Postdoctoral Research Assistant  


We are seeking to hire a Post-Doctoral Research Assistant with expertise in con­ducting research in developmental psychology, psycholinguistics or autism research for a project on the topic of conversation skills in typically-developing and autistic primary-school-aged children. The post is funded by a Leverhulme Trust grant awarded to Dr Kirsten Abbot-Smith (Kent) as Principal Investigator with Dr Danielle Matthews (Sheffield), Dr Michael Forrester (Emeritus, Kent) and Professor Sue Leekam (Emeritus Chair of Autism, Cardiff) as co-investigators.  The post-holder will be responsible for co-designing and implementing the experiments to answer the research questions as outlined in the grant proposal, recruiting the participants, collecting and analysing the data, writing up for publication and dissemination.  


This post has some flexibility in that it can either be full-time (for 2 years 9 months) OR we can divide the post into two part-time positions, one of which would be 60% FTE for 3 years (ideally starting this September 2021) and the other of which would be 50% FTE for 2 years 9 months, starting three months later.  


Applicants will possess a doctorate or equivalent in Psychology (preferably with a focus on developmental Psychology), Psycholinguistics or Autism – or an allied subject (or an approved submission review by the interview date). The successful applicant will have an excellent understanding of experimental design, child-friendly and autism-friendly methodologies and protocols. The successful applicant would have an interest in how language is used for communication and social interaction and would have the ability to be up-beat, engaging and – crucially – flexible when holding conversations with children. The successful applicant will also have experience of conducting statistical analyses and the motivation to learn to use software such as R-Studio and PsychoPy.  


Please ensure you read the full Job Description and Person Specification available on the University of Kent jobs website here: 


Additional Information 

Ideally, the candidate should be able to start this coming September 2021. Our planned studies may initially have to be carried out by Zoom, which would involve weekly interaction with Dr Danielle Matthews (University of Sheffield). You would be jointed a vibrant developmental psychology research group at the University of Kent (for more information see: ) as well as a burgeoning autism research group at Kent (see The campus of the University of Kent is set in one of the loveliest historic towns in the UK (Canterbury) with excellent connections to France (tunnel, ferry) and London.  


For informal enquires please contact Dr Kirsten Abbot-Smith (). 


The closing date for applications is 26 July 2021, 11:59 pm (British Standard Time). Interviews will take place on 3rd August 2021 via Zoom or Teams.