Research Associate: Cardiff University, UK

Cardiff University
Study in:UK
Deadline: 7 December 2017

Research Associate


School of Psychology



Research Associate

We are seeking an outstanding scientist for a 2-3 year Research Associate post on sleep and creativity.  Our goal will to apply targeted memory reactivation (TMR) in order to manipulate memory replay in sleep such that we enhance creative problem solving.   Thus, we hope TMR will facilitate the integration of quite distinct knowledge sets, such that participants can link these and have creative insights.   There is a possibility to use high density EEG, fMRI or MEG if the post-holder desires.  The post is linked to a prestigious ERC grant held by Penny Lewis at the Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC). The post-holder will be responsible designing and running experiments on how TMR can boost creativity.

Cardiff University’s Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) is one of the best equipped neuroscience institutes in Europe, housing 3 MRI scanners, including a 7T and a Connectom scanner, a MEG, EEG labs, a brain stimulation lab, and of course the state of the art sleep lab.  Further details of CUBRIC can be found on our web-page: /.  The Neuroscience and Psychology of Sleep (NaPS) group is housed within CUBRIC, and conducts world-leading research on the impacts of sleep on cognitive processes.  Please see our website:

We expect interviews will be held on Tuesday December 12th.

Period of appointment:   2 year (potential extension up to 3 years).

Salary: £32,548 – £38,833 per annum (Grade 6)

The successful candidate will be required to work unsociable hours.

The post is available from January 2018

Date advert posted: Monday, 6 November 2017

Closing date: Thursday, 7 December 2017

Please be aware that Cardiff University reserves the right to close this vacancy early should sufficient applications be received.

Cardiff University is committed to supporting and promoting equality and diversity and to creating an inclusive working environment. We believe this can be achieved through attracting, developing, and retaining a diverse range of staff from many different backgrounds who have the ambition to create a University which seeks to fulfil our social, cultural and economic obligation to Cardiff, Wales, and the world.  In supporting our employees to achieve a balance between their work and their personal lives, we will also consider proposals for flexible working or job share arrangements.

Job Description

Main function 

To work on the manipulation of sleep with targeted memory reactivation in order to facilitate memory lability and thus creativity.  The post holder will contribute to the overall research performance of the School and University, carrying out research leading to the publishing of work in high-quality journals. To pursue excellence in research and to inspire others to do the same.

Main Duties and Responsibilities


  • To conduct research within the field of Sleep and Memory and contribute to the overall research performance of the School and University by the production of measurable outputs including bidding for funding, publishing in international academic journals and conferences, and the recruitment and supervision of postgraduate research students.
  • To develop research objectives and proposals for own or joint research including research funding proposals
  • To undertake administrative tasks associated with the research project, including the planning and organisation of the project and the implementation of procedures required to ensure accurate and timely reporting
  • To prepare research ethics and research governance applications as appropriate
  • To review and synthesise existing research literature within the field
  • To participate in School research activities.
  • To build and create networks both internally and externally to the university, to influence decisions,   explore future research requirements, and share research ideas for the benefit of research project

  • To engage effectively with industrial, commercial and public sector organisations, professional institutions, other academic institutions etc., regionally and nationally  to raise awareness of the School’s profile, to cultivate strategically valuable alliances, and to pursue opportunities for collaboration across a range of activities. These activities are expected to contribute to the School and the enhancement of its regional and national profile.
  • To undergo personal and professional development that is appropriate to and which will enhance performance.
  • To participate in School administration and activities to promote the School and its work to the wider University and the outside world
  • Any other duties not included above, but consistent with the role.

Person Specification

Essential Criteria

Qualifications and Education 

  1. PhD in the study of sleep, memory, or sleep and memory (ideally using polysomnography and TMR).

Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

  1. An established expertise and proven portfolio of research on sleep and or memory
  2. Knowledge of current status of research in the specialist field of sleep and memory consolidation
  3. Proven ability to publish in national and international journals

Communication and Team Working 

  1. Proven ability in effective and persuasive communication
  2. Ability to supervise the work of others to focus team efforts and motivate individuals


  1. Proven ability to demonstrate creativity, innovation and team-working within work

Desirable Criteria 

  1. An established expertise and proven portfolio of research and/or relevant industrial experience within the following research fields
    1. Cognitive neurosciences
    2. Polysomonography analysis
    3. EEG analysis
    4. Biomedical signal processing
    5. Statistics
  2. Relevant professional qualification(s).
  3. Proven ability to work without close supervision
  4.  Proven ability to adapt to the changing requirements of the Higher Education community.
  5. Evidence of ability to participate in and develop both internal and external networks and utilise them to enhance the research activities of the School.

Additional Information

This position is part of a prestigious ERC grant.  Our aim is to manipulate memory replay in sleep in order to facilitate the integration of quite distinct memories.  This will allow the altering of cognitive schemas and thus boost the ability to have creative insights (e.g. thinking outside the box and seeing relations and links between apparently distinct sets of information).

Evidencing Criteria – It is School of Psychology’s policy to use the person specification as a key tool for short-listing. Candidates should evidence that they meet ALL of the essential criteria as well as, where relevant, the desirable. As part of the application process you will be asked to provide this evidence via a supporting statement. Please ensure when submitting this document/attaching it to your application profile you name it with the vacancy reference number.

If candidates do not provide written evidence of meeting all the essential criteria then their application will not be progressed.

Cardiff School of Psychology

We are recognised internationally for sustained excellence in research, impact and research-led teaching. We are a large School with over 50 academic staff, over 600 undergraduates and 150 postgraduate students. In the last assessment the School attained the highest rating of ‘excellent’ for its teaching from the HEFCW Teaching Quality Assessment Panel.

Many individuals in the School are leading figures in their research areas. In the last Research Excellence Framework we entered as a unit of over 80 staff with our colleagues in Psychological medicine. We were placed 2nd in our topic area across the UK. We have state of the art laboratories and experimental expertise across the range of psychology, and are currently building one of the largest and best equipped imaging centres in Europe (see:

Our collective aim is to understand the psychological and biological foundations of behaviour at both individual and group levels. The research undertaken in the School ranges from ‘synapse to society’, and includes normal behaviour in development and adulthood, the breakdown of cognition after stress, trauma and in neurological and/or genetic conditions, as well as key psychological issues of broad importance to society, such as prejudice, reproductive health and understanding risk. The School also contributes to cross-disciplinary University Research Institutes in Neuroscience and Mental Health, Sustainable Places, and Energy Systems Research.

Salary Range Min.


Salary Range Max.


Job Category

Academic – Research


Grade 6

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