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Research Associate

Based at
University of York - Heslington Campus
Hours of work
Contract status
Fixed term
31,604 to 38,832 per year
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Role Description


This post has become available following the award of a 5-year grant, FLEXSEM to Professor Beth Jefferies. Understanding how we make sense of the world around us and generate thoughts and actions that are appropriate to our circumstances is a key challenge within cognitive neuroscience. The FLEXSEM project provides a focussed exploration of the neurocognitive mechanisms that underpin our ability to retrieve relevant aspects of knowledge, as well as the functional consequences of individual differences in this capacity for decision-making, creativity and well-being. As a member of the friendly and highly productive Memory and Thought Lab at the University of York, headed by Beth Jefferies and Jonny Smallwood, you will have the opportunity to use multiple neuroscience methods to tackle this issue, including network connectivity and multivariate approaches to fMRI, transcranial magnetic stimulation and magnetoencephalography. The group also has a strong interest in neuropsychology, particularly the effects of stroke aphasia on semantic cognition, and in the neurocognitive basis of mind-wandering. There are currently five postdocs and seven PhD students working on linked projects investigating neural networks supporting different patterns of memory retrieval.

The Psychology Department at York is a great place to be a postdoc: it has a vibrant community of Early Career Researchers and excellent research facilities at the York Neuroimaging Centre. The Department was rated 4th in the UK for research quality in the most recent research assessment (REF 2014). The research group has an excellent track-record of developing people's careers and the Department holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of its work in promoting gender equality.


As a Research Associate in the Memory and Thought Lab, you will conduct research and develop new projects under the supervision of Beth Jefferies. You will be expected to work independently, and also collaboratively with others. We are looking for someone with a keen interest in the underlying architecture of memory retrieval, who will be able to develop analyses to test hypotheses about brain organisation within the domain of semantic cognition. You will have prior experience of neuroimaging analysis, coding skills in any language (e.g., MATLAB, Python etc.) and a desire to master cutting-edge neuroscientific methods.

Skills, Experience & Qualification needed

  • A PhD in Neuroscience/Psychology or another relevant field (or equivalent experience).
  • Knowledge of neuroimaging methods, experimental design and advanced statistics, plus an ability to apply these methods to address specific research questions.
  • An interest in brain organisation and semantic cognition, and an understanding of contemporary issues in cognitive neuroscience.
  • High attention to detail to ensure high-quality research at all stages of the process.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, including experience writing results up for publication and presenting at conferences.
  • An ability to work as part of a highly-focussed and productive team, and also to work independently.

Closing date: 03 May 2018

Interview date: To be confirmed

Vacancy reference: 6554


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