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Research Associate (Centre for Attention Learning and Memory (CALM); cognitive, neural and genetic causes of learning difficulties)

MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit

The MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit (CBU) is an internationally renowned research institute with state-of-the-art cognitive neuroscience facilities, a hearing laboratory, and a dedicated developmental research clinic (the Centre for Attention Learning and Memory).

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral position to help direct and conduct research in the Centre for Attention Learning and Memory (CALM) under the leadership of Dr Joni Holmes. Research conducted in CALM adopts a transdiagnostic approach to understanding the cognitive, neural and genetic causes of learning difficulties. To date, over 800 children with problems in attention, learning and / memory have been assessed and a demographically-matched sample of typically developing children is currently being recruited. Future plans include: i) establishing a longitudinal arm to the project in order to investigate the neurodevelopmental pathways that compromise learning in this heterogeneous and well-phenotyped sample, and ii) expanding recruitment to include children with mild emotional and mental health problems to identify the common and distinct dimensions (cognitive, behavioural, emotional and neural) of mental health and learning difficulties in childhood. You should bring novel perspectives/expertise/questions to the CALM group that will complement and augment the overall research mission of understanding why some children struggle at school.

This research cross-cuts cognitive, educational and clinical research and candidates with expertise and interests in any of these areas will be considered. Applicants with experience in child mental health and cognitive development are strongly encouraged to apply.

You should hold a PhD (or equivalent) in cognitive psychology or related field, plus experience of working with developmental groups with either language difficulties or problems in learning, attention, memory or mental health. Detailed knowledge of cognitive methods and theory are essential, plus a commitment to the development of translational opportunities where appropriate. Good interpersonal skills are also essential. You will be able to provide clear seminars on complex issues to an interdisciplinary audience, provide authoritative advice, manage students and staff, and work as part of the team on collaborative projects. The position is an ideal springboard for scientists interested in bringing advanced cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience to development to improve educational and mental health outcomes.

Start date for this post is ideally 1st August 2018.

For inquiries, contact Joni Holmes, by email: Information on the unit can be found at Background about CALM can be found here

The closing date for applications is Sunday 27th May 2018 and interviews are yet to be confirmed.

For more information see:


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