Research Fellow Ref 10212

School/department: School of Psychology
Hours: Full time hours up to 1 FTE. Requests for flexible working options will be considered (subject to business need).
Location: Brighton, United Kingdom
Contract: fixed term for 2 years
Reference: 10212
Salary: starting at £35,333 to £42,155 per annum, pro rata if part time.
Placed on: 15 November 2022 To be confirmed.
Closing date: 21 December 2022. Applications must be received by midnight of the closing date.
Expected Interview date: January 2023
Expected start date: 01 March 2023

Job description

Applications are invited for the post of postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Psychology to work on a project investigating the role of early motor development in emerging social and communication skills from birth to 18 months. We are investigating how different motor trajectories unfold; how motor trajectories interact with social and communication abilities; and whether the variation in developmental trajectories is discernible between groups of infants at low- or high-risk for neurodevelopmental disorders.

The postholder will be based at the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex and also work with collaborators at Birkbeck, University of London. This is a full-time post, from 1st March 2023, on a fixed-term contract of 2 years. We are happy to consider requests for flexible working.

This Research Fellow position is in the Comparative Cognition Group, directed by Professor Gillian Forrester. The postholder will be a member of this lab with responsibility for the provision of research support for a Simons Foundation funded project, "Identifying Early Markers of Autistic Spectrum Disorder in Naturalistic Motor Behavior using High-Frequency Sampling".

The project team will consist of a dedicated postdoctoral researcher, research assistant, and PhD student. The project will be overseen by the PI (Professor Gillian Forrester) and two Co-Investigators, Dr Ori Ossmy (Birkbeck) and Dr Georgina Donati (Birkbeck). The team will also benefit from a collaboration with the NHS Royal Free paediatric high risk infant clinic.

The role will involve collecting and analysing infant motor measures (using wearable technology and intelligent toys with embedded sensors and clinical tests) and cognitive measures using standardised test batteries (e.g., Bayley Scales of Infant Development (III) and Vineland Adaptive Behaviour Scales) via online and in person methods.

The successful candidate should hold or be very close to holding a PhD in a discipline such as cognitive neuroscience, psychology or similar. Ease with technology and proficiency using statistical packages with proficient programming skills (e.g. MATLAB, R) is essential. Applicants must also possess excellent written and spoken communication skills to facilitate work with families of infants with caregivers, practitioners and academics. The position involves working with vulnerable infants, therefore the successful candidate requires a standard DBS check

Experience of working with high-risk or neurodiverse children and their families is desirable. Knowledge of motor development and naturalistic experimentation is beneficial. Previous experience in conducting cognitive assessments with young children or infants is desirable.

It is desirable for the postholder to have a track record of publications. There will be opportunities for the postholder to continue to develop their academic career, contribute to manuscript development and submissions as an author. We will mentor and support the postholder's career progression throughout the appointment.

Please contact Professor Gillian Forrester (  for informal enquiries.

The University is committed to equality and valuing diversity, and applications are particularly welcomed from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in Science, Technology, Engineering, Medicine and Mathematics (STEMM) at Sussex.

Please note that this position may be subject to ATAS clearance if you require visa sponsorship.

The University of Sussex values the diversity of its staff and students and we welcome applicants from all backgrounds.

You can find out more about our values and our EDI Strategy,  Inclusive Sussex, on our webpages.

Download job description and person specification Ref 10212 [PDF 194.79KB]

The University requires that work undertaken for the University is performed from the UK. 

Visa Sponsorship Queries:

This role has been assigned an eligible SOC code and meets the salary requirements for Skilled Worker Sponsorship if full time. Please consult our Skilled Worker Visa information page  for further information about Visa Sponsorship.

How to apply

Download our academic application form [DOC 199.50KB] and Personal Details and Equal Opportunities Form [DOC 119.50KB] 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 in PDF format (we are unable to accept applications as or .pages) 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.

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