Research Associate

University of York - Heslington Campus
£32,817 a year
Jul 01, 2020
Jul 31, 2020
Medicine, Medical
Contract Type
Full Time
The Department of Psychology at the University of York is seeking a full-time Research Associate to work for three years on a new project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, awarded to Professor Gareth Gaskell at York in collaboration with Dr. Jenni Rodd at UCL. The project will examine the role of sleep, plasticity and memory consolidation in the comprehension of language.

Specifically, the research will assess to what extent sleep and memory consolidation underpin our ability to communicate effectively in conversational settings, assessing three possible aspects:

1) The refinement of the mental representations of words to ensure optimal future comprehension

2) The tracking the linguistic events that are referred to during conversation, facilitating effective dialogue over a range of time-spans

3) Identifying and maintaining speaker-specific preferences in the way language is used

A range of methodologies will be used, including web-based and in-lab research, plus recording of sleep using polysomnography, sometimes overnight.
Based at York, you will be responsible for conducting research on the grant, with guidance from Professor Gaskell and Dr. Rodd, and with the support of a research technician. You will also need to liaise with other members of the Psychology Department, and in particular members of the Sleep, Language and Memory research group.

The conduct of the research will include designing experiments as well as testing, and analysis of results. It will also include writing up and dissemination of results through publications and seminar and conference presentations.
Skills, Experience & Qualifications needed
  • You must have a PhD and first degree in psychology or a related discipline
  • Knowledge of experimental psychology and of psychological research techniques are essential, with knowledge of psycholinguistics, memory and/or sleep research desirable
  • You will need strong communication skills, with the ability to write up and present research to a high standard. You will need strengths in individual and collaborative research skills and in the use of statistical packages to analyse complex datasets. The ability to run online experiments, to analyse data in R, and to analyse EEG waveforms are desirable
  • You should have experience of independent and collaborative research, of writing up research for publication. Experience of language/memory research and of sleep EEG analysis are desirable
  • You should have good attention to detail, commitment to high quality, a collaborative ethos, and enthusiasm for the research area and project. You should have a positive attitude to, and willingness to work with, colleagues and students both in York and in other institutes. You should have strong planning ability, an ability to meet deadlines, and a commitment to acquiring new knowledge and skills.

Interview date: Expected to be 3-4 September 2020.

For informal enquiries: please contact Gareth Gaskell via email:

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