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Research Fellow (Social Decision-Making)

University of Birmingham - School of Psychology, College of Life and Environmental Sciences

Location: Birmingham
Salary: £31,406 to £40,927 with potential progression once in post to £43,434. Grade 7
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 7th October 2021
Closes: 1st November 2021
Job Ref: 98345

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £31,406 to £40,927, with potential progression once in post to £43,434  

Grade 7 

Full Time / Fixed Term Contract for up to 2 years 

Closing date: 1 November 2021

We are seeking an excellent postdoctoral researcher to join the Social Decision Neuroscience group ( led by Dr. Patricia Lockwood. The lab studies the cognitive, computational and neural basis of social learning and decision-making in healthy young adults, across the lifespan and in neurological and psychiatric disorders. The lab is funded by the Medical Research Council, Jacobs Foundation, CIFAR, and Wellcome Trust.

A 2 year postdoctoral position (with possibility of extension subject to funding) is available from 1st January 2022, or as soon as possible thereafter.

The main focus of this role will be on the design, collection and analysis of novel model-based behavioural, and neuroimaging experiments. In addition, the post holder may also undertake behavioural and neuroimaging studies involving children, adolescents and older adults, children with antisocial behaviours, as well as being part of large-scale online data collection projects. The position is broad and can be in part tailored to the applicants interest, and there is the opportunity to analyse existing data.

The successful candidate will be resourceful with the ability to act on their own initiative, excellent quantitative skills including programming (e.g. Matlab and R) for the design and analysis of experiments. Experience of using computational modelling, studies with diverse populations (children, adolescents, older adults), and advanced neuroimaging techniques (model-based imaging, MVPA or RSA) is desirable but not necessary.

Main Duties/Responsibilities

  • Contributing to the design and programming of behavioural and/or neuroimaging experiments
  • Running experiments involving behavioural and neuroimaging measures (e.g. fMRI, MEG)
  • Recruiting and contacting healthy participants, patients, schools and families
  • Analysing behavioural and/or brain imaging data using the latest analysis tools (e.g. computational modelling)
  • Writing and contributing to manuscripts for research publications, and presenting data
  • Work collaboratively with other members of the group
  • Helping to look after and ordering relevant equipment when required
  • Assisting the laboratory head with supervision of student projects

Selection criteria

  • Have or be close to the completion of a PhD in cognitive neuroscience, neuroimaging, experimental psychology, computer science or a closely related discipline
  • Experience in the design, coding and analysis of behavioural experiments
  • Strong quantitative and programming skills, and knowledge of one or more relevant programming languages (e.g. Matlab; Python; R)
  • Experience with, or an understanding of, computational models of decision-making (e.g. reinforcement learning, drift diffusion modeling, economic choice models)
  • Experience of writing and publishing peer reviewed scientific papers
  • Ability to work independently
  • Strong presentation skills including the ability to present research proposals and results, and represent the group at meetings

To apply please upload a covering letter and CV.

For informal enquiries contact Patricia Lockwood (

To download the full job description and details of this position and submit an electronic application online please click on the Apply Online button below or visit Please quote Job Ref 98345 in all enquiries.

Valuing excellence, sustaining investment 

We value diversity and inclusion at the University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community and are open to discussions around all forms of flexible working. 

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