My colleague Mark Sagar ( and I ( are seeking a post doc research fellow to join our BabyX research team at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. The successful applicant will work on our project which examines the early cooperative and communicative interactions between parents and infants with the ultimate goal of developing our interactive and autonomous virtual infant, BabyX.  We are currently collecting data examining parent-infant interactions in live and digital mediums. The data from this experiment will be used to inform the development of models of early cooperative and communicative interactions to be tested and validated in the world’s first virtual infant. Experiments will then be designed to test the extent to which parents’ interactions with the virtual infant align with our models of parent- human infant interactions.


BabyX is an interactive animated virtual infant prototype. BabyX is:

  • a computer-generated psychobiological simulation under development in the Laboratory of Animate Technologies and
  • an experimental vehicle incorporating computational models of the basic neural systems that are involved in interactive behaviour and learning.

Given the broad and dynamic nature of this project, this position will involve:

  • working in a team environment, including working with team members of the Early Learning Lab in the School of Psychology (
  • developing coding schemes and models of parent-infant interactions
  • training new Research Assistants and/or students when required
  • data analysis which includes collecting data, coding, and tracking
  • writing research grants and manuscripts for publication

 This position may also include opportunities for teaching and/or co-supervision of undergraduate and graduate students.

We are seeking applicants with:

  • A PhD in Developmental Psychology, Cognitive Science or a related discipline
  • Strong record of publications (including first author manuscripts) in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Extensive experience with acquiring, analysing and interpreting research data, and summarising findings via written reports and oral presentations
  • Experience collecting data with infants and/or young children is preferred.  
  • Strong computer, statistical, and technical skills (SPSS, R, Qualtrics, Matlab, Python, or similar platforms).
  • Excellent scientific writing skills

For more information, please view the official position description here:

If you have any questions please feel free to email me at:

Applications deadline:  May 30, 2019.

Kind regards,








Annette M. E. Henderson, PhD
Senior Lecturer, Rutherford Discovery Fellow & Director of the Early Learning Lab

School of Psychology, Faculty of Science, The University of Auckland


Phone: +64 9 923 2521

Lab Website:


Address: 302-225, 23 Symonds Street, Auckland 1010, Private Bag 920129, Auckland 1142, New Zealand