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Research Fellow

Division of Psychology and Language Sciences

departnent athena award

UCL, Gower Street, London, UK


  • Posted on: 24th Jan 2022
  • Salary: £36,770 - £44,388 per annum
  • REF: 1881159
  • Closes: 21st February 2022
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

Duties and Responsibilities

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral research position in the MetaLab at University College London, funded by EPSRC Programme Grant From Sensing to Collaboration: Engineering, Exploring and Exploiting the Building Blocks of Embodied Intelligence. The focus of the grant is to enable the next generation of robots (and human-robot teams) to robustly and flexibly act, interact and collaborate across a range of application domains. Humans routinely draw on metacognition in such scenarios to evaluate the success of cognitive processes (eg perception or memory). This self-evaluation can be utilized to recognize when additional help is required and to communicate a sense of confidence or uncertainty to collaborators. Despite recent progress, robots broadly lack the introspective capabilities of humans. We expect that robust, effective autonomy stands much to gain from integrating research on human metacognition, and in exploring how their robot analogues may facilitate human-robot interactions.

The project will combine behavioural experiments, state-of-the-art neuroimaging techniques, theoretical and computational models, and analysis of human-machine interactions to investigate the mechanisms underpinning human metacognition (including confidence and uncertainty estimates) in social environments. A key focus will be to examine how and whether metacognition contributes to collaboration and trust in human-machine interactions. The post holder will undertake high quality research combining novel experiments on human participants with theoretical models of how metacognition contributes to human-machine interactions. Key responsibilities will be to recruit and assess study participants, coordinate study logistics, to deliver presentations at international conferences and internal meetings, and to lead author publications.

Further information about the MetaLab is available at http://metacoglab.org/

The post is available from 1st June 2022 and is funded by an EPSRC grant for 2 years in the first instance.

Key Requirements

Applicants must hold a PhD, or have submitted their thesis, in a relevant discipline (e.g., computational/cognitive neuroscience, cognitive science or experimental psychology). We are seeking applicants with proficiency and prior experience in psychophysics and social cognitive neuroscience, expertise in developing and fitting theoretical models to behavioural data, and a working knowledge of neuroimaging analysis methods. Prior experience with web-based behavioural data acquisition, and in machine learning and/or artificial intelligence research is desirable but not essential. The candidate is expected to be able to work both independently and as part of a team, have excellent interpersonal skills, have experience presenting talks at conferences and symposiums, and have publications in high quality peer reviewed journals.

Further Details

A job description and full person specification can be accessed at the bottom of this page.

To apply online, please click the “Apply Now” button below.

Further information about the scientific aspects of the position can be obtained by contacting Steve Fleming at stephen.fleming@ucl.ac.uk.

Applications should include a covering letter, personal statement and CV.

If you have any queries regarding the application process please contact Sonia Theodoric, s.theodoric@ucl.ac.uk.

UCL Taking Action for Equality

Closing Date

21 Feb 2022

Latest time for the submission of applications


Interview date


Our department holds an Athena SWAN Silver award, in recognition of our commitment and demonstrable impact in advancing gender equality.

This appointment is subject to UCL Terms and Conditions of Service for Research and Support Staff.

Please use these links to find out more about UCL working life including the benefits we offer and UCL Terms and Conditions related to this job.

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