Deadline: 2015-02-16
Level Of Study: PhD

PhD-student position in psychology

Uppsala University is an international research university focused on the development of science and education. Our most important assets are all the individuals who with their curiosity and their dedication makes Uppsala University one of Swedens most exciting work places. Uppsala University has 41.000 students, 6,500 employees and a turnover of SEK 5,900 million.

Supervisor: Dr. Terje Falck-Ytter, Uppsala University (

Collaborators: Dr. Sabine Hunnius, Stichting Katholieke Universiteit; Prof. Tony Charman, Institute of Psychiatry); Prof. Gustaf Gredeback, Uppsala University; Prof. Sven Bolte, Karolinska Institutet.

The position: We are looking for talented and motivated candidates for one PhD position, 4 years, 100%, of which the first three years are financed by the EU and the forth by Uppsala University. The student will be offered a competitive salary. Starting date: no later than May 2015.

The project: Longitudinal studies of infant siblings of children with autism can offer important new clues on the early processes that are related to later diagnosis. The PhD student will conduct a series of experiments on infant siblings of children with autism using state of the art technologies, including eye tracking and motion capture technology. Based on these data, the student will investigate various aspects of early development in infants at risk in relation to later diagnosis. The main focus is on motor development, but because the position is embedded in a large ongoing longitudinal study of high risk cohorts (, a multitude of possibilities for analyses exist.

Work environment: The project is a collaboration between the Uppsala Child and Babylab (the Department of Psychology, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden), the Department of Cognitive Neuroscience, and Donders Centre for Cognition (Stichting Katholieke Universiteit, Nijmegen, Netherlands). The position is based at Uppsala University, but research visits for the PhD student are planned to Stichting Katholieke Universiteit as well as to the Department of Cell Biology and Neurosciences/Neurotoxicology and Neuroteratology Section (Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Roma, Italy).*

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The Uppsala Child and Babylab ( consists of more than 40 researchers and doctoral students. It has a strong international focus and has recently been evaluated as world-leading (KOF-07 and KOF-11).

The position is part of BRAINVIEW, a pan-European Marie Sklodowksa-Curie Innovative Training Network project which aims to investigate the disruptions of prenatal and postnatal brain development that underlie neurodevelopmental disorders with onset early in life as autism and ADHD. The network will train Early Stage Researchers (ESR) and produce new knowledge, methods and technology to answer critical issues in our efforts to understand, prevent, diagnose and treat these disorders.

For a candidate to be considered for a Marie-Curie position, it is a requirement that they have not lived longer than 12 months during the past 3 years in the country that offers the position.

What we expect from you:
Essential criteria. The applicant must have a basic university degree with psychology as a major subject. For more information, see The applicant must have strong English language skills in writing as well as communication skills in general, and the ability to work in a team.

Furthermore, according to Marie SkÅ‚odowska-Curie – Research Fellowship

Programme rules, students shall, at the time of recruitment by the host organisation, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree. Date of Recruitment normally means the first day of the employment of the fellow for the purposes of the project (i.e. the starting date indicated in the employment contract or equivalent direct contract). Full-Time Equivalent Research Experience is measured from the date when a researcher obtained the degree which would formally entitle him/her to embark on a doctorate, either in the country in which the degree was obtained or in the country in which the researcher is recruited or seconded, irrespective of whether or not a doctorate is or was ever envisaged. Finally, although candidates can be of any nationality, they must adhere to the mobility rule, stating that at the time of recruitment by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the reference date. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account. As far as international European interest organisations or international organisations are concerned, this rule does not apply to the hosting of eligible researchers. However, the appointed researcher must not have spent more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment at the host organisation.

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Desirable criteria. Experience with testing children or infants, as well as relevant research experience (e.g. studies of children, studies of neurodevelopmental disorders, studies involving experimental methods related to this project such as motion tracking, eye tracking, EEG) or experience in computer programming will be distinct advantages. An ability to communicate in Swedish is an advantage, but not a requirement. We seek a responsible, dedicated personality, striving towards independence and excellence.

What we can offer: The PhD student will be working at institutes with an excellent track record and facilities for research into childhood neurodevelopmental disorders, intervention research and neurocognitive research. Thanks to the integration of basic sciences and clinical practice, this project offers a unique opportunity for combining a strong theoretical approach with clinical application. The ESR will be embedded in an active and social group of PhD students and junior and senior researchers. In addition to the training events organized through BRAINVIEW, the student will benefit from taking part of the PhD student program at the Department of Psychology at Uppsala University, as well as project specific training as part of the Uppsala Child and Babylab. Mentoring in improving independent research skills, writing of scientific articles and submitting a PhD thesis will be provided.

The application should be written in Swedish or in English and contain:
1. Application for admission:
2. A letter of application
3. CV including certified copies of merits
4. A list of completed courses
5. A research plan, see
6. Contact information of two academic referees

Admission: The case is prepared and decided by the Department.

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For more information, please contact Dr. Terje Falck-Ytter (

You are welcome to submit your application no later than February 15, marked UFV-PA 2014/3902.

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