recruitment, and recording, analysing and writing up the results, in collaboration with members of the research group. The precise studies are flexible, and could be behavioural, s/fMRI or secondary datasets, to be discussed and agreed upon with Professor Blakemore.

Main Duties and Responsibilities: To design, set up and run experiments with adolescents and adults, including the recruitment and testing of participants in schools, the lab and/or online. Studies will be developed in consultation with the Principal Investigator.

To assist with writing and amending ethics applications.

To record, analyse and write up the results of experiments, maintaining a permanent record of the methodologies and engaging in Open Science practices throughout.

To prepare and present findings of research activity to colleagues.

To contribute to the writing, submission and revision of papers to be submitted to appropriate peer reviewed journals, collaborating with others as appropriate.

To contribute to the overall activities of the research team and the department.

To act as a supervisor for a small number of undergraduate students enrolled on the third year Natural Sciences course entitled 'Adolescence', and to help with the supervision of a small number of undergraduate student projects each year

To follow Cambridge University policies including Equal Opportunities, Ethics, Race Equality, Fire and Health and Safety

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 2 years in the first instance. Please note that these appointments may be extendable for up to one year depending on funding.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service check (enhanced with children's barred list).

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

For informal inquiries, please contact Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore at sjblakemore@psychol.cam.ac.uk

Closing Date: Friday 18 November 2022 at 12 Midnight

Interviews: Early December

Please quote reference PJ33802 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Categories: Jobs and Studentships