Post-doc at University of Essex, UK

Are you interested in trying to understand why people worry so much about talking to each other (e.g., to a stranger, to someone of a different ethnicity, to a good friend who’s been diagnosed with cancer), despite our human need to belong, and the benefits that come from social connection? I (Gillian Sandstrom, University of Essex, UK) am a Social Psychologist seeking a post-doctoral researcher to work with me for approximately 2 years on an ESRC-funded project to understand the barriers that discourage people from engaging in various kinds of social interactions, and limit the success and enjoyment of these interactions.


Join a friendly, dynamic, and international team of researchers in the Psychology Department at the University of Essex, recently named Times Higher Education’s University of the Year, 2018. We are located in Colchester, the oldest recorded Roman town in Britain. We are close to the seaside and to beautiful English countryside, but also less than an hour from London on the train, without London’s high cost of living.

Duties of the Role

You will be an instrumental member of the research team, designing and planning new studies, carrying out lab and field studies, performing statistical analyses, co-authoring publications, as well as building relationships with and disseminating findings to interested non-academic parties (e.g., medical professionals, social organisations, the general public). You will be encouraged and supported in pursuing opportunities to further your own professional development (e.g., the grant budget includes conference travel money for you).

Skills and qualifications required

You will hold a relevant doctoral level degree in psychology or a related field (or complete your viva/defence before starting the post). You must have: a strong research track record, excellent statistical skills, and a willingness to approach and talk to all kinds of people (including nurses, and patients undergoing medical treatment). Ideally you also have: excellent planning skills, experience running field studies, knowledge of multilevel modelling, a commitment to open science and replicability, and a desire to see research findings lead to real-world benefits.

Interested candidates are warmly encouraged to send queries via email (gsands@essex.ac.uk). I’m attending SPSP in Portland, and would be happy to have a chat – email me to arrange a meeting. For information on how to apply, please see the university job listing here: https://tinyurl.com/y87anuqp. The start date is negotiable – as early as Mar 2019, or as late as September 2019. The end date is 1 May 2021.

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