We are seeking to appoint a Postdoctoral Research Associate to work on a programme of research aiming to characterise early development in infants with epilepsy, and to identify predictors of later behavioural outcomes, with a focus on autism. The successful applicant will be supervised by Dr Charlotte Tye (Department of Psychology, IoPPN) and join a wider team studying neurocognitive approaches to understanding atypical development, led by Prof. Tony Charman.
The postholder will coordinate the Brain development in Early Epilepsy Study (www.beestudy.co.uk), a longitudinal study of 80 infants with epilepsy at multiple timepoints in the first two years of life, funded by a joint fellowship from Epilepsy Research UK and Autistica. The study comprises a comprehensive battery of standardised and bespoke behavioural assessments and administration of an experimental battery, including EEG and eye-tracking. The assessments will be largely home-based and the post requires travel across the UK to visit families. The postholder will lead on data analysis and preparation of findings for publication and presentation to both academic and lay audiences.
This post is ideally suited to someone with an interest in developmental cognitive neuroscience and experimental/clinical research with children with neurodevelopmental difficulties. This is a unique opportunity for an outstanding early-career researcher to lead and develop new research investigating the overlap between epilepsy and autism and to collaborate with world-leading clinical academics.
This post is advertised as a full-time post, but we welcome applications for a part-time post at a minimum of 80% FTE.
This post will be offered on an a fixed-term contract for 26 months in the first instance.
This is a full-time post. Applications for a part-time post at 80% full time equivalent are welcomed.
- Pilot and implement a home-based experimental, neurocognitive and behavioural testing battery to track development in infants with epilepsy
- Coordinate UK-wide longitudinal data collection with families of infants with epilepsy, overseeing a small team contacting families to arrange home-based visits
- Work closely with clinical collaborators, NHS Trusts and charities to recruit new families to the study
- Ensure quality control over data acquisition and entry into bespoke database systems and overall data management
- Data coding and analysis across a wide number of formats including behavioural and neurocognitive data (EEG, eye-tracking)
- Take the lead in data analysis and drafting papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals and making presentations at international conferences
- Engage with charity funders and opportunities for community involvement and engagement, including assisting with integrated PPI work (BEE-PP)
- Maintain appropriate NHS Research Ethics Committee and governance approvals
- Supervise undergraduate placement students and interns.
- Prepare reports for study PIs and team meetings
The above list of responsibilities may not be exhaustive, and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks and responsibilities as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.
Skills, knowledge, and experience
1. PhD awarded (or near completion) in psychology, neuroscience or a related discipline
2. Knowledge of autism, epilepsy or related neurodevelopmental research literature, particularly with respect to neurocognitive development
3. Experience liaising with parents and/or professionals to conduct research studies and recruit participants
4. Experience of standardized and/or clinical assessments with children with atypical development
5. Experience conducting behavioural and/or experimental studies with young children
6. Competence in data analytic skills, including database management and statistical analysis techniques relevant to longitudinal studies (e.g. mixed models, SEM, in R, Stata, MPlus, or other suitable programme)
7. A strong publication and public/conference speaking record commensurate with career level
8. Experience working with and communicating research findings to non-academic communities
9. Previous experience of project management including supervising and organising junior staff and students
1. Experience conducting experimental studies using EEG and/or eye-tracking
2. Experience in and understanding of eye-tracking and/or EEG data analysis (e.g. Brain Vision Analyzer, Matlab/EEGLAB)
3. Prior training and experience in autism diagnostic instruments (ADOS, ADI)
Please note that this is a PhD level role but candidates who have submitted their thesis and are awaiting award of their PhDs will be considered. In these circumstances the appointment will be made at Grade 5, spine point 30 with the title of Research Assistant. Upon confirmation of the award of the PhD, the job title will become Research Associate and the salary will increase to Grade 6.
About the faculty: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/ioppn/about
About the Department of Psychology: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/psychology-systems-sciences/about/departments/psychology
Proposed interview date: Early November 2021
Proposed start date: Early 2022