Research Fellow in Psychology Ref 3195

School: School of Psychology
Hours: Full time
Contract: Fixed term, for 36 months
Reference: 3195
Salary: starting from £32,548 and rising to £38,833 per annum, depending on research experience
Placed on: 12 June 2018
Closing date: 11 July 2018. Applications must be received by midnight of the closing date.
Interview date: 12/13 July 2018

Job description

Applications are invited for a Research Fellow in Psychology in the Sussex Ingestive Behaviour Group, part of the Behavioural and Clinical Neuroscience Subject Group within the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex. The position is funded by a three-year research project grant from Leverhulme, with Professor Martin Yeomans in the School of Psychology as Principal Investigator (PI). 

The project examines for the first time the neural basis of changes in perception of food-related odours through association with specific tastes.  The project builds on a strong record of behavioural work on odour-taste learning by the PI, and benefits from collaborations with three Co-Investigators at Sussex.

Dr Marianna Obrist in the Department of Informatics has specific expertise in measuring odour and taste perception, and will contribute specific techniques at key stages of the research: Prof Hugo Critchley is director of the Neuroscience Department at Brighton and Sussex Medical School, and has extensive experience of use of fMRI in the study of reward, sensation and interoception, and will provide advice and assistance in analysing neural responses to taste and odours. 

Dr Daniel Campbell-Meiklejohn is an Experimental Psychologist with extensive experience of analysis of fMRI data and his contribution will be in overseeing the detailed analyses of the complex fMRI data generated by the planned research.

Project Objectives
The sense of smell remains one of the least understood of our senses.  Notably, smells detected while we eat or drink (detected retronasally) are experienced alongside actual tastes to generate our overall experience of flavour.  Intriguingly, once we have co- experienced taste and retronasal odour together, we experience the associated taste-like qualities when we subsequently sniff these odours, a form of olfactory synaesthesia.

The overarching aim of this project is to discover how these learned changes are encoded by the brain.  The research will consist of four complex experimental studies assessing using different behavioural and neural techniques changes in the way people experience odours once these odours have been selectively associated with specific sweet and bitter tastes. 

Key requirements
The successful applicant should have a PhD in a field relevant to the work to be carried out as part of this role along with a good publication record.  As the project will involve both fMRI and EEG techniques, prior knowledge of both techniques, and prior experience in using at least one of these techniques to explore responses to odours and/or tastes, is essential.

The successful applicant will be conscientious, hardworking, and will have experience of working within a multidisciplinary team.  As they will have some responsibility for supervision of a graduate research assistant funded on the same project, prior experience of supervision would be an advantage but is not essential. 

They are expected to actively engage in the broader associated research programmes, and be willing to provide guidance to undergraduate and postgraduate students and to participate in the strategic planning of the group. The salary offered will be appropriate to the qualifications, standing and experience of the successful candidate.

You can find out more about the group at:

For more information, please email the PI, Prof Martin Yeomans (Professor of Experimental Psychology) (

Please include with your completed application form a CV, cover letter, the contact details of three referees and a list of relevant publications.

The School is committed to equality and valuing diversity, and currently holds an Athena SWAN Bronze Award.  Applications are particularly welcomed from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in science and engineering at Sussex.  The School of Psychology welcomes applications to academic posts from candidates who wish to work part-time or as job-sharers.

The University offers various schemes to provide real benefits to parents, these can be found at Family Friendly Policies

Download job description and person specification Ref 3195 [PDF 148.39KB]

How to apply

Download our academic post application form [DOC 301.50KB] and personal details and equal opportunities form [DOC 162.50KB] and fill in all sections.

Email your completed application, and personal details and equal opportunities form, to

You should attach your application form and all documents to the email (don't use a web-based upload/weblink service) and use the format job reference number / job title / your name in the subject line.

You can also send your application by post to Human Resources Division, Sussex House, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9RH.

Download our terms and conditions summary for Research Faculty Terms and Conditions [DOC 36.00KB]

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