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Research Assistant – Cognitive Psychology

Unit :  Faculty of Arts and Social Science (FASS)
Salary :  £30,942 pro rata
Location :  Milton Keynes
Please quote reference :  18073
Fixed Term Contract for 22 months, part time 30 hours per week (0.8 FTE)
Closing Date :  3 March, 2021 - 12:00

Change your career, change lives

The Open University is the UK’s largest university, a world leader in flexible part-time education combining a mission to widen access to higher education with research excellence, transforming lives through education.

The role

The School of Psychology and Counselling at The Open University is recruiting a Research Assistant – Cognitive Psychology, to work on an exciting project funded by the ESRC. The project is entitled Recognition of the Ageing Face and the post-holder will work with Dr Sarah Laurence (PI) and her mentors Professors Nicky Edelstyn (Keele University) and Mike Burton (University of York). The project will investigate how we recognise faces across substantial changes in appearance

What will you be doing?

The post-holder will be responsible for participant recruitment (including younger and older adults and super-recognisers), stimuli collection and preparation, building experiments using experimental software (e.g. PsychoPy, Gorilla, Qualtrics), testing participants, data entry and analysis, and preparing the results for publication. There will also be opportunities to engage with continuing professional development (e.g. skills development workshops) and knowledge transfer activities (e.g. presenting at lab meetings, academic conferences and public events, meetings with non-academic beneficiaries).

Skills and experience

The successful applicant should have experience running psychology experiments. This includes designing and conducting research, data inputting and analyses using statistical software (e.g. JASP, SPSS or R) and report writing. They should be able to engage and communicate effectively with a wide range of participants.

For further details on essential/desirable experience and skills, please see the Job Description.

For informal enquiries about the post, please contact Dr Sarah Laurence:

What you get in return

We have a strong commitment to providing training and development in and beyond your current role. This includes thorough induction into the organisation and regular reviews of your training and development needs.

We also offer a great range of benefits that support our employees and their families for the long term. Benefits include an attractive pension proposition and 33 days holiday per annum pro rata, plus Bank Holidays and Christmas closure days.

How to apply

Unless otherwise stated in the advert, all applications are completed online via the OU Job’s page and following the instructions below and clicking the “APPLY NOW” link below.  Applications submitted via 3rd party websites will not be considered.

Access details for disabled applicants are available from the Resourcing Hub, telephone: 01908 655544, quoting the vacancy reference above.

To apply for this role please submit the following:

  • CV
  • Personal statement, up to 1,000 words, you should set out in your statement why you’re interested in this role and provide examples of where your skills and experience meet the required competencies for this role as detailed in the job and person specification.

The above documents will need to be submitted as one attachment during the application process, please include the personal statement followed by the CV in this document.

To ensure your file is uploaded to our system correctly, please make sure your document is saved with the following file name as appropriate to the vacancy you are applying for: reference, surname, first initial.

You will need to have your documents ready ahead of submitting the electronic application.


Remember to attach your CV and Personal statement as ONE DOCUMENT.

Closing Date: 12:00 midday Wednesday 3 March 2021

Interview Date:   Wednesday 24 March 2021 (am)

You will receive updates regarding your application from Please ensure this email address is added to your list of trusted senders. Please also keep an eye on your junk folder to ensure you do not miss any important updates regarding this role.

Please note: If you have not heard from us within 2 weeks of the application closing date, please assume that on this occasion you have not been selected for interview, however we thank you for your interest in The Open University and encourage you to apply for future positions. 

Find out more about us and our mission by watching this short video (you will be taken to YouTube by clicking this link).

We value diversity and we recognise that different people bring different perspectives, ideas, knowledge and culture, and that this difference brings great strength. Applications from candidates with protected characteristics are welcomed.


Job related information : 

PDF icon 18073 Research Assistant - Cognitive Psychology, FASS Job Description.pdf177.09 KB

Posting Date :  10 February, 2021 - 14:15

Contact us

If you have any queries or questions about the recruitment process, or regarding your application, please contact:

If you have any feedback regarding the recruitment process, please contact the Senior Resourcing Account Manager who will look into the matter.

Senior Resourcing Account Manager,
Resourcing Hub,
The Open University,
Walton Hall,
Milton Keynes,