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Research Fellow

University of Portsmouth - Department of Psychology

Location: Portsmouth
Salary: £35,845 to £39,152 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 24th January 2020
Closes: 27th February 2020
Job Ref: ZZ006070

Fixed-term: Up to 5 years - until 31 March 2025

Start Date: 01 April 2020

Interview Date: 12 March 2020   

The University of Portsmouth is a dynamic and ambitious institution with a track record of success. One of only four universities in the south east of England to achieve a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework, it is also ranked 21st in the 2020 Guardian League Table University Guide, and 113th in the Times Higher Young University World Rankings. 

We are seeking to appoint a full-time, 5-year Research Fellow at the University of Portsmouth, Department of Psychology, Centre for Comparative and Evolutionary Psychology, as part of European Research Council (ERC) Consolidator Grant FACEDIFF “Individual differences in facial expressivity: social function, facial anatomy and evolutionary origins” awarded to Professor Bridget Waller

The Research Fellow will develop, conduct and manage laboratory based cognitive and behavioural experiments with human participants at the University of Portsmouth. The experiments will focus on social interaction, nonverbal behaviour and facial expression processing. The Research Fellow will use the Facial Action Coding System (FACS) and Social Network Analysis and conduct statistical analysis on the data using R. The Research Fellow will work closely with a PhD student and Research Associate on the project as well as other staff in a large inter-disciplinary research team. The goal for this part of the project is to conduct a series of behavioural and cognitive experiments as a comprehensive analysis of individual differences in facial expressivity. We are seeking a passionate, experienced and skilled researcher to join our team. Relocation expenses are available (please see the University of Portsmouth relocation expenses policy). 

FACEDIFF project description:

Communicating with others via the face is crucial for navigating our social world. Deficits in facial expression production can have an impact on social interaction, characterising several clinical conditions such as autism spectrum disorder, schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease. Despite this, we know surprisingly little about individual differences in facial expressivity, what causes these differences and how such differences impact on individual lives. FACEDIFF will combine psychological, anatomical and cross-species methods as an interdisciplinary investigation of individual differences in facial expression. First, individual variation in production and perception of facial expressions will be measured via laboratory experiments and in relation to social network size and quality. Second, variation in human facial musculature will be documented through cadaveric dissection and existing MRI databases. Third, facial expressivity will be examined in a primate model to determine whether patterns are unique to humans. FACEDIFF will aim to provide a comprehensive and interdisciplinary perspective on individual differences in facial expression and explore the function and evolution of individual differences in humans. 

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be directed to Professor Bridget Waller via email on 

Applications from candidates who require sponsorship to work in the UK are welcome and will be considered alongside all other applications. 

As an equal opportunities employer, we welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons and all appointments will be made on merit. As we are committed to the principles of the Race Equality Charter Mark, we would particularly welcome applications from the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) community who are currently under-represented at this level in this area. The Department of Psychology holds an Athena Swan Bronze Award. 

For detailed information about the vacancy, please select this link: ZZ006070 - Research Fellow.docx

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