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Postdoctoral Researcher - Cognitive Neuroscience

Apply now Job no: 507615
Work type: Full Time
Vacancy type: Internal Vacancy, External Vacancy
Categories: Academic - Research Only / Fellowship, Education/Training

  • Salary Package: From $93,830 - $100,559 (Level A, Step 6-8) p.a., Plus 17% employers superannuation and annual leave loading
  • Appointment type; Full tim, fixed term (3 years)
  • Macquarie University - North Ryde location

The Role

The Social Brain in Action Laboratory (SoBA Lab) within the Department of Cognitive Science at Macquarie University is currently seeking a suitably qualified Postdoctoral Research Fellow to work on developing a programme of research project directed towards understanding cognitive and brain mechanisms that support social perception and interaction with social robots.  

The successful applicant will work with Prof Emily Cross, as well as other faculty and researchers associated with the Departments of Cognitive Science and Psychology to:

  • Design and conduct empirical experiments using behavioural and brain imaging techniques, analyse secondary datasets and/or develop computational approaches that investigate the cognitive and brain mechanisms that support social perception and interaction in general, and how we perceive and interact with robots in particular.
  • Take a leading role in embracing and developing research practices that are in line with open science principles and the reform agenda from the credibility revolution.

About You

The successful candidate will be expected to take a leading role in embracing and developing research practices that are in line with open science principles and the reform agenda from the credibility revolution. Using these methods, the successful candidate will be expected to develop a theme of research that examines how neural circuits in the human brain make sense of the dynamic and complex social information that we experience in everyday life. While preference will be given to candidates with a background or interest in questions relevant to social robotics, a number of alternative or additional research topics are possible to pursue with this postdoctoral position, including observational learning, development of motor expertise, neuroaesthetics in performing arts contexts, development of training interventions to improve social/cognitive processes across any of these domains. Applicants with research interests in other areas of social and cognitive neuroscience are also strongly encouraged to apply.

By the time of employment, the successful applicant will have completed a PhD in Cognitive Neuroscience or a related discipline and meet the criteria listed below.

About Us

The project is part of ongoing research in the Social Brain in Action Laboratory (SoBA Lab), which explores the cognitive and brain systems that underpin our ability to understand the actions and mental states of other agents (both human and artificial). The SoBA Lab is an international research group housed in the Departments Cognitive Science and Psychology at Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia),  as well as the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Glasgow (Glasgow, Scotland), which offers access to outstanding facilities for Social / Cognitive Neuroscience. For more information on our research, please visit our general laboratory website: as well as our website dedicated to social robotics research:

The Departments of Cognitive Science and Psychology at Macquarie have an exceptional record in research, scholarship, teaching and community service and are ranked among the leading behavioural and brain science departments in the world.  Both departments have a unique hands-on approach that is renowned for the breadth and diversity of areas included in the curriculum, the range of methodologies used, a commitment to academic as well as professional programs and an emphasis on fundamental and applied research.

As a university, Macquarie is a university engaged with the real and often complex problems and opportunities that define our lives. Since our foundation 54 years ago, we have aspired to be a different type of university. Over the years, we’ve grown to become the centre of a vibrant local and global community. Connect with us today


To Apply

To be considered for this position, please apply online by submitting your CV, a relevant or representative peer-reviewed publication or preprint, a research proposal for a project that you would run in the SoBA lab (max. 1000 words), and a separate cover letter that demonstrates how you meet the following selection criteria:


  • PhD in cognitive neuroscience or related research disciplines.
  • Demonstrated experience with human neuroscience techniques, such as fMRI, TMS, M/EEG or fNIRS.
  • Proven strong programming skills (e.g., R, Matlab, Python languages).
  • Evidenced strong statistical skills, such as experience with linear mixed-effects models (multi-level models).
  • Demonstrated strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • A clear commitment to the open science movement and credibility revolution.
  • Demonstrated leadership experience and a capacity to drive research projects independently.
  • Proven collaborative attitude towards team-based research projects.
  • A commitment to ‘slow science’ - an approach to science that values careful and considered research practices over work that is focussed on generating and counting publications.


  • Experience running training studies
  • Experience working with robots and/or VR
  • Experience of computational approaches to social and cognitive neuroscience
  • Experience with the collection and analysis of motion-tracking and eye-tracking data
  • Experience with atypical groups or patients

Specific Role Enquiries: Prof Emily S. Cross, Department of Cognitive Science, Faculty of Medicine, Health and Human Sciences,

General Enquiries: Rohana Nagarajah, HR Administrator at  

Applications Close: Sunday 9 August 2020 time at 11:55pm

Please note: This position is open to applicants currently residing in Australia with full working rights.  

Macquarie University is committed to Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. We value individual difference and recognise the strength of a vibrant, diverse and inclusive workforce where the backgrounds, perspectives and experiences of our staff are a driving force for collaboration, innovation and impact.

We work to ensure genuine equality of opportunity for people regardless of their gender, age, cultural background, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability and/or family status, and we encourage you to apply for a position at Macquarie University.



Advertised: AUS Eastern Standard Time
Applications close: AUS Eastern Standard Time

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