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Research Fellow in Psychology

University of Sussex - School of Psychology

Location: Sussex, Falmer
Salary: £37,099 to £44,263 per annum or pro rata if part time
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 1st March 2024
Closes: 15th March 2024
Job Ref: 30456
 

The School of Psychology is looking to recruit a post-doctoral research fellow to join an existing research project (funded by the ESRC) investigating the links between reading and empathy in primary school children. The project explores the effects of reading fiction on children’s theory of mind and empathic skills, and includes the development and trialling of measures of children’s reading behaviours, their empathic responses to text, their levels of cognitive and affective empathy and pro-social behaviour. There are two main strands to the work. A longitudinal study explores the relation between fiction reading and empathic response, as well as looking at whether there is a relation between different aspects of empathy and amount of voluntary reading, reading preferences and reading comprehension skill. Data has already been collected for two of the three waives of the longitudinal study, with the third waive due to be collected in Summer Term 2024. Two training studies are also included to explore the shorter and longer-term effects on empathy and pro-social behaviour of interventions designed to increase the emotional engagement of children with short texts. Data for the first intervention study will have been collected before the current post starts, the second study is to be carried out in the 2024-25 School Year. The postholder will be supervised by faculty in the School of  Psychology (Professors Jane Oakhill, Alan Garnham, and Robin Banerjee), and will be expected to take an active role in design, preparation of materials, data collection, analysis, and dissemination. There will be opportunities to work with school staff and external organisations connected with children’s literacy (for example, EmpathyLab), and with academics external to the University of Sussex, through contacts on the advisory board.

Successful candidates should have completed, or be near to completing, a PhD in Psychology, and should have substantial experience of working with children. The successful candidate will need to obtain DBS clearance.

Informal enquiries may be made with Professor Alan Garnham (A.Garnham@sussex.ac.uk)

The University of Sussex is a leading teaching and research institution and is ranked within the top 160 in the world. The School of Psychology at the University of Sussex is one of the most academically diverse and influential centres for the study of psychology in the UK with considerable strengths in both research and teaching. We have a longstanding commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion, and we are proud to hold an Athena SWAN Silver Award (2020) for our work promoting gender equality. In the latest World University Rankings, the School is placed within the top 20 nationally.  Psychology at Sussex was ranked 18th in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework and receives excellent student ratings for its undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. We offer a very highly regarded undergraduate degree course and a suite of PGT courses, and we have a substantial group of doctoral students, supported in part by ESRC and Leverhulme Trust funded doctoral training programmes.

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