Part-time research assistant – fMRI study on the neural processing of media messages

  • English language proficiency required
  • Amsterdam

Website Communication, Brain & Society Lab - UvA

The Communication, Brain & Society Lab – part of Amsterdam School of Communication Research, University of Amsterdam – is looking for a paid part-time research assistant from the beginning of February till the end of June 2021 (with an option for extension throughout the summer). The research assistant will support data collection efforts for two functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies. These studies investigate neural responses to media messages (Instagram posts about alcohol and news articles about health and the environment) and their relationship with real-world indicators of message effects (e.g., number of shares received by news articles online and drinking behavior in a field experiment).

The ideal allotment of FTE to the research assistant is flexible and will be determined after discussion with the candidates. Depending on performance and interest, the position as research assistant may be extended throughout the summer.

Primary duties include:

  • Complete training and support data collection using fMRI scanning and field experimental procedures
  • Contact and coordinate with study participants before and after fMRI scanning
  • Perform project management tasks (e.g., preparing stimuli, drafting ethics applications, collecting behavioral data, managing fMRI data)

Depending on interest and skill-level, the research assistant may also:

  • Support efforts regarding data analysis and manuscript preparation
  • Support lab management tasks such as grant applications

The research assistant will receive on-the-job training as MRI scanning assistant and is expected to be present regularly in person at the scanning facility on the UvA’s Roeterseiland campus in Amsterdam starting in February through the end of June 2021 to attend appointments with study participants. Specific dates and times for scanning appointments will be discussed among the research team throughout the project period. Tasks other than fMRI scanning appointments can be completed remotely and on a flexible schedule.

Depending on their interest, the assistant can expect to learn the basics of fMRI data pre-processing and/or analysis, and conduct simple analysis in environments such as Python/R.

We are looking for candidates who:

  • can travel to Amsterdam regularly for scanning during the project period
  • are meticulous and detailed-oriented planners, who are able to reliably implement complex experimental procedures and complete project management tasks
  • have good command of English, and preferably also Dutch (for communication with study participants)
  • (desirable but not required) have experience with: fMRI scanning, statistical analysis, Matlab, SPM, Python, R, and/or PsychoPy

Please send CV and motivation letter to Hang-Yee Chan:

Deadline for submission: January 11, 2021.

Candidates who plan to apply for a PhD in neuroscience, psychology, or communication science will be likely to benefit the most from this job experience.

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